By Majaha Nkonyane | 2018-07-15
THE country has over the years been able to forge very strong relations with different development partners who have helped salvage the country’s weakened fiscus.
These relations have been displayed in the generous contributions that have been made by the development partners, who in the previous fiscal 2017/18 year have been able to pump funds totalling to E2.7 billion, which represents over 15 per cent of government revenue.
This is according to the Minister of Economic Planning and Development Prince Hlangusemphi who was speaking during the fifth Eswatini government and development partners’ conference held at the Happy Valley Hotel yesterday.
The country’s development partners are the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA), the European Union (EU), the Global Fund, India, Japan, Kuwait, the OPEC Fund for international Development (OFID), Republic of China on Taiwan (RoC), United Arab Emirates (UAE), the United Nations (UN), the United States (US) and the World Bank.
Despite contributions being received by the country, Dlamini described Eswatini’s development challenges as significantly high.
The minister encouraged the development partners to provide further assistance in their efforts to address the country’s challenges.
According to the minister, at the macroeconomic level, 2017/18 was not a good year for the domestic economy. Despite the recovery made from the El-Nino induced drought of 2015/16, the government’s fiscal position continued to worsen and some of the gains made from this recovery were eroded.
Dlamini also said the country's Gross Domestic Produce projections of January 2018 indicated a growth rate of 1.9 per cent in 2017 against an estimation of 1.4 per cent in 2016.
Primary and secondary sectors, according to Dlamini, were estimated to have fully recovered from the impact of the 2015/16 drought, thus contributing to the growth.
Growth prospects for the medium term (2018-2020), however, remain positive derived from the full recovery of the agriculture, food processing and textile manufacturing sub-sectors.
The minister envisages that agro processing will gain from higher sugar cane production, while the textile industry is expected to be boosted by enhanced trade of Eswatini products in the US markets following the admission to the AGOA preferential trade market.
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