30th July 2023
His Majesty the king has thrown down the gauntlet and issued a clarion call to all enterprising emaSwati to establish multibillion businesses in the country. As Business Eswatini we have heeded the call and embrace the challenge from the throne.
BE feels that this is a royal call which is not inconsistent with the economic times in which we find ourselves as a country; These are times which demand that we all think big and take big calculated risks in order to turn around our lethargic economic situation. To that BE says, yes.
His Majesty’s vision for the country is undoubtedly big and as Emaswati, and BE in particular, we need to match it by being innovative and creative in building our businesses from small to big enterprises that hire many Emaswati.
As everyone will agree, all multibillion businesses in existence around the world were actually conceived, nurtured and grown by the private sector which is the engine for economic growth everywhere. It is with this irrefutable fact in mind that we feel His Majesty may have been speaking specifically to the private sector of this country to dare to dream and think big; and to have the courage to expand our vision beyond the boundaries of our own security and comfort zones. We feel he was telling all of us, especially BE, that the time to up our ante has come.
Crucially though, we feel His Majesty’s call is timely especially as prospects for foreign direct investment projects around the world are beginning to dwindle to the extent that all countries are now challenged to grow and expand already existing in-country businesses, if they are truly serious about creating jobs and national wealth. The other challenge with relying exclusively on foreign direct investment is that the competition for it is now too ferocious while the demands from investors to relocate to one’s destination are increasingly becoming untenable, if not too prohibitive in terms of costs.
There is therefore wisdom in building and expanding our existing businesses in the country but first we learn to look after them so that we can retain them. Investors who are frustrated tend to yield to the temptation to relocate to other countries that are friendlier to their investment projects. As a country we still have a long way to go in this regard, especially at policy level.