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Domestic, foreign partnerships needed to survive tough times

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By Teetee Zwane - THE SWAZI TIMES-04-Sep-2009

STRONG partnerships with both domestic and foreign institutions as well as investors could help the country survive the global economic crisis, industry stakeholders have noted.

During the tough times currently faced globally, we can survive through formations of strong partnerships with both domestic and foreign institutions, investors and other stakeholders,” said Swaziland Investment Promotion Authority (SIPA) Chairman Musa Dlamini yesterday during a trade and investment seminar at the Mavuso Exhibition and Trade Centre.

“In order to survive we need to change the way we have been doing things, reengineer our companies, re-strategise and become a major player globally. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, I quote, ‘the ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience but where he stands at times of challenges and controversy’.”

He noted that when Commerce Minister Jabulile Mashwama launched this year’s Trade Fair she said it was basically an initiative by government to provide a strategic and focused trade platform that showcases the latest and most innovative products in goods and services from public and private sector orgnisations. The minister had noted, Dlamini said, that the event created a one-stop shop where all exhibitors, in and out of Swaziland and visitors were able to mingle and exchange contacts and network in one place while for some, it was an opportunity to sell their goods to the thousands of visitors who attend.

To this end, the chairman said SIPA was committed to offering investors a home for their global business in Swaziland and to promote domestic investors in order to create a vibrant local private sector through its linkage programme by encouraging joint ventures, partnerships between local or domestic investors and foreign investors.

“Regardless of whether you are an experienced business owner or an aspiring entrepreneur, you will find SIPA’s expert advice in setting up and growing your businesses helpful; from identifying a suitable site to employing workers, obtaining permits, visas and even getting schools for your dependents if you are a foreign investor,” assured Dlamini.

He said from SIPA’s perspective, the theme for the 2009 Swaziland International Trade Fair (SITF): “Renewal of Swazi Business in Global Trade” means far reaching changes in the “rules of doing business” and the institutions that shape the economic activity.

Dlamini said many, if not most, of the influential economic countries participate in the global arena through international partnerships.

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