Foreign economic policy
Companies in Switzerland’s mechanical and electrical engineering industries (MEM industries) export nearly 80% of their products. Discrimination-free access to procurement and sales markets is crucial. Swissmem therefore advocates an open Switzerland that is committed to free trade.
The markets of the European Union are of extraordinary importance to companies in Switzerland’s MEM industries. The bilateral agreements (Bilateral I and II) grant our companies access to the EU internal market on an almost entirely equal footing. These agreements provide significant relief for Swiss exporters in the areas of technical harmonization, free movement of persons, research and public procurement. As a non-member of the EU, however, Switzerland does not benefit from economic accords between the EU and third countries.
Foreign trade policy
The strongly export-oriented MEM industries depend for their livelihood on relationships with other countries. Accordingly, having the best possible access to the markets of major countries is extremely important. New free trade agreements avoid discrimination, particularly vis-à-vis the EU, which has intensified its free trade efforts.
Development has stagnated in certain of the MEM industries’ key markets. Entering new markets can partly offset the impact. Concluding bilateral agreements with dynamically growing emerging-market countries at an early stage makes market entry easier.
Swiss exporters who want to enter foreign markets have key partners in Swiss Export Risk Insurance (SERV) and the export promotion agency (Switzerland Global Enterprise). For the companies in the MEM industries, it is essential that these two organizations have the ability to respond flexibly to companies’ needs and to maintain programmes that are competitive by international standards.