Embassy of the United States of America
The United States and Swaziland Expanding Exports through AGOA
Mbabane, Swaziland: The United States Government through the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Southern Africa Trade and Investment Hub (the Hub) is assisting the Government of the Kingdom of Swaziland to develop a new African Growth and Opportunity Act(AGOA) Utilization Strategy to promote increased exports to the U.S and expand regional trade.
AGOA is the cornerstone of U.S. economic engagement with the countries of Sub-Saharan Africa. AGOA helps eligible nations diversify their exports by providing duty-free access to the U.S. market, creating jobs and fostering inclusive economic growth. Since AGOA was established, non-oil exports have increased almost 200 percent to $4.1 billion in 2015. This growth has spurred an estimated 300,000 direct jobs in beneficiary countries.
U.S. Ambassador to Swaziland Lisa J. Peterson has emphasized that AGOA offers the potential to serve as an important part of a larger growth strategy: “The Swazi economy urgently needs both diversification and growth. AGOA can be an important part of a larger growth strategy. With the Trade Hub’s support, we can help Swaziland determine how it can best maximize its use of AGOA.”
As part of this ongoing partnership, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade and Investment Hub along with the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Trade, the Swaziland Investment Promotion Agency (SIPA), and the Swaziland Revenue Authority (SRA), as well as a wide variety of private sector companies and civil society stakeholders, will hold a one-day AGOA and Swaziland – A Way Forward seminar at the Happy Valley Hotel, Ezulwini, on Friday, 23 March.
The AGOA is a preferential trade arrangement that accords duty free treatment to almost 7,000 products from eligible countries in Sub-Saharan Africa to the United States, the largest single market in the world. The Kingdom of Swaziland in early 2018 returned to AGOA eligibility and seeks to take full advantage of AGOA benefits.
USAID’s Southern Africa Trade and Investment Hub engages with partners throughout Southern Africa to deepen regional economic integration, promote two-way trade under AGOA and attract investment that drives commercial expansion within the region and to global markets.
The Hub's export competitiveness team works with companies and governments across Southern Africa to boost export in targeted sectors. The team also collaborates with the Hub's trade facilitation and enabling environment team to smooth customs procedures. The Hub has facilitated over $40 million worth of exports from Southern Africa since 2010.