The Taiwan-Eswatini Joint Committee for Economic Cooperation Agreement (ECA) held its first online meeting on 29 September 2021. Participants focused on cooperation possibilities in market access, bilateral trade and industries. It was the first ministerial meeting between the two countries since they signed an ECA in 2018.
The meeting was co-hosted by Taiwan's Minister for Economic Affairs, Ms. Mei-Hua Wang and her Eswatinian counterpart Mr. Manqoba Khumalo, Eswatini's Minister of Commerce, Industry and Trade.
In her speech, Minister Wang said that Eswatini had become Taiwan's third largest source of alcohol imports, and a vital link in Taiwan's epidemic prevention supply chain since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. On the other hand, Taiwan had assisted Eswatini to establish a surgical face mask production line, further highlighting the close cooperation between the two countries during the pandemic.
For his part, Minister Khumalo said that the Taiwan-Eswatini ECA had brought countless benefits to bilateral trade. The two countries could continue to exchange views and share information on Africa's market and business opportunities through the joint committee.
During the meeting, Eswatini delegates made a presentation on the regional integration of Africa, such as African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), Southern African Customs Union (SACU), and the potential investment opportunities in the regional market. They encouraged Taiwanese companies to invest in Eswatini. The Taiwanese welcomed Eswatini to make good use of Taipei International Trade Shows to help their enterprises expand their markets in Taiwan and Asia. The two ministers then agreed to establish specialized subcommittees to further facilitate and deepen the bilateral economic, trade and investment cooperation in the future.