President Parmelin welcomes Kazakh president to Switzerland

Bern, 29.11.2021 - In the evening of Monday, 29 November, President Guy Parmelin welcomed Kazakh president Kassym-Jomart Tokayev to Geneva. At their meeting, two agreements fostering trade between Switzerland and Kazakhstan were signed. Official talks centred on economic relations, cooperation between the two countries in international organisations and global issues.

The bilateral agreements were signed by State Secretary Marie-Gabrielle Ineichen-Fleisch, Director of the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO and by Trade and Integration Minister Bakhyt Sultanov. These are a protocol on domestic regulation in services and an agreement on the mutual recognition of official stamps on precious metal products.

Both parties emphasised that relations between Switzerland and Kazakhstan have been strengthened despite the pandemic. For example, there is close cooperation in regional water diplomacy and in the Bretton Woods institutions.

President Parmelin and President Tokayev underlined the healthy state of bilateral economic relations and explored their growth potential. They discussed the pandemic and reaffirmed the importance of cooperation and international institutions in dealing with the coronavirus crisis.

Mr Parmelin paid tribute to Kazakhstan's role as an observer State at the recent Review Conference of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, which was chaired by Switzerland, and stressed the importance of banning cluster munitions globally. Other topics discussed included the situation in Afghanistan and the next WTO Ministerial Conference that was due to commence in Geneva on Tuesday, but which has now been postponed indefinitely due to the pandemic.

New agreements with Kazakhstan on trade in precious metal products and domestic regulations in services

The agreements create easier access to the Kazakh market for precious metal products from the Swiss watch and jewellery industry, and better access to Kazakhstan for Swiss service providers thanks to clear and transparent authorisation procedures. In the first agreement, each country undertakes to permit the import of articles that have been verified by the control authority of the country of manufacture and that bear the official hallmark of that country, without any additional controls or hallmarks. The watch and jewellery sector will benefit from simplified procedures in trade with Kazakhstan.

The protocol on domestic regulations in services contains rules relating to qualification requirements and procedures and authorisation requirements and procedures for trade in services. Under the new agreement the parties will, wherever possible, allow electronic processing of authorisation documents, process applications within a reasonable period of time, and ensure that authorisation fees are proportionate to costs. This is particularly important for small, medium and micro enterprises, which generally do not have the resources to cope with strict and costly requirements and procedures. Both agreements will enter into force once the legal formalities required in each of the countries have been completed.

Further information:

Agreement on precious metal products

State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO, Media Service

Tel. +41 58 462 40 20,

Federal Customs Administration FCA, Media Service

Tel. +41 58 462 67 43,

Agreement on services         

State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO, Media Service

Tel. +41 58 462 40 20,

Address for enquiries

GS-EAER Communication, Tel. +41 58 462 20 07,


Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research

Federal Office for Customs and Border Security