Joint statement on the strengthening of bilateral relations between the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Swiss Confederation

1) The UK and Switzerland have a long and excellent relationship, based on shared values, open markets, world-leading research, education, innovation and a strong commitment to foreign policy and of sustainable development. We have concluded a series of bilateral agreements to ensure the continuity of these links. As liberal democracies, we pledge to work together, as part of a broader freedom network, to uphold freedom and democracy, free trade, human rights, the rule of law , the international order, sustainable development and the fight against the climate currency. This joint statement sets out our ambition to further strengthen our bilateral and international cooperation.

I) Economic cooperation

2) We will ensure that our partnership achieves its strategic and economic potential, promoting the productive relationship between our two economies and leveraging our strong contribution to trade, investment and innovation, both in Europe than in the world.

3) We are committed to advancing the development of our bilateral trade relations and to seeking a modernized and improved trade agreement. We will begin exploratory discussions this year.

4) We are committed to deepening and strengthening our already strong economic ties, in areas such as financial and professional business services, as well as the recognition of professional qualifications. We are committed to continuing negotiations towards a Mutual Recognition Agreement in financial services, with the expectation that negotiations should be concluded by the end of 2022.

5) We will seek to deepen the relationship between the UK and Switzerland in the field of research, innovation and technology within the framework of a Memorandum of Understanding on bilateral cooperation. We will create an environment that promotes digitization and digital trade, mutual investment and closer links between researchers and businesses to stimulate start-ups and spin-outs. We will promote international standards and the protection of intellectual property rights.

6) We will identify opportunities for collaboration within the WTO, OECD, WCO, WIPO and G20 to promote free and sustainable trade and drive system reform.

II) People and mobility

7) We will continue to promote people-to-people connections to encourage the flow of talent and ideas.

8) We intend to work together to advance our shared priorities, including entry, mobility of people and labor. We look forward to launching these discussions this year, building on our Agreement on Citizens’ Rights and our Memorandum of Understanding on Mobility and Enhanced Cooperation on Migration.

9) We will encourage and, as far as possible, deepen our institutional cooperation in the fields of education, research, science, technology and innovation in the sectors concerned, supporting both students and researchers.

10) We will develop our flourishing bilateral tourism ties. We will support the development of stronger channels between civil society organisations, think tanks, politicians and our wider communities to help coordinate policy areas of mutual interest. We will promote cultural and sporting ties through cooperation. We will share best practice in promoting secondments between the UK and Swiss governments.

III) International cooperation

11) We will continue to cooperate closely in international fora such as the UN, the Council of Europe and the OSCE.

12) We will continue to regularly exchange our views on our priorities in the national and international implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and to advocate together for the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

13) We will jointly promote environmental protection as well as the sustainable management of natural resources and work to ensure ambitious national and global action in light of UNFCCC COP26, CBD COP15 and beyond. We will work together to increase our emissions reduction targets through our Nationally Determined Net Zero Contributions, through our commitment, collectively with other donors, to reach the $100 billion pledged to developing countries, and by creating framework conditions for public and private financial flows to align with climate change and biodiversity objectives.

14) We continue to work together on the global response to COVID-19 and ensure equitable access to vaccines, treatments and diagnostics. We will support humanitarian assistance and share our views on our broader international development priorities to leverage synergies.

15) We will cooperate closely and confidently to counter hostile cyberattacks. Where appropriate, we will continue to exchange experiences regarding the implementation of our respective sanctions regimes. We will build on our security policy dialogue and joint military training in a joint statement of intent to deepen our relationship and achieve our common and shared defense and security objectives, by enhancing cooperation in the areas of mutual interest. We will strengthen our existing law enforcement and criminal justice cooperation, continuing to exchange information to fight serious and organized crime and terrorism. We will continue our close collaboration on civil judicial cooperation.

16) The Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom and the Head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of the Swiss Confederation will be responsible for this joint statement and will meet annually to support it. Progress will be reviewed annually as part of our bilateral strategic dialogue at Political Director and Secretary of State level.

Signed in London, April 28 in the English language.

For the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

For the Government of the Swiss Confederation

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