Federal Councillor Guy Parmelin attends World Leaders Forum at UNCTAD

Bern, 12.06.2024 - Federal Councillor Guy Parmelin represented Switzerland at the World Leaders Forum organised to mark the 60th anniversary of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). He also held bilateral talks with a Chinese trade representative and Tunisia’s trade minister.

UNCTAD, founded in Geneva in 1964 and now rebranded as UN Trade and Development, is celebrating its 60th anniversary. At the World Leaders Forum held in Geneva between 12 and 14 June, representatives of UN member states were invited to speak on the theme of ‘Charting a new course for development in a changing world'.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres and UN Trade and Development Secretary-General Rebeca Grynspan were joined by numerous heads of state and government. Federal Councillor Guy Parmelin, deputising for President Viola Amherd, recalled in his speech the decisive contribution of the organisation in integrating developing countries into world trade. He also welcomed the fact that international trade is now fully recognised as a key contributor to sustainable development.

Recalling the importance for the Swiss economy of a strong trade system based on a clear regulatory framework, Federal Councillor Guy Parmelin encouraged UN Trade and Development to continuously adapt to new global economic realities. Switzerland is a major contributor to the technical assistance activities of UN Trade and Development in various fields, such as e-commerce and debt management.

Bilateral relations with China and Tunisia

On the fringes of the event, Federal Councillor Guy Parmelin met with Mr Wang Shouwen, Chinese representative for international trade and vice minister of commerce, to discuss the modernisation of the free trade agreement between China and Switzerland. He also met with Ms Kalthoum Ben Rejeb, Tunisia's minister of trade and export development, to discuss strengthening economic ties between Switzerland and Tunisia.

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