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Taiwanese business contributes greatly to Swaziland's economy

2012/04/16 19:10:07

Mbabane, Swaziland, April 16 (CNA) A Taiwanese textile enterprise has contributed greatly to the development of Swaziland over the past decade since it began in 2001 to invest in the southern African country, which has been a faithful diplomatic ally to Taiwan.

The Taipei-headquartered Texray Industrial Co. operates several factories in Swaziland, producing yarn and cloth, as well as textile-dying, printing and embroidering, according to Texray Chairman Ray Lin.

Thanks to support from the governments of both Taiwan and Swaziland, Texray has developed into the largest textile enterprise in Swaziland, Lin said.

A model of successful overseas investment, Texray has attracted the attention of President Ma Ying-jeou, who is scheduled to visit one ofits production lines during his current visit to the country.

Ma arrived in Swaziland Sunday on the last leg of a 12-day state visit to three of Taiwan's diplomatic allies in Africa, which has already taken him to Burkina Faso and The Gambia.

According to Texray, the company employs over 6,000 workers in its Swaziland factories, 95 percent of whom are local people.

The figures indicate that the Taiwanese company is feeding more than 50,000 people out of the 1 million-plus population of Swaziland, because based on official Swazi data, one worker supports the lives of an average of 10 people.

"Whatever is taken from society will be used for society" is the principle upon which Texray runs its business, Lin said, explaining that the company has never stopped giving feedback to Swaziland society, which has in turn helped Texray's development.

In addition to regularly donating clothes and food to local charity organizations, the company also helps charity groups from Taiwan engage in relief work in remote areas of the country, he added.

Describing himself as "half-Swazi," Lin said it was the friendliness of the country's people and their king's care for his people's livelihoods that helped Texray's growth.

"To express my gratitude, I will continue to assist Swaziland in its economic development and its efforts to create more employment," he said.

(By Lee Shu-hua and Elizabeth Hsu)