JOINT PRESS STATEMENT Agreement on Free Trade and Economic Partnership between Japan and the Swiss Confederation

Bern, 29.09.2008 - On 29 September 2008, Japan and Switzerland confirmed that agreement in principle has been reached on the Agreement on Free Trade and Economic Partnership between Japan and the Swiss Confederation (hereinafter referred to as “JSFTEPA”).

The negotiations were launched by Mr. Shinzo Abe, then Prime Minister of Japan, and Ms. Micheline Calmy-Rey, then President of the Swiss Confederation, in January 2007. The leaders highlighted the importance of rule-making and strengthening of economic ties between the two countries in various fields such as trade in goods, trade in services, investment and intellectual property.

On this basis, the delegation of Japan and the delegation of Switzerland held a total of eight rounds of negotiations in Japan and Switzerland alternately since the first round in May 2007, and made steady progress through intensive discussions.

Both sides welcome the agreement in principle and confirm that they will expeditiously proceed with work to finalise and sign the JSFTEPA at an earliest convenient date. The JSFTEPA will mark a new era of economic partnership between Japan and Switzerland and will provide a solid basis for further strengthening of the bilateral relationship between the two countries, particularly through trade and investment.

The major elements of the JSFTEPA are as follows:

Trade in Goods
Both sides will eliminate or reduce tariffs on industrial, and agricultural, forestry and fishery products comprehensively. In addition, the JSFTEPA contains provisions on non-tariff measures.

Rules of Origin
The JSFTEPA will provide a framework for an origin declaration by an approved exporter, for which Japan will introduce a new system.

Customs Procedures and Trade Facilitation
Both sides will promote trade facilitation and effective enforcement against illicit goods or goods infringing intellectual property rights through simplification of customs procedures, cooperation between authorities and exchange of information.

Trade in Services & Movement of Natural Persons
The JSFTEPA will provide a framework for liberalisation of trade in services based upon a "negative list" approach, and facilitate movement of natural persons for business purposes between the two countries.

The JSFTEPA will provide a framework for further expansion and facilitation of cross-border investment between the two countries through commitments on national treatment, most-favoured-nation treatment, and enhanced protection of investors and investment including mechanism of dispute settlement between state and investor.

Intellectual Property
Both sides will protect all categories of intellectual property rights covered by the TRIPS Agreement and the new varieties of plants, provide measures for enforcement of intellectual property rights and cooperate in promoting adequate and effective enforcement of intellectual property rights.

Government Procurement
The JSFTEPA will provide a framework for exchange of information through contact points and a mechanism for further dialogue with a view to maximising access to the government procurement market of the two countries.

The JSFTEPA will provide a framework for effective enforcement of the competition laws and regulations through the development of a cooperative relationship between the competition authorities of the two countries.

Electronic Commerce
The JSFTEPA contains a chapter on electronic commerce, which encompasses a comprehensive set of provisions including those related to digital products, services transmitted electronically, electronic signatures and protection of online consumers with a view to encouraging and facilitating electronic commerce between both countries.

Promotion of Closer Economic Relationship
The JSFTEPA will provide a mechanism for the promotion of closer economic relationship between Japan and Switzerland, with the participation of the governments and the business sectors of the two countries.

Address for enquiries

Luzius Wasescha, Botschafter, Leiter der Schweizer Mission bei der WTO und der EFTA in Genf, Tel. 022 749 25 00.


Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research

Last modification 30.01.2024

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