Western Europe


Western Europe comprises the European Union (EU), the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and the United Kingdom. With 7% of the world's population, it is the second largest economy in the world after the United States and the largest recipient of foreign investment in the world. Around 60% of Switzerland's global trade in goods and over 50% of its trade in services is with this region. Trade relations are historically very close and are governed by comprehensive agreements. There are over 100 agreements between Switzerland and the EU, with the Free Trade Agreement of 1972, the bilateral agreements from 1999 and 2004 and the agreement on customs facilitation and customs security forming the core for economic relations. 

A bilateral trade agreement with the United Kingdom entered into force in 2021. It replicates the vast majority of the trade-related rights and obligations that apply under the bilateral agreements between Switzerland and the EU.

The neighbouring countries of Germany, Italy, France and Austria alone account for around 40% of global and 65% of regional trade in goods (Liechtenstein is not included due to the customs union with Switzerland). The border regions in turn account for between 40% and 50% of trade with the respective neighbouring country.

Last modification 07.09.2022

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State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO 
Bilateral Economic Relations Europe / Central Asia
Holzikofenweg 36
3003 Bern

E-Mail: info.bweu@seco.admin.ch

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