As an open economy, Switzerland benefits greatly from international trade in goods and services and from investments abroad. Good economic relations with various countries are therefore paramount. The Country Desk Services of the Bilateral Economic Relations Division within SECO represent Switzerland's economic and trade policy interests vis-à-vis other countries in accordance with Switzerland’s foreign economic policy. The aim of our work is to further expand and deepen Switzerland's well established network of foreign economic relations. Four geographical organisational units are responsible for this: America, Europe and Central Asia, Middle East and Africa, and Asia and Oceania.
With the help of the tabs on the left, you can access various information on the economic situation of the respective country and its bilateral economic relations with Switzerland. If you cannot find the information you are looking for, please feel free to contact us.
Tasks of SECO’s Country Desk Services
Organisation of bilateral visits: We serve as a door opener for the Swiss business community. The head of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research EAER and the director of SECO travel on official missions abroad and receive foreign government representatives in Switzerland. The preparation, policy coordination and follow-up of such meetings at home and abroad are among our core tasks. Frequently, representatives of the Swiss business community are invited to join these meetings or participate in economic missions organised by our division. Important concerns of the Swiss business community find a political echo abroad and can be anchored institutionally, e.g. in bilateral economic agreements. Within the framework of the Joint Economic Commissions, issues of the Swiss private sector are discussed directly with political representatives of the respective countries in order to find solutions.
Corporate concerns: We deal with company-specific issues. If a Swiss company reports a specific problem with a foreign government, we support and advise the company following a thorough examination of the case in cooperation with the technical experts of the Federal Administration and our diplomatic representation on the ground. Examples of company cases include:
- Threat of a (partial) nationalisation of the company by a foreign government
- Payment issues with foreign states or public institutions
- Lengthy regulatory processes
- Incorrect implementation of free trade agreements
- Infringement of intellectual property
If you have any company-specific concerns, please feel free to contact us.
Analysis and monitoring: We continuously analyse economic and political developments in each country and assess how these affect Switzerland's foreign economic interests. For this purpose, we are also in regular exchange with the foreign representations in Switzerland, bilateral chambers of commerce and Swiss business associations. Within this framework, we develop measures to strengthen the competitiveness of the Swiss economy in important foreign markets.