Swiss Envoy Hosts Media On President’s Visit To Berne

Philipp Stalder Ambassador Of Switzerland

Ahead of President Akufo-Addo’s visit to
Switzerland this weekend, the Swiss ambassador to Ghana, yesterday, hosted a
cross section of the local media at his residence in Accra.

During the breakfast engagement, the envoy and
his deputy took turns to explain the importance of the visit which was against
the backdrop of the special place of Ghana in the Switzerland priority top 10
countries he said was beneficial.

The President’s visit is at the invitation of
the President of the Swiss Confederation, Mrs. Simonetta Somanruga. President
Akufo-Addo will be received by the seven federal councilors in the Swiss
capital of Berne between February 28 and 29, 2020.

The two heads will discuss among others, the
establishment of a closer partnership in the fight against climate change,
trade and economic relations, development cooperation and Switzerland’s
continuing support for peace and security through the Kofi Annan Peacekeeping
Training Centre (KAIPTC) in Accra.

President Akufo-Addo’s visit has been described
as a rare one being the first from a sub-Saharan country to pay a state visit
to Switzerland.

According to the Swiss embassy, “State visits to
Switzerland have a very special significance; the foreign guest is not only
received by the yearly rotating President of the Confederation but the Swiss
federal government as a whole.”

Ghana is touted as Switzerland’s second biggest
trading partner in Africa. “In 2019 Switzerland recorded a trade volume of US$2.5
billion with Ghana. Gold and cocoa exports to Switzerland account for the
majority of the trade.

According to Matthias Feldmann, Head of
Cooperation of the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), “Ghana has
been one of the few priority countries for the economic development cooperation
of the SECO since 2002. It will remain one for the next strategy period.”

Ghana’s cocoa beans were held in high esteem in Switzerland and remained one of the country’s sources of the beans for the chocolate production industry.