UK to Commence Talks With Switzerland on New Free Trade Deal

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The UK on Monday is set to commence negotiations with Switzerland for a new free trade agreement in order to boost trade volume.

UK Business and Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch will travel to Switzerland on Monday to initiate the negotiations.

“As two of the world’s leading service economies, there’s a huge prize on offer to both the UK and Switzerland by updating our trading relationship to reflect the strength of our companies working in areas ranging from finance and legal, to accountancy and architecture,” Badenoch said in a statement.

She also said the UK and Switzerland share a natural trading partnership and the initiation of negotiations will leverage our strengths as service-oriented economies.

The new deal is expected to foster increased investment in emerging technologies, data innovation and digital trade.

The existing UK-Switzerland free trade agreement is built upon an outdated EU-Swiss agreement that dates back to over 50 years, predating the emergence of home computers and the internet, the government said.

It does not include provisions for services, investment, digital trade, or data.

A significant portion of the UK’s service exports to Switzerland are delivered electronically (nearly 69% in 2020), both parties are eager to address these gaps in the forthcoming negotiations, according to the British government.

Switzerland holds significant importance as an investment partner for the UK, with Swiss foreign direct investment in sectors including textiles, chemicals, manufacturing, and financial services amounting to a total stock of £74 billion ($92.4 billion) in 2021, according to the British government.

UK investment in Switzerland reached £52 billion over the same period.

Source : AA