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By Musa Ndlangamandla - SWAZI OBSERVER-25-Sep-2009

HIS Majesty King Mswati III yesterday met business representatives of one of the world’s biggest manufacturers of solar panels who are keen on setting up shop in Africa.

The meeting, which was held in New York, USA explored possibilities of the company setting up its operations in Swaziland and accessing the African market from our shores. The representatives of the company said they were taking into account the demand for the needs of clean energy in Africa and were looking at Swaziland as the ideal location for its African invasion.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Lutfo Dlamini confirmed the meeting, saying the Swazi delegation was able to make its case, citing Swaziland as a stable, peaceful and secure country that is ideal for the kind of business venture the company was looking for. “Nothing has been finalised yet, but we will have follow up meetings. What the King has done is to set the stage for more talks because each time he goes out of the country to meet other kleaders or attend important conferences he always makes it a point to explore business opportunities for the country and his people,” said Dlamini.

The minister added that His Majesty also met a team from UNAIDS and an organisation that represents mainly the interests of women and the girl child. “There were discussions on the programmes that Africa at large, and Swaziland in particular had in place regarding the issue of HIV and AIDS and other health matters. We were able to appraise them on the situation on the ground and the type of assistance and partnership we need as a country,” Dlamini said. He added that they explored possibilities of setting up a pharmaceutical company that would manufacture drugs and other medicines and supply them to the continent in the bid to combat the spread of AIDS.

“We have made the proposal for them to come to Swaziland and we informed them that the country boasts of a ready made site to play host to Africa. We, in turn, have asked them to come up with a proposal of their specific requirements which we will forward to the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Commerce. We await feedback and follow up material and we are confident that based on the discussions something good will come to Swaziland,” he said.

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