Trade Profile

flag Eswatini Eswatini: Trade Profile

Foreign Trade in Figures

Eswatini is open to foreign trade, which represents 91% of the country’s GDP (World Bank, latest data available). The country is a member of regional unions (SACU, COMESA and SADC) and has signed agreements granting it preferential access to developed markets (AGOA-United States and Interim EPA with the EU) as well as with emerging markets (MERCOSUR). The country also ratified the African Continental Free Trade Agreement. Customs duties have been reduced and, as a member of the Southern African Customs Union, Eswatini does not impose strict trade barriers and is easily accessible. According to data by ITC, in 2021 Eswatini mainly exported essential oils and perfumes (30% of total exports), sugar (21.8%), chemicals (12.9%), textiles (7.2%) and wood (6.8%), while the country’s main imports were fuels (17.1% of total imports), machinery (5.9%), vehicles (5.3%), electrical equipment (4.4%), and plastics (4.3%).

Eswatini's main customers are South Africa (67.9% of total exports), Kenya (5.6%), Nigeria (3.8%) and Mozambique (3.4%). Its main suppliers are South Africa (72.4% of total imports), China (9.7%), India (2.7%), Mozambique (1.6%), and the United States (1.5% - data ITC, 2021). Overall, the abolition of the EU sugar quota system and the protectionist position of the main trading partners had negative effects on exports.

In 2021, Eswatini exported USD 2 billion of goods and imported USD 1.9 billion. Exports of services amounted to USD 14 million and imports reached USD 64 million (WTO). According to data from the World Bank, the country’s trade balance turned negative by 0.9% of its GDP in 2021, compared to a surplus of 2.9% one year earlier. Data released by the Eswatini Investment Promotion Authority (EIPA) show that in 2022 the country's annual exports amounted to over SZL 30 billion in 2022, with South Africa accounting for roughly 79% of total exports, while the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) accounted for around 10%.

 
Foreign Trade Indicators 20182019202020212022
Imports of Goods (million USD) 1,8581,8321,6052,1231,969
Exports of Goods (million USD) 1,8422,0021,7522,0682,034
Imports of Services (million USD) 259200188238311
Exports of Services (million USD) 7167687263
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 52-114n/a
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) -416-210n/a
Trade Balance (million USD) 2025824112460
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 85898791n/a
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 44434246n/a
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 40464545n/a

Source: WTO – World Trade Organisation ; World Bank - Latest available data.

Return to top

 
 

To go further, check out our service Import Export Flows

 
 

Main Services

Source: United Nations Statistics Division, Latest Available Data

Return to top

Commercial Policy

International Economic Cooperation
Member of the World Trade Organization (WTO)
Member of COMESA - Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa

Member of SADC - Southern African Development Community

Member of SACU - Southern African Customs Union

Assessment of Commercial Policy
The assessment of Swaziland commercial policy
Average Customs Duty (Excluding Agricultural Products)
4.91%
 
 

Trade Compliance

International Conventions
Member of the World Trade Organization (WTO)
International Economic Cooperation
Member of COMESA - Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa

Member of SADC - Southern African Development Community

Member of SACU - Southern African Customs Union

Useful Resources
 
 
 

Return to top

Any Comment About This Content? Report It to Us.

 

© eexpand, All Rights Reserved.
Latest Update: December 2023