The Burundian Foreign Minister met with his Swiss counterpart last week to sign an agreement on decentralisation of powers by the Burundian government. The Swiss have agreed to support the project financially.
The decentralisation will bring government closer to the level at which most Burundian businesses operate, and hopefully make it more receptive to their concerns. Business in Burundian is almost entirely local. A 2006 survey in the capital Bujumbura found that 95 percent of businesses sold most of their goods locally, and only 5 percent sold most of their goods nationally or internationally.
The changes may free the central government for macroeconomic management, and promotion of the interests of companies that operate nationally or internationally. Such companies have different concerns from locally oriented companies, with the former group saying that access to finance, and customs and trade regulations are their main problems in operation. Locally oriented companies report that electricity and access to finance are their main operational problems, with customs and trade regulations not mentioned at all.