5th year anniversary of the Swiss-African Business Circle

BAO Capital Sarl representatives attended the 5th year anniversary of the Swiss-African Business Circle on 29 September 2015 for supporting Swiss-African Business relations celebrated 5 years of existence at the Hotel Schweizerhof in Bern together with 100 members, partners and invited guests.

The 5year anniversary event opened with the screening of a video showcasing the achievements of the Swiss-African Business Circle over the last 5 years as well as its outlook. The video was followed by a panel discussion entitled “Is Switzerland losing out in Africa?” to explore the opportunities and challenges for Swiss companies that are active on the African continent, especially in the context of new players, such as China, being increasingly active in African countries.

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Photo from http://sabc.ch

Africa remains a continent of interest for Swiss companies. Approximately 40% of Switzerland’s largest 150 companies are already active in Africa with an increasing number of highly specialized small and medium-sized companies developing their African business. This trend is further highlighted by the fact that according to official statistics, Swiss companies have more than 130,000 employees in African countries today. Swiss African Business Circle member companies alone currently employ around 70,000 people on the African continent.

To support this interest in Africa over the last 5 years, the Swiss-African Business Circle has provided unique networking opportunities for its members and the extended Swiss African Business Circle community. It has organized over 100 events attended by 1500 participants, 26 meetings with high-ranking Government delegations and organized business trips to Angola, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa. This work will continue into the future as interest in African countries persists.

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Photo from http://sabc.ch

“Africa is of enormous importance as a market for Swiss businesses. According to UN projections, the African population will make up 25% of the World’s population by 2050 and 50% of the World’s population between the ages of 0-35 will be in Africa, mostly in urban areas. This is of course a potentially huge market which should not and cannot be ignored if Switzerland’s economy is going to continue to grow.” says Anthony Travis, President of the Swiss-African Business Circle.

*The Swiss-African Business Circle was founded in 2010 by a number of Swiss companies, already active in Africa, in order to create a platform for companies to exchange experiences on doing business in African countries. It is a private sector initiative that has since grown to include almost 100 members representing different sectors.