By Khulile Thwala
His Majesty King Mswati III has disclosed that other agreements with Emirati and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) companies will be signed soon.
This follows the recent signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with an Emirati holding company, Emirates Management Investment (EMI) Gate Holding, during the King’s business trip to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in October.
In a recently published interview with Emirates News Agency, His Majesty the King said Eswatini aimed to attract Emirati investments, noting that it is a key market for UAE companies wishing to enter African markets.
The King highlighted Eswatini’s keenness to strengthen its strategic ties with the UAE and create opportunities for economic cooperation, as well as enhance the cooperation between the two countries.
He also pointed out that the kingdom is keen to strengthen its trade and economic relations with the UAE, most notably in manufacturing and other strategic areas, stressing that Eswatini’s participation in Expo 2020 Dubai was a key opportunity to promote the country and the investment opportunities it offers.
His Majesty further affirmed that the country welcomes Emirati investors in various sectors, highlighting Eswatini’s willingness to forge efficient and prosperous partnerships with the UAE, as well as its advanced infrastructure and skilled labour force.
“Eswatini has a variety of diverse and vital sectors, in addition to a highly-productive labour force and vibrant infrastructure,” stated the King to the news agency. During the King’s recent business trip to the UAE and Taiwan, he witnessed the signing of a historic partnership between the government and EMI Gate Holding.
The signing ceremony between Commerce Industry and Trade Minister Manqoba Khumalo and EMI Gate Holding President and CEO Fatima Al Kaabi was held at the company’s head office in Addax Towers, Jazeerat Al Reem Island in Abu Dhabi.
His Majesty the King was accompanied by Inkhosikati LaMashwama, Information Communication and Technology Minister Princess Sikhanyiso, Finance Minister Neal Rijkenberg, and Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Minister Thulisile Dladla.
EMI Gate Holdings CEO and President Al Kaabi and the company’s advisor Emrah Tunca told His Majesty the King that they are interested in investing in the country’s E60 billion six major projects announced by Commerce Industry and Trade Minister Khumalo during the trip.
EMI Gate Holdings indicated that it would arrive in Eswatini with the view to explore more on what it can do in mining, including investing in the areas of ICTs, cyber security, energy, agri-business, and tourism.
Tunca told the King that all the multi-billion Emalangeni projects can be handled by their company easily with their experience and operation.
“We are ready to make some contribution in the Kingdom, especially in coal mining, which is important for us as we buy over 15 million tonnes per year. Of that, we source about five to six million tonnes from South Africa or Southern Africa,” he said.
Tunca further revealed that they source other resources for their vast industries in countries like Brazil, Mauritania, and Italy which amounts to 100 million tonnes.
He told the King that the construction industry is their backbone for hundreds of years and they have no issues looking forward with excitement on what they can do for the Kingdom of Eswatini.
Tunca said they are ready to bring investors, and professional companies to come along to also see the areas they would invest in. The Memorandum of Understanding signed between the government and EMI Gate Holding sets out the framework for cooperation and scope, which they were happy to sign emphasising the promotion of economic and technical cooperation in investment and trade.