Flag of Germany, Switzerland and the European Union

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Just a few days into Germany’s Presidency of the Council of the EU, Peter Altmaier, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy, held a meeting with the Member of the Swiss Federal Council Guy Parmelin, who is in charge of economic affairs, education and research. The discussions focused on bilateral ties between Germany and Switzerland, the two countries’ relations under European policy, and on how to overcome the economic impact of COVID-19.

Federal Minister Altmaier said: “It is a great pleasure for me to welcome my Swiss counterpart, Guy Parmelin, to Berlin. Switzerland is an important friend and partner for Germany. And there are also close ties between the EU and Switzerland, which we want to consolidate further during Germany’s Presidency of the Council of the EU. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of the European single market, to which Switzerland also has access. To preserve and develop the single market is one of the priorities for the German Presidency of the Council of the EU, and it is an interest that we share with Switzerland.”

Economic ties between Germany and Switzerland are manifold and deep. In 2019, the trade volume of the two countries totalled around €102 billion. Germany is Switzerland’s number one trading partner in the world. Switzerland has ranked among Germany’s ten most important trading partners for many years. Even though it is not a member of the EU, Switzerland is closely linked to the EU and its single market by virtue of a large number of bilateral agreements.