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Expert report Swiss to ramp up foreign trade efforts

Foreign Minister Cassis

Cassis (centre) says the report serves as source of inspiration for Switzerland's future foreign policy.  

(Keystone/Yuri Kochetkov)

Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis says he plans to strengthen his ministry’s focus on trade.

“The first two foreign policy goals are independence and prosperity according to our constitution. And who else but the business ensures prosperity,” Cassis told public radio SRF.

Observers say the statement appears to pre-empt criticism of a planned policy shift. 

Cassis who has been foreign minister since 2017 has been criticised for some of his policy statements, notably over Swiss development aid.

Switzerland’s future foreign policy should become more targeted, more interconnected and less reactive, according to a report commissioned by the foreign ministry.

The paper is to serve as basis for the government’s foreign policy strategy for the next four years.

Presenting the findings to the public on Tuesday, Cassis also said his ministry was willing to examine a request by the Geneva-based International Committee of the Red Cross to store data safely in Switzerland.

The document analyses the challenges and proposes options to consolidate Switzerland’s position in an increasingly unstable world, according to a government statementexternal link.

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