The Eswatini government on Monday denied that it has enacted a law barring foreign ownership of businesses in the southern African kingdom.Industry and Trade Minister Manqoba Khumalo dismissed reports saying the government is introducing a new law that would make it illegal for companies established under foreign direct investment (FDI) pacts to operate in Eswatini starting from effective October 1.
The reports allege that starting on Thursday the government would not renew licences for foreign owned companies and that all businesses would be 100 percent reserved for locals.
“Government wishes to state that no such law exists in the Kingdom of eSwatini, neither is there any move in parliament or elsewhere to introduce such a piece of legislation,” Khumalo said.
He noted that while it is true that certain businesses are reserved for Swatis in terms of the Reservation of Certain Trades or Businesses for Swazi Citizens Regulations of 2017, “it is equally true that Eswatini encourages foreign direct investments, hence our extensive investment drive across the globe.”
“No new law has been passed since then to suggest otherwise,” the minister said, adding that the Eswatini authorities remain committed to creating an environment that is conducive for business growth for both locally owned and foreign businesses.