Country Report Swaziland January 2008

The domestic economy: More factory shells are to be built

With all Swaziland's factory shells currently occupied, the Swaziland Investment Promotion Agency (SIPA) has invited construction companies and the private sector to partner it and to build, lease and manage such facilities. The SIPA is actively seeking new investment into manufacturing in Swaziland, but will need to ensure additional factory capacity in order to interest new investors. Because of the shortage of floor space, the government has pur-chased a factory at Matsapha currently occupied by a knitwear manufacturer that is closing down; this will be used to accommodate a South African com-pany producing woven packaging bags, with which the Ministry of Enterprise and Employment has signed a Memorandum of Understanding. The company is expected to finalise its plans in February 2008 and to offer about 600 jobs.

A South African company, Akoodie, has purchased a local yarn manufacturer, Spintex, from the Swaki Group, owned by a prominent businessman, Natie Kirsch. Akoodie previously used to purchase 20% of Spintex's yarn output, and the balance was exported to Europe. Akoodie manufactures sewing thread and, with its acquisition of Spintex, will become Africa's biggest fully vertically integrated sewing-thread producer. Akoodie is considering expanding the Swaziland operation.

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