Cabinet makes foreign trade a priority

The Swiss cabinet has approved the 2011 foreign economic policy report, with the main topic being the foreign trade strategy set out by the cabinet in 2004.

This content was published on January 11, 2012 - 11:53

In a statement released on Wednesday, the cabinet said it intended to “maintain its current basic stance while strengthening Switzerland's economic position in the world over the next few years”.

It will focus on three main areas in order to achieve this goal: market access abroad and the international regulatory framework, Switzerland's internal market policy, and supporting the economic development of partner countries.

According to the report, bilateral trade relations between Switzerland and the European Union remained nearly unchanged from the previous year despite the debt and currency crisis. It also noted that there had been progress on free trade agreements with countries outside the EU, such as Colombia, Peru, Hong Kong and Montenegro.

The report stated that access to foreign markets had become more difficult in recent years following a trend towards protectionism in many countries.

In the year under review, the Swiss parliament approved various measures relating to economic cooperation, including capital increases for multilateral development banks and financing an increase in official development assistance to 0.5 per cent of gross national income by 2015.

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