Negotiations Between UK and Switzerland are Underway

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The UK and Switzerland are negotiating a modern free trade agreement.

The United Kingdom and Switzerland have kicked off negotiations on a modern free trade agreement (FTA), it has been revealed in a May 15, 2023 press release issued by the UK government.

Such a deal will boost trade between the two countries, which are both high service economies. The current FTA between the two countries is based on a deal made more than 50 years ago, prior to any digital or electronic services even being available.

“As two of the world’s leading service economies, there’s a huge prize on offer to both the UK and Switzerland by updating our trading relationship to reflect the strength of our companies working in [numerous] areas,” said Kemi Badenoch, Business and Trade secretary, UK Government, in the press release. “The UK and Switzerland are natural trading partners and today’s launch will play to our strengths as services superpowers, while also boosting investment in emerging technologies, data innovation, and digital trade.”


In terms of the life sciences sector, a new trade deal could provide significant opportunities for innovation and will strengthen the relationship the countries already have within the field. Additionally, the new FTA should open up greater opportunities for the countries to enhance their research and innovation offerings, furthering the work started in 2022 when a memorandum of understanding was signed to encourage cooperation in science and technology.

“Negotiation of an Enhanced Trade Agreement between the UK and Switzerland provides a pivotal opportunity for a world-leading agreement between two life science superpowers,” said Claire Machin, executive director, International Policy, Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry, in a press release issued in response to the government news.“Prioritization of life sciences in negotiations could help to boost the growth of our two innovation-intensive economies and set world-leading standards to encourage the creation and adoption of the next wave of scientific technologies.”

Sources: UK Gov., ABPI