What Role Does SECO Play with Respect to International Investment?

The State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) is responsible for negotiating international law disciplines on foreign investment, particularly in the form of bilateral investment promotion and protection agreements (Bilateral Investment Treaties, BITs). These agreements seek to protect Swiss foreign direct investments in the event that the recipient country's government acts in breach of international law. In investment chapters of free trade agreements, SECO negotiates the terms for market access of (direct) investments so as to ensure that international law provisions apply to all economic activities carried out by Swiss companies in the recipient country, i.e. that no restrictions are placed on the right to establish business activities and that discriminatory practices are avoided. SECO represents Switzerland in bodies of international institutions dealing with investment policy and investment law (e.g. WTO, OECD, UNCTAD, etc.). It is also actively involved in the formulation of Swiss investment policy.

Specialist staff
Last modification 20.04.2016

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