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More aid to developing countries

The government is to make it easier for developing countries to export their fruit and vegetables to Switzerland.

The government announced on Wednesday that customs duties on these items would be reduced, and that a special website about the import regulations would be put on line.

A statement from the economics ministry said that the measures would help developing countries to maintain their production, which is particularly important in times of economic crisis.

They would also reduce the prices paid by Swiss consumers.

The new website is designed to be a "one-stop shop", to help producers by bringing all the different import regulations together in one platform.

The steps are part of Switzerland's economic cooperation with developing countries, aimed at helping them by promoting trade.

Also on Wednesday, the government announced that it was making a further SFr100 million ($89 million) available in development aid.

Of this SFr53 million will go to the Asian Development Bank and SFr21.3 million to the International Fund for Agricultural Development, which both provide loans to developing countries. The money will be paid over the next nine years.

A further SFr27 million, to be paid out over three years, is a loan to help Ghana overcome difficulties in accessing capital as its export receipts shrink due to the crisis.

swissinfo and agencies

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