By Alois Vinga
GOVERNMENT and Switzerland Wednesday launched the Swiss-Zimbabwe Business Chamber (SZBC) amid hopes by the allies the platform will deepen economic ties between the two nations.
Addressing delegates gathered to witness the chamber’s launch at his residence in Harare, Switzerland ambassador to Zimbabwe, Niculin Jager said the forum shall serve as a platform of exchange for members and interested parties from government and business.
“It will link leading international companies and small to medium enterprises from Switzerland and Zimbabwe.
“The objective of the chamber, as written in its founding constitution, is on the one hand to further the development of economic and commercial exchange between Switzerland and Zimbabwe,” he said.
Jager, who is also Swiss ambassador for Malawi and Zambia, said on the other hand, the high-profile platform will represent the interests of its members in matters of trade and industry.
He said the launch marked another milestone in relations between the two countries.
The SCZB is made up of leaders from Swiss companies: Lafarge chief executive officer, Precious Murena-Nyika, Sherry Jackson from Schindwe and Raphel Curiger from Pure Africa.
Industry Minister, Sekai Nzenza who also addressed the delegates, said the cordial relations the country enjoyed with Switzerland was a gateway which advanced the penetration of global value and served as a supply chain.
“The new economic thrust for the Second Republic of Zimbabwe places a very high premium on the involvement of the Private Sector in matters of national economic development.
“The country’s new Economic Blueprint — the National Development Strategy (NDS) 1 has identified about ten priority Value Chains, as we endeavour to ‘Move The Zimbabwean Economy Up the Value Chains’ and re-orient it on an export-driven growth trajectory, in accordance with one of the pillars anchoring the National Development Strategy,” she said.
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister, Fredrick Shava hailed the chamber for presenting lucrative opportunities for both countries.
“I have come to the realisation that Switzerland has huge investment interests in Zimbabwe which can produce goods and create employment for our locals, as such, the establishment of the SZBC will deepen economic and commercial exchange between the Swiss Confederation and Zimbabwe.
“It will also act as a conduit to disseminate information on trade and investment opportunities expediently and facilitate commerce between Switzerland and Zimbabwe,” he added.