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The European Union (EU) is by far the most important trading partner for Swiss agriculture. In 2020, 51% of Swiss agricultural and food exports worth CHF 5.0 of a total of 9.8 billion went to the member States of the EU; 74% of agricultural imports worth CHF 9.4 of a total of 12.8 billion were imported from the EU. Swiss agricultural exports to the EU have increased by CHF 525 million (+12 %) compared to the year 2007. A significant part of this increase is due to an expansion of exports of processed agricultural products. In addition, cheese exports to the EU have increased on average by 1.9% between 2007 and 2020 which in monetary terms represents an increase in value of exports by 1.0 % per year.

Trade with the EU is based on a tight network of bilateral agreements:

The Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Switzerland and the EU entered into force in 1972. It created a free trade area for industrial products. Protocol No. 2 of the FTA regulates trade of processed agricultural products.

The bilateral Agreement on Agriculture between Switzerland and the EU, which regulates trade of basic agricultural products, entered into force in 2002. In contrary to the FTA for industrial products, this bilateral agreement does not create a free trade area; instead mutual market
access is improved by reducing tariffs and non-tariff barriers to trade for certain product segments.

In November 2008, negotiations began for a comprehensive agreement in the areas of agriculture, food and product safety, as well as public health.

Last modification 09.03.2022

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Corinne Roux

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