Ensuring favourable conditions for Swiss investment abroad

Bern, 10.01.2018 - On 10 January the Federal Council adopted the 2017 Foreign Economic Policy Report. The report highlights the increasing importance of international investment and of investment protection agreements and sets out further key foreign economic policy developments.

Switzerland is one of the world’s ten largest capital exporters. It relies on favourable foreign investment conditions. Investment protection agreements (IPAs) play an important part in this respect, as they offer a greater degree of legal certainty for foreign investments. As well as setting out the benefits of such agreements, the report highlights criticisms and identifies areas where there is need for reform, e.g. increasing the transparency of dispute settlement procedures and clarifying protection standards. Switzerland has developed its IPA practices accordingly in recent years and is seeking to achieve its desired reforms by garnering broad support for its proposals at multilateral level.

In addition to the featured topic section, the report provides an overview of further key foreign economic policy developments and activities in 2017. In the past year the Federal Council continued its efforts to maintain and develop mutual market access with the EU. This included the entry into force of the revised Mutual Recognition Agreement, which is important for Swiss businesses. With regard to the UK, following the country’s planned departure from the EU, Switzerland aims to retain and extend where possible existing contractual relations, which are currently based largely on the bilateral agreements between Switzerland and the EU. In terms of relations beyond Europe, the Federal Council will continue to focus on expanding Switzerland’s network of free trade agreements.

The executive summary of the report and the featured topic section are available online in English.

Address for enquiries

Christian Etter, Ambassador, Federal Council Delegate for Trade Agreements, Foreign Economic Affairs
Directorate, SECO, Tel. 058 464 08 62

Roger Gschwend, Head, International Economic Law, Foreign Economic Affairs Directorate, SECO,
Tel. 058 465 39 75


The Federal Council

Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research

Last modification 03.11.2023

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