Minister signs work placement deal in Brazil

A three-day economics ministerial visit to Brazil has resulted in a work placement exchange accord for graduates and discussions about the possibility of starting free trade talks.

This content was published on October 14, 2011 - 10:38 and agencies

An agreement signed by Economics Minister Johann Schneider-Ammann and Brazilian Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota aimed to cut out red tape for young Swiss wanting to do work placements in the South American country and for Brazilian students wanting to do professional or language stays in Switzerland.

To qualify for the one-year permits, students must be aged under 35 and have found a work placement opportunity within two years of graduating.

Schneider-Amman said his visit, which started on Thursday, also aimed to open doors for Swiss firms in Brazil, the world’s eighth largest economy. He met the economics minister to evaluate the possibility of beginning negotiations on a free-trade agreement, with both sides saying there were synergies between the two nations.

The head of the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry, Jean-Daniel Pasche, meanwhile presented a memo calling for lower taxes on Swiss watches. Customs and local taxes add up to around 46 per cent at the moment.

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