This paper highlights that banks and nonbank financial institutions, businesses and households have large exposures to the government and, in some cases, their own vulnerabilities. In this context, a fiscal shock can rapidly propagate into the economy through the financial sector. The financial sector is also likely to amplify the impact of shocks on the economy, possibly opening the way to deep recession. In the case of an extreme shock with difficulties in servicing debt, the banking system capitalization would be significantly hit. Staff analysis highlights the need for fiscal consolidation and for strengthening the CBS’s role in monitoring and managing macrofinancial risks. Since 2015, the government’s balance sheet, liquidity, and risk exposures have been rapidly deteriorating, raising concerns about the impact on other sectors of the economy. As in many countries, the government in Swaziland is a major economic player with strong linkages with both the financial and nonfinancial sectors.
This Selected Issues paper assesses Swaziland’s export diversification and quality. Swaziland’s export structure has experienced sizable changes over the past 15 years. The share of textile exports has halved, and the expiration of trade benefits under Africa Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) implies that the share of textile exports would decline further. Swaziland’s exports are relatively diversified with good quality index compared with its peers. However, diversification and product quality have declined in recent years, while the expiration of the access to AGOA calls for enhanced efforts in this area. Improving education and training, strengthening institutional framework, and further developing the financial market will help improve export diversification and quality upgrading.