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