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Swiss Economic Award goes to Ticino entrepreneur

An entrepreneur from Ticino has won the Swiss Economic Award for 1999. Roberto Dall'Ara and his Opto Speed company were awarded SFr30,000 in prize money at the two-day Swiss Economic Forum, being held in Thun.

Eight hundred participants were in Thun for the event, which aims to bring together emerging small and medium sized businesses in Switzerland. Senate member, Vreni Spoerry, presided the awards ceremony.

The Opto Speed group develops and manufactures high-tech chips for fibre optic networks which use up very little energy. Since being set up five years ago in Mezzovico, it has gone on to acquire a worldwide reputation and to open branches in Germany and the United States.

Opto Speed is expected to to have a turnover of SFr12 million by the end of the year, and to more than double the number of its employees to 110 within the next months.

The second prize was awarded to Martin Jucker, whose company Jucker Farmart specialises in the cultivation of marrows. His company, in Seegräben (canton Zurich), has been the biggest producer of marrows in Europe since 1997.

Jucker Farmart's customers include Coop, Waro and Globus. The group has a turnover of SFr1 million.

swissinfo and agencies

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