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Govt to improve business ratings

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By Njabulo Dlamini - THE SWAZI OBSERVER-12-Sep-2009

Government is working hard in improving Swaziland’s position in the World Bank’s ‘ease of doing business index’

The intention is that every two years the country moves steadily up in the index, Prime Minister Dr Sibusiso Barnabas Dlamini has said.

‘ease of doing business’ is a highly respected guide used extensively among international investors. “Government will avail itself of and manage well its relationships within regional and international trading partnerships and initiatives. Government is also in the process of expediting promulgation of the new Companies Act, an important step in improving the legal and regulatory environment,” the prime minister said.

The PM was delivering a paper on ‘Government’s view on the role of the private sector in economic development’ at the Royal Swazi Spa banqueting arena. This was during the AGM for FSE/CC.

“There was a time, in most countries of the world, when it was considered most efficient for public enterprises to control the commanding heights of the economy. That argument has long ceased to be valid, hence the thrust of the past two decades towards privatisation.

“The best analogy I have heard to put this in perspective is that jumbo jets are excellent people-carriers but they are very poor fighter planes. Let government focus on governance and with certain properly justified exceptions, leave business to the private sector,” he said. He said more rapid growth was needed to enable the county meet the goals of the 2022 vision of the National Development Strategy (NDS).

“We have to work on this like never before. Business cannot be as usual; it has to be business unusual”. The PM called for greater efforts in boosting growth (of business) through diversification and seeking of deeper as well as broader external market penetration. “But without growth in output of goods and service, there can be no increase in national wealth. So what are we doing about growth and perhaps more to the point, what can we do to help the private sector to achieve that growth? And when I say ‘we’ I mean all stakeholders – the government, financial institutions, the general public and private sector itself. “We all have a part to play in assisting the private sector in fulfilling its potential as the driver of economic growth and development.”

Government’s role, he noted, was creating a conducive environment or set a scene that encourages new investment – whether from domestic or foreign sources; large, medium, small or micro-scale.

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