Eswatini can create much-needed jobs and achieve sustainable economic growth by adopting an export-led private sector growth model, supporting micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), and harnessing entrepreneurship potential. This is the main finding of the Eswatini Country Private Sector Diagnostic (CPSD), which was jointly prepared by IFC and the World Bank.
The report examines how Eswatini can grow its economy, create jobs, unlock export potential, and speed economic and fiscal recovery from COVID-19 by introducing reforms to build a stronger private sector to attract private investment in key sectors, including sugar, beef, forestry value chains, and textiles and apparel. Eswatini has a comparative advantage in these sectors and can leverage its preferential access to regional and global markets to boost exports and economic growth.
Eswatini also has an opportunity to enable greater entrepreneurship opportunities and support more MSMEs with access to finance and skills by facilitating gender inclusion and unlocking the potential of the digital economy – an important pathway to harness the demographic dividend arising from a young population.
The CPSD explores challenges facing the country’s private sector—including the impact of climate change, especially drought, and COVID-19—and strategies that can help address existing constraints. The CPSD highlights the need to implement various reforms to improve business regulations, reduce the state footprint in the economy and increase private participation. The CPSD outlines areas where further policy changes can unlock investment opportunities and where the World Bank Group can best provide support.