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No new FDI coming

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MBABANE – Economists do not foresee any new foreign direct investments (FDI) coming into the country this year

According to the World Bank, since the global economic meltdown started about a year ago, sub-Saharan Africa, including Swaziland, has been hit hard by reduced external demand, plunging export prices, weaker remittances and tourism revenues, and sharply lower capital inflows, notably FDI.

An independent economist who preferred anonymity said chances of Swaziland getting FDI were slim, mainly because there was no tangible evidence that the country was doing something to make Swaziland the ideal destination for FDI.

Attract “Most countries, especially developing nations, are struggling to attract FDI. Those that will succeed are countries that will really put their minds and resources into ensuring they make their economies attractive to potential external investors. What are we as Swaziland doing to unearth our competitive advantages and are there any incentives we can dangle in front of external investors that no other country in the region offers? Have we made any difference in terms of policy in order to make the environment safe and ideal for investors’ monies since the global crisis started?” he said, adding that these were some of the questions locals should be asking themselves as a starting point to ensuring the country attracts FDI.

He also cited examples of the Investment Policy and the Investor Roadmap, whose formulation and implementation were critical, he said. The economist highlighted there were other pieces of legislation that needed to be formulated to assist in making the country attractive to investors.

“The Investor Roadmap, for instance, is a very critical document which, when implemented would do the country so much good. What is happening with its recommendations’ implementation?” he wondered. Meanwhile, resource based stocks slumped as oil and metal prices fell yesterday, with the World Bank’s lowering of global economic forecasts diminishing hopes for commodities demand to be reignited.

According to Engineering News, the World Bank reported in its ‘Global Development Finance 2009’ report that international capital inflows to developing economies would fall to US$363 billion in 2009, down from the US$707 billion in 2008 and a sharp decline from the US$1.2 trillion in 2007.

Grow “Developing countries would grow by only 1.2 per cent this year, but would contract by 1.6 per cent if developing giants, China and India, were excluded,” the bank forecast. It said this would lead to continued job losses and an increase in poverty levels in many regions. “To prevent a second wave of instability, policies have to focus rapidly on financial sector reform and support for the poorest countries,” World Bank Prospects Group Director Hans Timmer said in the statement.

Readers Comments :

Note: The views and opinions expressed are those of the authors and DO NOT necessarily reflect those of Swazilive.com

Comments:As much has been said about the declining FDI in our country,i think its high time we not only offer the best incetive for investment but what no country can offer. its a fact that we not offer incetives that will allow that will allow investors to leave no change in human development,but investors who are not only interested in making money(because thats where everythomg goes wrong).as a country we need to be more than broad in attempting to lure investors,revisit our policies and as they say, put our egos aside

From:Thulani Hlatshwayo - Swaziland (13-Jan-2010)

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