On the Swiss side the talks were also attended by Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis, the head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA); the Mozambican delegation included Foreign Minister José Condungua Pacheco and Industry and Commerce Minister Ragendra Berta de Sousa. In the presence of President Berset and President Nyusi, the foreign ministers signed an agreement on international cooperation. It sets out the framework for Switzerland’s humanitarian, technical and financial assistance in Mozambique. As one of the poorest countries in the world, Mozambique has long been a priority country for Swiss development cooperation. Switzerland’s current activities focus on the provinces of Cabo Delgado, Niassa and Nampula, and on good governance, healthcare and economic development. The impact of the civil war waged in Mozambique between 1977 and 1992 can still be felt today. Since 2016, Switzerland has been providing Mozambique with its good offices in response to the latent conflict. It chairs the Contact Group to support the peace process, which is helping the two parties to the conflict to reach a peace agreement. Mr Berset acknowledged the recent progress in the peace process. Switzerland will continue its commitment to lasting peace in Mozambique. Mozambique has great economic potential. Significant deposits of gold, coal and natural gas have been discovered in recent years. The delegations discussed measures relating to economic policy and the rule of law, which would help to improve the investment climate. In 2017, a Swiss-Mozambican Chamber of Commerce was established to better exploit the potential for trade and investment between Switzerland and Mozambique. The two countries enjoy longstanding relations. In the 19th century, missionaries from western Switzerland had a strong presence in the former Portuguese colony; they are still recognised today for their social commitment. Later, companies active in the field of trade and agriculture also set up business. Switzerland has maintained a representation in Mozambique since 1922, and after the country’s independence in 1975, it became an embassy in 1977.
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