Dar es Salaam. Deputy Minister for Investment, Industry, and Trade Exaud Silioneka Kigahe, has officially launched the Switzerland-Tanzania Chamber of Commerce (STCC) platform whose biggest ambition is to strengthen economic relations between the two countries in trade and investments.
The inaugural event was held yesterday, February 27, 2023, in an evening reception at the residency of the Swiss Ambassador Didier Chassot and was attended by more than 120 business personalities, representatives of the private sector, and diplomats.
The Switzerland-Tanzania Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit organization for companies and individuals interested in commerce and trade between Switzerland and Tanzania. The founding member of the platform includes Duku Telecoms and Electronics, Life Forestry Group, Mbeya Cement, MSC, Oryx Energies, Shekinah Group, and SICPA.
Speaking at the event, Swiss State Secretary for Economic Affairs Hellen Budliger Artieda, noted that Tanzania and Switzerland have had strong ties for more than 40 years and Switzerland has been one of Tanzania’s major development partners, something that they are proud of.
“Switzerland and Tanzania have enjoyed friendly bilateral relations for many years,” said Artieda, “and as usual, I think the private sector was probably here before the Government even step foot here” added Ms. Artieda as she was addressing participants of the event.
In her address, State Secretary Artieda highlighted that trade and investment between the two countries are still low while underscoring that there is a notable interest from Swiss companies to invest in Tanzania. Adding that the Chamber will play a vital role in changing this situation.
Switzerland is one of the Tanzania’s biggest export market, according to the Tanzania Ministry of Finance, in 2021,Swiss was the fourth Tanzania export destination taking about 8.25 percent of all Tanzania export. Major export from Tanzania to Switzerland is gold and horticultural product in small proportion.
State Secretary Artieda underscored that Switzerland recognizes various efforts undertaken by the Government of Tanzania in improving the business environment and attracting foreign investors. However, she continues to call for more efforts to be taken in opening up the country.
“Good progress has been achieved already, but we all know that more can and should be done in order to fully unlock the country’s true potential, for the greater benefit of all.” Emphasized Artieda.
Speaking at the event, Deputy Minister for Investment, Industry, and Trade Exaud Siloneka Kigahe, explained that the Government of Tanzania is committed to improving Tanzania’s investment and business environment.
“The Government of Tanzania has embarked into a program of improving investment and business environment,” Kigahe said in his speech. “Through this program, we expect to build a productive capacity, create employment, and through the regional and global value chain connects Tanzania to the continental and world trade.”
Tanzania has recently changed its investment law and yesterday the President of Tanzania swear-in a new permanent secretary for the investment portfolio which will now shift to the President’s Office.
In her address, President Samia who has been an avid campaigner for a business environment that attracts investment said that this is one of the moves to structure Tanzania’s investment making it more competitive.
It’s expected the Switzerland-Tanzania Chamber of Commerce in Tanzania will serve as a networking organization and creates platforms where company executives and individuals can meet, connect and generate business opportunities for the benefit of their members.
Lukelo Francis is The Chanzo journalist based in Dar es Salaam Tanzania. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.