Swiss Economics Minister Johann Schneider-Ammann on Sunday ended a two-day visit to Ivory Coast, looking at opportunities to strengthen scientific cooperation between the two countries.
Ivory Coast is Switzerland’s eighth most important trading partner in Africa and more than 30 Swiss companies are located in the West African country. Switzerland directly invested more than CHF300 million ($317 million) into the country in 2017.
Schneider-Ammann signed an agreement that will strengthen and financially secure future cooperation between a local research centre and Swiss universities, reported the Swiss News Agency on Monday.
The Centre Suisse de Recherches Scientifiques en Côte d’Ivoireexternal link (CSRS) was established more than 60 years ago with the aim of boosting Swiss-African Research Cooperation. Schneider-Ammann visited the centre and said it was a “model for international cooperation”.
Reliance on exports
Schneider-Ammann also held various ministerial talks and was informed locally about several projects and priorities. The Swiss delegation also met local business representatives as well as the country’s chamber of commerce.
The African Development Bankexternal link is concerned about the inadequate infrastructure, youth unemployment as well as the region’s exports dependency.
Switzerland is the third biggest investor in the country, particularly importing its cocoa beans.
Schneider-Ammann was accompanied by a group of Swiss parliamentarians, members of cantonal governments and business representatives. He had previously visited Nigeria. His delegation’s trip to Ivory Coast concludes the Swiss state visit to Africa.