Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements (BITs)
Switzerland has signed over 120 BITs. According to UNCTAD, Switzerland has the world's third largest network of such agreements after Germany and China. The conclusion of BITs improve the legal security, the investment climate and thus enhance the attractiveness as a location for international investments.
The purpose of BITs is to afford international law protection from non-commercial risks associated with investments made by Swiss nationals and Swiss-based companies in partner countries - and, inversely, investments made by the nationals and companies of partner countries in Switzerland. Such risks include state discrimination against foreign investors in favour of local ones, unlawful expropriation or unjustified restrictions on payments and capital flows. To these provisions have been added obligations on the part of the contracting countries to treat investments made by investors in the other signatory country ‘fairly and equitably‘. In addition, contracting countries are required to respect state commitments made to specific investors in relation to corresponding investments.