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NBC: Lessons from abroad

September 17, 2018 4:00 AM
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Switzerland is a migration country with about 2.1 million foreigners as at 2018, Matthey told the conference held at Adansonia.

The current national population of Switzerland stands at about 8.5 million people.

“For a country to be successful, you need to be very open in so far as migration issues are concerned,” Matthey advised.

He said what made his company that is involved in production of watches successful is the technology of producing such watches which is constantly under improvement to remain attractive to the buyers.

When giving lessons from abroad at the NBC this week, Matthey indicated that they are particular about what they produce and how to sell driven by technology and science.

He said that Switzerland continues to fare very well on the world happiness report.

“To be happy and successful goes together as human rights issues,” he said, noting that over the years his company has set social security systems for the benefit of the people.

In terms of the standard of living, he said they are doing very well indicating that they pay employees very high salaries noting that they still remain competitive in the market.

He rated Switzerland as amongst the top 10 countries in the world in terms of the quality of living of its people.

Since Switzerland was fortunate and not affected by World War II, it was able to export goods and services to countries in the neighbourhood and beyond, which were battered by the war and were hugely under reconstruction.

Matthey hailed Switzerland as a country that enjoys political stability.

of the State president, he said they change their presidents every year and the system has been working very well for them as a nation.

Switzerland has a friendly business environment, which Matthey said was complemented by reasonable taxes and good banking systems.

He also hailed the country’s infrastructure and social security as second to none.

Rein Lang from Estonia, giving lessons from his country, remarked that Estonia was not a household name in Botswana.

He highlighted that his country’s population stands at about 1.3 million people.

Estonia was totally different in 1991 when Soviet occupation ended with the collapse of the economic system. More than 30% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and labour force were from the agriculture sector with over 50% of the industry oriented to military production.

Estonia rules were very stringent with no external market for low quality goods and services. Estonia will come with new concepts in 1995, which sort of liberalised the economy with emphasis and anchor on new technology with a low proportionate and simple taxation.

There was economic freedom without protectionism and subsidies.. The country’s telecommunications system was opened to competition.

One of Estonia’s strengths is relatively low proportionate and simple taxation with a balanced state budget.

“Estonia is based on long-term policy of open society, rule of law and free market economy and strong political will,” Lang emphasised.

Lang told the conference that technology is helpless without legislation, indicating that political will and decisions have to be turned to good legislation stressing, “Technology can be imported but policies cannot”.


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