Swiss president says Trump meeting was productive

All smiles: Swiss President Alain Berset, right, and US President Donald J. Trump, left, shake hands during a bilateral meeting Keystone

Swiss President Alain Berset says his meeting with US President Donald Trump at the World Economic Forum in Davos was productive and frank. Trump took credit for making Switzerland “even richer”.

This content was published on January 26, 2018 - 13:27

"You have a lot of our stock in the United States so I have helped to make Switzerland even richer," Trump said shortly after the meeting. He said a booming US economy was good for Switzerland. 

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The US President also said his trip to WEF had been "exciting" and that he was bringing "good will" back to the United States.

For his part, Berset welcomed Trump, saying he appreciated his attendance and their bilateral meeting. This was also made clear in a tweet.

In a special press conference after the meeting, Berset, speaking on his own, said that the economic questions had been part of the discussion and that he hoped economic ties would deepen further, "to strengthen our economies and to find solutions for global challenges”.

The tax dispute between the two countriesExternal link involving Swiss banks was also mentioned, with Berset adding that it was time to turn a new page on this issue, in a move that would benefit both countries.

The two presidents also discussed international concerns like North Korea – Berset reminded Trump of how the Swiss had been present at the North-South border for many years – and the importance of International Geneva, not just for Switzerland but also to support dialogue. 

Berset described the talks as very open, productive and a real exchange.

For his part, Trump also tweeted his satisfaction. 

The Swiss President was accompanied to Friday’s meeting by the new foreign affairs minister Ignazio Cassis and economics minister Johann Schneider-Ammann.

Trump’s speech

In his much-awaited closing speech to the WEF, Trump declared that America was "open for business" under his leadership.

“It has never been a better time to hire, to build, to invest and grow in the United States,” he told the audience.

He outlined his work to overhaul the US tax system and cut regulations. Trump said 2.4 million jobs had been created since his 2016 election.

He also tried to reassure the audience, adding that "America First does not mean America alone".

"When the United States grows, so does the world," Trump said. 

Earlier, African delegates said they were planning to boycott the speech over controversial comments Trump allegedly made about African nations.

+ Read more about the planned boycott here.

Trump’s attendance in Davos has been the subject of much debate, as well as protests by anti-capitalist groups, leftwing parties and trade unions.

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