Switzerland-Tanzania Business Relations Celebrated

A series of events celebrating Tanzania business relations with Switzerland was recently launched earlier this month by the embassy of Switzerland in Tanzania.

The title of the series was ‘Swiss Days in Tanzania ‘a partnership in diversity’ and was meant to celebrate the continued partnership between the two countries in areas such as trade, investment, culture and cooperation.

According to a report by The Daily News, the Swiss ambassador to Tanzania, Adrian Schlapfer, spoke at the event saying that the goal was for his country’s to effectively display its many faces, values and qualities such as precision, efficiency, creativity, solidarity and openness.

The ambassador went on to explain that, while Tanzania may not, in fact, be listed as one of the Switzerland’s most important partner countries, there was still an impressive amount and array of Swiss interests in the country.

“The small and dynamic Swiss community is an important factor in the country’s society and economy, as well as motor for socio-economic development,” said Mr. Schlapfer.

Speakers at the event also included the guest of honor, Emmanuel Ole Naiko, Executive Director of the Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC), who spoke about the current concern over the decline in investment inflows as a result of the global economic crisis.

According to Mr. Ole Naiko, the TIC had taken several precautions including the improvement of in current investment environment in order to keep its present investors in conjunction with the centre’s continued efforts to attract as many new investors as possible through targeted campaigns.

Mr. Ole Naiko went on to explain that, as a result of the most recent Doing Business Report 2010, which indicated that Tanzania was no longer included in the list of top ten performers, a taskforce had been formed by the government in order to properly examine each of the pillars in the report.

“The objective here is to assign each government departments with respective responsibilities to rectify the deficiencies, within a certain time frame,” he said, “Our objective is to reduce the cost of Doing Business from three digits to two digits and eventually one digit to retain the position we had in 2006 as one of the top 10 performers.”

In addition, The Daily News reported that, during his speech, the executive director explained that the TIC was also encouraging as much promotion of domestic investors as possible and providing them with assistance in the creation of contacts with foreign investors.

To this end, Mr. Ole Naiko indicated that the TIC had already signed a memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with UNCTAD for the realization of a Business Linkages Project.

According to the executive director, the purpose of the project is to create links between large corporations operating in Tanzania and SMEs.

“This arrangement fits very well with the objectives of this Swiss day that is a Partnership in Diversity,” he said.
Currently, according to The Daily News report and Mr. Ole Naiko, Swiss interest in Tanzania is valued at USD 71m, which is responsible for the creation of 4,700 jobs.

“We trust with today’s rekindling of our ‘partnership’ we shall see more Swiss projects established in Tanzania,” said Mr. Ole Naiko