Economy of Swaziland

Mother Earth Travel > Country Index > Swaziland > Map Economy History

Economy - overview: In this small landlocked economy, subsistence agriculture occupies more than 60% of the population. Manufacturing features a number of agroprocessing factories. Mining has declined in importance in recent years: diamond mines have shut down because of the depletion of easily accessible reserves; high-grade iron ore deposits were depleted by 1978; and health concerns have cut world demand for asbestos. Exports of soft drink concentrate, sugar, and wood pulp are the main earners of hard currency. Surrounded by South Africa, except for a short border with Mozambique, Swaziland is heavily dependent on South Africa from which it receives four-fifths of its imports and to which it sends two-thirds of its exports. Remittances from the Southern African Customs Union and Swazi workers in South African mines substantially supplement domestically earned income. The government is trying to improve the atmosphere for foreign investment. Overgrazing, soil depletion, drought, and sometimes floods persist as problems for the future. Prospects for 2001 are strengthened by government millennium projects for a new convention center, additional hotels, an amusement park, a new airport, and stepped-up roadbuilding and factory construction plans.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $4.4 billion (2000 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 3.1% (1999 est.), 2.4% (2000 est.)
GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $4,000 (2000 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 10%
industry: 48%
services: 42% (1997 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 6% (1999 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: private sector about 70%, public sector about 30%
Unemployment rate: 22% (1995 est.)
Budget:
revenues: $400 million
expenditures: $450 million, including capital expenditures of $115 million (FY96/97)
Industries: mining (coal and asbestos), wood pulp, sugar, soft drink concentrates
Industrial production growth rate: 3.7% (FY95/96)
Electricity - production: 420 million kWh (1998)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 48.81%
hydro: 51.19%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (1998)
Electricity - consumption: 1.078 billion kWh (1998)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (1998)
Electricity - imports: 687 million kWh
note: imports about 60% of its electricity from South Africa (1998)
Agriculture - products: sugarcane, cotton, corn, tobacco, rice, citrus, pineapples, sorghum, peanuts; cattle, goats, sheep
Exports: $825 million (f.o.b., 1999)
Exports - commodities: soft drink concentrates, sugar, wood pulp, cotton yarn, refrigerators, citrus and canned fruit
Exports - partners: South Africa 74%, EU 12%, Mozambique 5%, US, North Korea (1997)
Imports: $1.05 billion (f.o.b., 1999)
Imports - commodities: motor vehicles, machinery, transport equipment, foodstuffs, petroleum products, chemicals
Imports - partners: South Africa 83%, EU 6%, Japan, UK, Singapore (1997)
Debt - external: $180 million (1999)
Economic aid - recipient: $55 million (1995)
Currency: 1 lilangeni (SZL) = 100 cents

SOURCE: The World Factbook

Mother Earth Travel > Country Index > Swaziland > Map Economy History