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PRESS RELEASE: PRESS/TPRB/308

TRADE POLICY REVIEW:

External trade is central to the two economies

Since their last review in 2004, the economies of Switzerland and Liechtenstein have grown on average by 2,7% per year for Switzerland and 2,2% for Liechtenstein, led by exports and private consumption, according to a WTO Secretariat joint report on the trade policies and practices of both countries. External trade (including access to foreign markets) is central to both economies; their ratios of external trade to GDP exceed 100%.

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Switzerland and Liechtenstein have pursued the liberalization of their trade regimes through multilateral, regional, and bilateral agreements. At the bilateral level, priority has been given to trade liberalization with the EC, that has led to a continued process of harmonizing their trade policy instruments with those of the EC. But the WTO Secretariat report also indicates that participation in various preferential trade agreements makes their trade regimes somewhat complex.

The reform of the Cartel Act strengthened the Swiss competition regime. Nevertheless, competition remains somewhat limited in areas such as agriculture, health care, and public transport, contributing to higher prices. Further reforms, including the planned elimination of subsidies for basic agricultural products, and increased competition through, inter alia, reduction or elimination of tariffs, mainly for agricultural products, would benefit consumers and improve resource allocation.

The WTO report, along with a policy statement by the Governments of Switzerland and Liechtenstein, will be the basis for the third joint TPR of Switzerland and Liechtenstein by the Trade Policy Review Body of the WTO on 15 and 16 December 2008.

The following documents are available in MS Word format.

  

Note  back to top

Trade Policy Reviews are an exercise, mandated in the WTO agreements, in which member countries’ trade and related policies are examined and evaluated at regular intervals. Significant developments that may have an impact on the global trading system are also monitored. For each review, two documents are prepared: a policy statement by the government of the member under review, and a detailed report written independently by the WTO Secretariat. These two documents are then discussed by the WTO’s full membership in the Trade Policy Review Body (TPRB). These documents and the proceedings of the TPRB’s meetings are published shortly afterwards.

Print copies of previous TPR publications are available for sale from the WTO Secretariat, Centre William Rappard, 154 rue de Lausanne, 1211 Genève 21 and through the on-line bookshop.

The TPR publications are also available from our co-publisher Bernan Press, 4611-F Assembly Drive, Lanham, MD 20706-4391, United States.

 

Schedule of forthcoming reviews  back to top

Guatemala: 2 and 4 February 2009
Japan: 18 and 20 February 2009
Brazil: 9 and 11 March 2009

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  SEE ALSO 

 

Full list of previous TPRs
  

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The WTO report, along with a policy statement by the Government, will be the basis for the Trade Policy Review (TPR) by the Trade Policy Review Body of the WTO.

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