According to countryaah, Swaziland’s economy is relatively developed and diversified, but suffers from significant socio-economic inequalities. The economy is closely linked to South Africa through ownership, trade, finance and currency policy and membership in the Southern African Customs Union (SACU).
- According to abbreviationfinder, WZ is the 2 letter abbreviation for the country of Swaziland.
Agriculture and forestry are the most important industries. The majority of the economically active population is active in related industries or self-sustaining farms, where maize and cotton cultivation as well as livestock care are the main activities. The most important crop is sugar cane, which is grown mainly on larger artificial irrigated plantations. Swaziland is also a major producer of citrus fruits and pineapples, which are preserved for export. Forest plantations cover 6 percent of Swaziland’s area and include the Usutu dominated by South African interests, which with 65,000 ha is one of the world’s largest landscaped forests. In 2011, however, the country’s only pulp mill was closed.
The mining industry has declined, and since the country’s diamond deposits began to be mine, only coal and stone have been mined.
The industrial sector is mainly built around food production and processing of agricultural products. The tourism industry is also important. During the 1990s, the trade balance showed an increasing deficit, and so has been the case since 2005 after a period of surplus in the early 00s. Significant income from SACU has declined, as have transfers from the shrinking number of Swaziland miners in South Africa. Swaziland’s main export products are fruit concentrates for beverages, sugars, fresh and canned fruits and cotton yarns and refrigerators. Imports are dominated by machinery, workshop products and fuels. South Africa is the completely dominant trading partner, with 50 percent of exports and over 90 percent of imports.
Economic conditions. – Arable land and woody agricultural crops cover about 10% of the surface, while more than 63% are permanent meadows and pastures.
In the irrigated areas, in 1976 the main harvests were those of sugar cane (over 2 million q of sugar, compared to 860,000 q in 1964), rice (50,000 q, out of 2000 ha; 70,000 q in 1963, on same area) and citrus fruits (750,000 q of oranges, compared to 650,000 q of oranges and mandarins in 1970 and only 90,000 q of oranges, mandarins and grapefruits in 1966).
There was also the production of maize (850,000 q in 1977; 350,000 q, out of 75,000 ha, in 1966), sorghum (30,000 q, out of 4000 ha; 200,000 q, out of 30,000 ha, in 1966), yams (90,000 q), bananas (30,000 q; 10,000 q in 1966), and pineapples. And then again, cotton (11,000 ha, 120,000 q of seed and 60,000 of fiber; 3000 ha, 20,000 q of seed and 10,000 q of fiber in 1963) and tobacco (4300 q).
The zootechnical patrimony is based on 640,000 cattle, 280,000 goats and 37,000 sheep (they were, respectively, 532,000, 222,000 and 43,000, in 1963).
In the mining sector, there is the production of asbestos (39,000 t in 1976, compared to 22,900 in 1958), iron ore (1.23 million t of Fe, in 1976), coal (126,900 t in 1976).); and also small quantities of tin (i t of Sn in 1975; 5 t in 1963) and of gold (10 kg in 1966, compared to 65 kg in 1963). Since 1964 the hematite deposits of Ngwenya near Mbabane have been joined by a 223 km railway to the port of Goba (Mozambique).
The industrial equipment is very limited: sugar refineries, cotton gin, a brewery and a wood pulp factory (141,000 t in 1976).
The external trade (the state part, doganalmente, the Republic of South Africa) had, in the period 1969-75, a significant boost, both in imports (from 38,000,000 to 134.5000000 rand, the rand = 1 018 Italian lire, in 1977) and in exports (from 48 to 132 million rand), the latter based mainly on iron minerals, sugar, asbestos, wood pulp, meat and citrus fruits.
In addition to the section of the aforementioned railway that takes place in the state, there are 160 km of tarred roads, almost 1300 km of main roads with artificial ground and 750 km of minor roads. The main airport is in Matsapa.