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. According to data by ITC, in 2021 Eswatini mainly exported essential oils and perfumes (30% of total exports), sugar (21.8%), chemicals (12.9%), textiles (7.2%) and wood (6.8%), while the country’s main imports were fuels (17.1% of total imports), machinery (5.9%), vehicles (5.3%), electrical equipment (4.4%), and plastics (4.3%).

Eswatini's main customers are South Africa (67.9% of total exports), Kenya (5.6%), Nigeria (3.8%) and Mozambique (3.4%). Its main suppliers are South Africa (72.4% of total imports), China (9.7%), India (2.7%), Mozambique (1.6%), and the United States (1.5% - data ITC, 2021). Overall, the abolition of the EU sugar quota system and the protectionist position of the main trading partners had negative effects on exports.

In 2021, Eswatini exported USD 2 billion of goods and imported USD 1.9 billion. Exports of services amounted to USD 14 million and imports reached USD 64 million (WTO). According to data from the World Bank, the country’s trade balance turned negative by 0.9% of its GDP in 2021, compared to a surplus of 2.9% one year earlier. Data released by the Eswatini Investment Promotion Authority (EIPA) show that in 2022 the country's annual exports amounted to over SZL 30 billion in 2022, with South Africa accounting for roughly 79% of total exports, while the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) accounted for around 10%.

Foreign Trade Indicators 20172018201920202021
Imports of Goods (million USD) 1,6651,8581,8321,5331,936
Exports of Goods (million USD) 1,7921,8422,0021,7032,060
Imports of Services (million USD) 310230168171228
Exports of Services (million USD) 11967866664
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 752-114
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 5-416-210
Trade Balance (million USD) 18620258241124
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 8885898791
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 4444434246
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 4440464545

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


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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: September 2023