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Switzerland Seeks Financial Services Market Access

by Ulrika Lomas, Lowtax.net, Brussels
07 May, 2014

A Swiss commission of experts has recommended ways to further develop the nation's financial market strategy, to improve market access for Swiss financial service providers abroad.

In an interim report to the Federal Council, the governmental task force said that without immediate discussions on the matter with countries within and outside the European Union (EU), and with the EU itself, Swiss providers' access to important overseas markets might deteriorate.

It therefore recommended to the Federal Council that:

  • Switzerland should arrange or continue with bilateral negotiations on improving international market access with important countries. This could also occur within the framework of a transition to the automatic exchange of information in tax matters (AEI);
  • The advantages and disadvantages of a sectoral agreement with the EU on financial services should be analyzed in more depth and its feasibility should be clarified. Moreover, the matter of market access in relation to the EU should be included in the context of a transition to AEI.
  • The issue of market access should be routinely on the agenda in Switzerland's conventional financial dialogue with partner countries. Such meetings are to be supplemented by financial sector contacts with partner countries.
  • The financial sector should examine how awareness abroad of the locational advantages and regulation of Switzerland's financial center could be improved and highlighted.

The Federal Council said it will take these recommendations into account when continuing to implement its financial market strategy. The expert group is due to conclude its work at the end of 2014.

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