Great prospects for economy as Zim- Swiss bilateral relations deepen

26 Jan, 2022 - 00:01 0 Views
Great prospects for economy as Zim- Swiss bilateral relations deepen Mr Niculin Jager

The Chronicle

Wallace Musakanyi, Correspondent
DIPLOMACY as an elastic and fundamental component of international relations that guides state to state relations is also a perfect lubricant that smoothens the relations of countries in the international system, thereby turning on floodlights of opportunities, fostering mutual co-operation as well as amplifying bilateral and multilateral ties between different countries.

Healthy bilateral relations between the economically stable developed countries and developing countries provides a positive sum game approach for both countries because the pie grows bigger and both parties benefit diplomatically, economically and socially, among other facets.

As the Zimbabwe-Swiss relations continues to deepen, the nation is expected to harvest much from these viable bilateral relations in many avenues, including investment opportunities, service exchange programs as well as through strategic partnerships in various economic and business sectors.

On the same note, the Ambassador of Switzerland to Zimbabwe Mr Niculin Jager paid a courtesy call to the Acting President Rtd Gen Dr Constatino Chiwenga a fortnight ago where they agreed on strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries and unlocking more investment opportunities in Zimbabwe.

Switzerland has expressed its commitment to the development of the autonomous and independent Zimbabwe, it is one of the first European countries that recognised Zimbabwe as an independent state and established their embassy in Harare in 1980 so as to foster the diplomatic connections between the two countries.

The country is also of higher political significance to the New Dispensation in general and to President Mnangagwa’s political catalogue as it was the first European country he visited after his ascension to Presidency in January 2018, when he attended the World Economic Forum held in Davos.

More interestingly, the starting point of the Zimbabwe’s re-engagement policy was also symbolically initiated in Davos Switzerland where the Zimbabwe is Open for Business Policy was robustly activated by President Mnangagwa as a clarion call and an open invite especially to the Western world to invest and do business with Zimbabwe under the leadership of the Second Republic, a political dispensation that was keen to engage the East, West, North as well as the South which was a departure from the previous political administration.

The intensification of the relations of these two countries is therefore, a manifestation of the success of this policy initiative and the commitment of the Second Republic to increase and strengthen its relations with the Western world taking cognisance of the costly implications of a policy of isolation as well as the merits of globalisation.

Nevertheless, Switzerland also remains a reliable ally to Zimbabwe and the holy alliance between these two countries must continue to be watered with dedication, commitment and honesty.

In 2019 alone, Switzerland through the Swiss Aid allocated a total sum of US$1,1 million towards humanitarian assistance to Zimbabwe against a backdrop of the devastating Cyclone Idai that plagued the Manicaland province as well as the neighbouring Mozambique.

Such solidarity and commitment is worth-noting and celebrating as well because during the contemporary times most relations between the developed a developing country are based by the latter seeking to siphon the resources of the former.

Switzerland has also been actively supporting Africa’s repositioning in the global governance in order to assume a voice and ascertain a centre role in global decision making rather than being at the peripheries of decision making and a consumer of the Western manufactured policy trajectories.

This was clearly demonstrated when it hoisted its flag at the Museum of African Liberation site in Harare thereby sending a clear message of ideological and perpetual solidarity with Africa in its thrust to find an authentic voice on the global arena.

This is generally based on the fact that Switzerland did not participate in the inhumane, racial and demeaning colonisation of Africa. As such, it is bound by the attributes of humanity, tolerance, sovereign equality and justice.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Ambassador Fredrick Shava has also been calling for the resort to economic diplomacy which is premised on creating and unlocking viable trade opportunities, commerce and lucrative investment schemes.

The amplification of the Zim-Swiss diplomatic relations is inevitably going to transform into economic value under the auspices of economic diplomacy.

Technological and service exchange programs from the developed Switzerland which is in the top twenty of the world’s strongest economies and its currency, the Swiss Franc in top ten of the world’s strongest currencies will also go a long way in bringing economic significance to Zimbabwe.

They will feed into the policy initiatives, specifically the NDS1 pillars of economic growth and stability as well as the value chains and structural transformation. Hence the Zim-Swiss relations must be handled with high pragmatism and astuteness considering that Switzerland is keen towards assisting Zimbabwe.

More interestingly, Swiss firms are also positively responding towards the Zimbabwe is Open for Business policy thrust as evidenced by the Swiss companies operating in Zimbabwe who recently launched a business chamber the Swiss-Zimbabwe business chamber which is also aimed at strengthening ties with local firms.

This also coincides with Zimbabwe’s policy reformation exercise as it enacted the Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency Act aimed at providing for the promotion of entry, protection and facilitation of investment as well as to provide for the establishment of one stop investment services centres in Zimbabwe.

The Act further established the Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency which levelled the investment grounds and liberalised the economy in a bid to lure and protect investors by improving the ease of doing business in Zimbabwe, this might also pave way for a quantitative increase of Swiss firms in Zimbabwe as they have expressed their interest through diplomatic and business lenses.

Zim-Swiss bi-lateral relations are necessary in transforming the economic turnaround of the Republic as the relations are development oriented and makes Switzerland a reliable partner of Zimbabwe.

l Wallace Musakanyi is a writer and researcher who can be contacted on [email protected]

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