Livia Leu

Strength­en­ing trade links

The Africa Report - - BUSINESS - Olivier Caslin

The head of bi­lat­eral re­la­tions at the State Sec­re­tariat for Eco­nomic Af­fairs, Livia Leu is at the fore­front of Switzer­land’s eco­nomic ties with coun­tries in Africa. She is re­spon­si­ble for co­or­di­nat­ing the ac­tiv­i­ties of her sec­re­tariat with the min­istry of for­eign af­fairs and the Swiss Agency for Devel­op­ment and Co­op­er­a­tion. Leu told our sis­ter pub­li­ca­tion Je­une Afrique that the Swiss gov­ern­ment has four prin­ci­pal part­ners in Africa: Egypt, Ghana, South Africa and Tu­nisia. She added: “With the Arab Spring, we strength­ened our pres­ence in North Africa, which be­came a pri­or­ity area. Our ac­tiv­i­ties re­late to the im­prove­ment of eco­nomic per­for­mance and the di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion of their ex­ports.” A lawyer by train­ing, Leu is a vet­eran of the Swiss for­eign min­istry, and served as am­bas­sador to Iran from 2009-2013. She was the min­istry’s di­rec­tor for po­lit­i­cal af­fairs for the Mid­dle East and Africa from 2006, and has worked at the Swiss em­bassy to the United Na­tions.

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