Although there are different conceptions of its composition, the Middle East is considered here as a broad region that includes the countries of the Near East through those of the Arabian Peninsula to Iran. These countries have very different economic and political realities, depending on their level of economic development, the structure of their economies and their governance model.
Switzerland's bilateral economic relations with the Middle East vary in intensity depending on the country. Bilateral trade in goods represents between 3% and 6% of Switzerland's total trade, depending on the year. Many countries in the region are trying to diversify their economies and reduce their fiscal reliance on oil and gas exports through conscious economic reform and investment plans, thus creating new opportunities for Swiss companies as well. The network of free trade agreements (concluded through the European Free Trade Association), investment protection agreements and double taxation agreements Switzerland has concluded with Middle Eastern countries is extensive, providing well-developed bilateral framework conditions for Swiss companies operating in these markets.