Senior Business Reporter
As the re-engagement drive continues to gain momentum, Zimbabwean businesses have been advised by Swiss Ambassador Niculin Jäger to make full use of Switzerland as a hub for business, trade and entry into European markets.
Mr Jager was launching the Swiss-Zimbabwe Business Chamber, which seeks to facilitate investment and trade between the two countries.
The chamber will bring businesses together for the exchange of views and experiences, help find common ground and lobby the interests of its members.
In finding this consensus, it will strengthen the dialogue between Government and business.
“Switzerland, as the leading European investor, invites and encourages Zimbabwe to make full use of Switzerland as a hub for business, trade and entry into the European market,” he said, adding, “I am looking forward to welcome Zimbabwe businesses to establish offices and representations in Switzerland.”
Switzerland is one of the largest investors in Zimbabwe with companies such as Nestlé having invested significantly in the dairy value chain.
The two countries have signed an International Cooperation Agreement on Humanitarian Aid and Technical and Financial Cooperation in 2017.
The agreement provides for strengthened cooperation between Switzerland and Zimbabwe for the realisation of humanitarian, technical and financial assistance projects that contribute to sustainable poverty alleviation, democratic development, the promotion of peace and respect for human rights and the rule of law.
Further, the Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (Bippa) between Switzerland and Zimbabwe was signed to provide a conducive business environment for Swiss firms.
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Ambassador Frederick Shava said the establishment of the Swiss-Zimbabwe Business Chamber augments our efforts for image building, international engagement and re-engagement .
The new thrust of the Government was to advance economic diplomacy to facilitate trade and attract foreign investors.
“This is well articulated in our Zimbabwe National Trade Policy (2019-2023) which seeks to propel Zimbabwe towards a transformed and internationally competitive economy driven by robust free and fair domestic and international trade,” said Ambassador Shava.
It seeks to reform and open up Zimbabwe for free and fair trade in line with the multilateral trading system.
Industry and Commerce Minister Dr Sekai Nzenza said the Second Republic placed a high premium on the involvement of the private sector in matters of economic development.
Ambassador Jäger said to promote, encourage and facilitate commerce between the countries and its companies, a legal base was needed.