US And Switzerland Work Towards Closer Trade Relationship

Swiss Army knife - SwitzerlandUS Trade Representative Rob Portman and Swiss Federal Councillor Joseph Deiss last Thursday signed the US-Switzerland Trade and Investment Cooperation Forum Agreement.

This agreement establishes a new forum for the United States and Switzerland to discuss bilateral trade and related issues and examine ways to strengthen their economic relationship.

“Today’s agreement will provide a vehicle for deepening and broadening already strong US-Swiss economic relations,” observed Ambassador Portman, adding:

“We will use the Forum to pursue initiatives in specific areas, with a view to concluding agreements or other arrangements that offer real opportunities for workers, farmers, service providers, manufacturers and consumers in our two countries.”

“We will continue our dialogue with US and Swiss stakeholders as we develop an initial work program for the Forum. We will also continue our already close cooperation in the World Trade Organization,” he concluded.

Two-way goods trade between the United States and the Swiss was $23.7 billion in 2005.

US goods exports to the Swiss in 2005 totalled $10.7 billion, including pharmaceutical products, machinery, and optic and medical instruments. Two-way goods trade in services was $17.6 billion, and foreign direct investment was $223.6 billion.

Switzerland has a stable, prosperous and high-tech economy and enjoys great wealth, being ranked as the wealthiest country in the world per capita in multiple rankings. In 2011 it was ranked as the wealthiest country in the world in per capita terms (with “wealth” being defined to include both financial and non-financial assets), while the 2013 Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report showed that Switzerland was the country with the highest average wealth per adult in 2013. It has the world’s nineteenth largest economy by nominal GDP and the thirty-sixth largest by purchasing power parity. It is the twentieth largest exporter, despite its small size. Switzerland has the highest European rating in the Index of Economic Freedom 2010, while also providing large coverage through public services. The nominal per capita GDP is higher than those of the larger Western and Central European economies and Japan. If adjusted for purchasing power parity, Switzerland ranks 8th in the world in terms of GDP per capita, according to the World Bank and IMF (ranked 15th according to the CIA Worldfactbook).

The World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report currently ranks Switzerland’s economy as the most competitive in the world, while ranked by the European Union as Europe’s most innovative country. For much of the 20th century, Switzerland was the wealthiest country in Europe by a considerable margin (by GDP – per capita). In 2007 the gross median household income in Switzerland was an estimated 137,094 USD at Purchasing power parity while the median income was 95,824 USD. Switzerland also has one of the world’s largest account balances as a percentage of GDP.

Source: OCRA


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