Armoiries de la Suisse

Les autorités fédérales de la Confédération suisse

Page d'accueil

First official visit to the United Arab Emirates by a Swiss Minister

COMMUNIQUE DE PRESSE / Berne, le 13.11.2000

First official visit to the United Arab Emirates by a Swiss Minister

Federal Councillor Pascal Couchepin, Head of the Federal Department of
Economic Affairs, will make an official visit to the United Arab
Emirates (UAE) from November 13 to 14.  With this first visit of a
Swiss government minister, Switzerland wishes to stress the importance
of bilateral economic relations and the Swiss presence in the

In Dubai Federal Councillor Pascal Couchepin will open the Swiss
Horizons exhibition, the biggest display of Swiss products, technology
and services in the Middle East. He will hold talks with the Crown
Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Khalifa, and the Minister of Finance and
Industry, Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Makhtoum, as well as with senior
representatives of the Ministry of Economic Affairs. In addition, he
will attend the inauguration of the Swiss Business Council in Abu
Dhabi and will meet UAE economic decision-makers as well as Swiss

Bilateral economic relations have traditionally been very good and
dynamic. After Saudi Arabia, the UAE is Switzerland's second trading
partner in the Gulf region. In 1999, Switzerland imported products
from the Emirates to the value of 57 million Swiss francs (up 277 per
cent in comparison with the previous year) - mainly precious stones,
machinery, sports equipment and textiles - and exported products worth
591 million Swiss francs - chiefly watches, jewellery, machinery and
pharmaceuticals. A certain proportion of the Swiss products are

In addition, a bilateral agreement on the promotion and protection of
investments has been in force since last year.

Robin Tickle, tel. +41 79 211 62 28