Saturday, May 25, 2013

Industry in Swaziland

Manufacturing consists primarily of the following export-oriented industries: wood pulp production, drink processing, fruit canning (Swazican), and sugar processing. Manufacturing growth in the mid-1990s was mostly attributable to increased production of drink processing at Bromor Foods and the sugar-based production activities of the Royal Swaziland Sugar Corportation and Cadbury Confectioneries. Swaziland's three sugar mills have an annual production capacity of 500,000 tons. Usutu Pulp, Swaziland's largest employer, is the leading wood pulp processing company, with an annual capacity to produce 220,000 tons of bleached kraft pulp. Sappi, a London-based company, manages the Usutu Pulp Company. Cement, agricultural machinery, electronic equipment, and refrigerator production are also important parts of Swaziland's manufacturing sector. Textiles, footwear, gloves, office equipment, confectionery, furniture, glass, and bricks are also manufactured. Industry accounts for over 40% of GDP.
Sanctions against South Africa in the late 1980s and internal unrest inspired interest in the relocation of South African-based industry, such as Coca-Cola, in Swaziland. Reexports of South African manufactures with "Made in Swaziland" labels also appeared at that time. The industrial sector growth of the 1980s slowed in the early 1990s as stability returned to South Africa and sanctions were eliminated. Textile manufacturing, which flourished when South African tariffs were high, began to wither when they were equalized.
Creation of the South African Development Community further marginalized the previous industry benefits to operating in Swaziland. The privatization of state-owned industry in 2000 increased foreign interest in Swaziland's industrial sector. There are no known oil or natural gas reserves in Swaziland.

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The industrial sector is dominated by agro-industries involving local sugar, wood pulp, citrus and other fruit, cotton, and meat. Swaziland has been successful in attracting investment from Coca-Cola (which opened a concentrate plant in 1986) and Cadbury (which opened a new sweets factory in 1989). These, combined with continued investment from the Far East (4 Taiwanese-owned textile plants were opened in 1986), and investments in the mid-1990s in refrigerator production, means that the manufacturing sector continues to grow. However, there has been some domestic unrest caused by low wages.
Mining has fallen in importance since the 1960s, contributing only about 1 percent of the GDP in 1997-98. High-grade iron ore was exhausted by 1978, and health concerns have reduced the world demand for asbestos. Asbestos mining (by a joint venture between the government and a South African Company, HVL Asbestos) is nevertheless the principal mining activity. Production was 27,700 tons in 1998, and most of this was exported. Deposits are mainly in the High-Veld.
The diamond mine at Dvokolwako closed at the end of 1996. A new coal mine at Maloma in the south of the country opened in 1993 which produces mainly anthracite for export to Europe (203,100 tons in 1997 and 410,000 tons in 1998). It replaced the now closed Mpaka Mine as the main source of coal. Stone is quarried at 3 centers, and production is increasing. Local construction and roads industries take all stone production.

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