Swiss seek closer ties with Asia-Pacific region

The government wants to boost relations with ASEAN countries (Archive photo from 2017 with Swiss foreign minister and representatives from ASEAN countries). © Keystone / Peter Klaunzer

The Swiss government has for the first time adopted a regional strategy for the Asia-Pacific region for the period 2023-2026. 

This content was published on February 15, 2023 minutes

The move takes into account the growing importance of the southeast Asia region and complements the government's China strategy, according to a government statement published on Wednesday.

The 11 countries that make up the region together form the fifth largest economy in the world. Their natural and cultural wealth, as well as their economic potential, represent opportunities for Switzerland to diversify its relations on the Asian continent, the statement added.

The aim of the strategy is to boost exchanges on peace and security, prosperity, sustainability and digitalisation, based on the government's foreign policy strategy.

"South East Asia is one of the world's most economically dynamic regions. There is thus a growing potential for Swiss economic interests in the region. Switzerland is therefore striving to improve market access through free trade agreements," the statement said.

"At the same time, Switzerland is committed to improving economic and social prospects in the less developed countries of the region."

A fifth priority will be to improve services for Swiss citizens in the Asia-Pacific region.

+ Switzerland and Japan work towards a trade deal upgrade 

The South East Asia strategy 2023–26 is the fifth geographical strategy of its kind. The government has already adopted specific strategies for the Middle East/North Africa, sub-Saharan Africa, China and the Americas.

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