Free Trade Agreements

Switzerland maintains preferential relations in the field of trade in services through 18 free trade agreements (FTAs).

FTAs concluded within the framework of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) include those with (in alphabetical order): Central American States (Costa Rica, Guatemala and Panama), Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Georgia, Gulf Cooperation Council (United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar and Kuwait), Hong Kong, Indonesia, Mexico, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Turkey, Ukraine and to a certain extent Canada and Peru. In addition, Switzerland has concluded bilateral FTAs with China and Japan.

Weltkarte für Dienstleistungen

Red: EFTA partner countries
Green: Economic partners with which Switzerland maintains a preferential relationship in the services domain

Switzerland's primary objective in these FTAs is to obtain more favourable treatment than the one granted under the WTO's General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) and to ensure that Swiss services exporters do not face discrimination in comparison to service suppliers from other countries. Switzerland thus aims to guarantee enhanced legal certainty and improved market access for its exporters.

The FTAs, in principle, take over the provisions of the GATS and the related schedules of commitments as a basis for improvements. In the context of FTA negotiations, Switzerland generally proposes a separate chapter on trade in services. This chapter is supplemented by annexes containing sector-related (e. g. financial services) or subject-specific (e. g. movement of natural persons) rules that are defined on a case-by-case basis according to the mutual commercial interests of the Parties.

Last modification 20.02.2023

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