flag Eswatini Eswatini: Trade Profile

Foreign Trade in Figures

Eswatini is open to foreign trade, which represents 91% of the country’s GDP (World Bank, latest data available). The country is a member of regional unions (SACU, COMESA and SADC) and has signed agreements granting it preferential access to developed markets (AGOA-United States and Interim EPA with the EU) as well as with emerging markets (MERCOSUR). The country also ratified the African Continental Free Trade Agreement. Customs duties have been reduced and, as a member of the Southern African Customs Union, Eswatini does not impose strict trade barriers and is easily accessible.  The Annual Economic Review Report 2022/23 released by the Central Bank shows that  exports for 'soft-drink concentrates' accounted for 19.2% of Eswatini's total export earnings. 'Wood and wood articles' exports reached SZL 3.971 billion, marking a 2.5% increase from the previous year and representing 11.9% of total exports. Revenue from textile goods sales rose by 7.8% to SZL 2.259 billion year-on-year, driven by international demand growth and comprising 6.8% of Eswatini's total exports. Meanwhile, imports of 'food and beverages' constituted the largest share of the country's import bill at 19.8%. The import value for 'food and beverages' amounted to SZL 6.366 billion in 2022, a notable 12.3% increase from the previous year due to inflationary pressures. 'Fuel and electricity' imports totaled SZL 5.751 billion, marking a substantial 37.1% rise from the previous year and accounting for 17.9% of the total import bill. Despite an 8.9% decrease in electricity import volume in 2022, the value of 'fuel and electricity' imports increased. Imports of 'petroleum' products saw a slight 2% growth from the previous year. Additionally, imports of 'machinery and electrical appliances' were valued at SZL 3.183 billion in 2022, showing a 5% increase from the previous year and contributing 9.9% to the total import bill.

In 2022, the South African market represented 69.3% of exports and 75% of imports, with Kenya, Nigeria, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe as other main trading partners (data Central Bank). Most of Eswatini's exports were sold on an order basis, which restricted opportunities for price adjustments, thus impacting foreign exchange gains negatively.

In 2022, Eswatini exported USD 2 billion of goods and imported USD 1.97 billion. Exports of services amounted to USD 63 million and imports reached USD 311 million (WTO). According to data from the World Bank, the country’s trade balance was negative by 3.8% of GDP, down from 0.8% one year earlier.

Foreign Trade Indicators 20192020202120222023
Imports of Goods (million USD) 1,8321,6052,1231,9731,925
Exports of Goods (million USD) 2,0021,7522,0682,0341,762
Imports of Services (million USD) 200188237319429
Exports of Services (million USD) 67687265139
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 2-114n/an/a
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 16-210n/an/a
Trade Balance (million USD) 25824112460n/a
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 898791n/an/a
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 434246n/an/a
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 464545n/an/a

Source: WTO – World Trade Organisation ; World Bank - Latest available data.

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To go further, check out our service Import controls and Export controls

To go further, check out our service Import-Export Flows


Main Services

Source: United Nations Statistics Division, Latest Available Data

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List of tariffs and local taxes that apply to your product on our service Customs Duties


Trade Compliance

International Conventions
Member of the World Trade Organization (WTO)
International Economic Cooperation
Member of COMESA - Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa

Member of SADC - Southern African Development Community

Member of SACU - Southern African Customs Union

Useful Resources
National Organisation of Intellectual Property
You can contact the Intellectual Property Office by Email.

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Latest Update: May 2024

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