Discussions between Federal Councillor Schneider-Ammann and Lord Maude focussed on cutting red tape for business. The UK has taken steps to significantly reduce unnecessary bureaucracy and state costs in recent years, thereby increasing the competitiveness of its economy. Lord Maude explained some of the measures taken. Reducing unnecessary bureaucracy is also an ongoing subject in Switzerland. In view of the strength of the franc it is a key task of the government to remove obstacles and lower costs for business so as to safeguard jobs. In September the Federal Council set out its priorities in this area for the years ahead.
The two ministers went on to discuss international economic challenges and the consequences for their respective economies. Relations of the two countries with the EU were also addressed. The meeting at ministerial level provided an opportunity to further deepen relations between the two countries.
Federal Councillor Schneider-Ammann then opened the CTI Market Entry Camp UK organised by the Commission for Technology and Innovation (CTI). Under this programme the Swiss embassy in London supports Swiss start-ups in the British market. Initial feedback from participating firms is positive and shows that the camp can open doors to leading European high-tech markets. After the opening the head of the EAER spoke with Swiss start-ups about the framework for business in the UK and Switzerland, particularly in terms of red tape.
Over a working lunch Federal Councillor Schneider-Ammann also spoke with representatives from specialised London think tanks on European policy issues.
The UK is Switzerland's fifth largest export market and the eighth largest supplier; it is the third largest destination for Swiss foreign investment and Switzerland is the UK's ninth largest investor.
Trade volume 2014 : CHF 16.5bn
with precious metals CHF 43.5bn (2013: CHF 76.9bn)
Swiss exports 2014 : CHF 10.0bn (+ 12.9%)
with precious metals CHF 12.6bn (+2.7%)
Swiss imports 2014 : CHF 6.5bn (+ 4.5%)
with precious metals CHF 30.8bn (-52.2%)
Level of Swiss investment in UK end of 2013 : CHF 79bn
Level of British investment in Switzerland end of 2013 : CHF 21bn
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