Position of Swissmem :: Swissmem - Switzerland's Work Place and Think Tank

Foreign economic policy


Open market access is a key concern for Switzerland’s heavily export-dependent MEM industries. In addition to further expansion of the bilateral agreements with the EU, free trade agreements need to be concluded with emerging market countries.

  • The MEM industries’ overriding goal is unrestricted participation in the EU internal market. The bilateral agreements must therefore be systematically extended to include new EU Member States.
  • Swissmem is calling for the existing bilateral agreements to be updated to reflect changes in EU and Swiss law so that no new barriers to market access arise. In addition, the possibility of concluding new bilateral agreements in additional areas (such as an electric power agreement or agreement on free trade in agricultural products) should be continually reviewed. An EU framework agreement is not currently a priority.
  • To maintain and strengthen the MEM industries’ competitiveness, the companies depend on a broad network of free trade agreements.
  • China and India are key growth markets. Free trade agreements with these two countries are a priority. The agreements must include an effective approach to patent protection and tariff reduction.
  • In addition, efforts must be made to achieve improved access to promising future markets such as Brazil, Russia, Indonesia, Vietnam and Malaysia.
  • Swiss exporters need export risk insurance that is competitive with that offered by export risk insurance agencies in other countries.
  • Switzerland Global Enterprise must use external network funds efficiently. Services should be geared to the needs and resources of SMEs.


Dr. Jean-Philippe Kohl

Head of Economic Policy

Deputy Director


Telephone +41 44 384 48 15

j.kohlanti spam bot@swissmemanti spam bot.ch