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– Herald

SWISS companies operating in Zimbabwe are today expected to launch a business chamber aimed at strengthening economic ties with local firms, a move that shows that many international economic players still have huge confidence in Zimbabwe.

The Swiss-Zimbabwe Business Chamber will serve as a platform of exchange for its members and interested parties from Government and business, Mr Richard Nyamanhindi, communication officer from the  Embassy of Switzerland said in a statement yesterday.

“The chamber also aims at furthering the development of economic and commercial exchange between Switzerland and Zimbabwe, promote the interests of its members in trade between and in the two countries and link leading international companies and small and medium enterprises from Switzerland and Zimbabwe, promoting best practices,”

said Mr Nyamanhindi.

This will augur well with Zimbabwe “is open for business” mantra which seeks to open up the economy to foreign investors.

Switzerland is one of the largest investors in Zimbabwe with companies such as Nestlé having invested significantly in the dairy value chain and continues to come up with measure to empower farmers even at lower levels.

Already, Zimbabwe has a Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement with Switzerland.

Last month, Swiss Ambassador to Zimbabwe Niculin Jager paid a courtesy call on President Mnangagwa. He said Zimbabwe was one of the priority countries for “our bilateral cooperation this year.”

“We had an in-depth engagement with President Mnangagwa on bilateral relations between Switzerland and Zimbabwe and shaping the agenda for the 42nd year and what is coming in the future,”

he said.

“As you know, Switzerland is one of the largest investors in Zimbabwe so we had a discussion on the economy and investments and the overall situation in the region and in the country and we also talked about re-adjusting our bilateral co-operation and development agency. Zimbabwe is one of the priority countries for our bilateral cooperation this year.”

In 2017, Switzerland and Zimbabwe signed an International Co-operation Agreement on Humanitarian Aid and Technical and Financial Co-operation.

The agreement provides for strengthened cooperation between Switzerland and Zimbabwe for the realisation of humanitarian, technical and financial assistance projects that contributes to sustainable poverty alleviation, democratic development, the promotion of peace and respect for human rights and the rule of law.

Switzerland has been supportive of Zimbabwe’s intentions to clear its debt arrears and normalise relations with the international financial institutions, so it can accelerate efforts to revive and grow the economy and improve investment in the social sectors.

Minister of Industry and Commerce Dr Sekai Nzenza will be the guest of honour during the launch of the chamber.

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