On the 7th of March, the Swiss electorate voted on the Economic partnership agreement with Indonesia.
Swiss companies depend on reliable economic relations, particularly when exporting goods and services. To secure and improve access to foreign markets, Switzerland has a broad range of agreements with partner countries. Currently, high customs duties and other barriers make it difficult to trade with Indonesia, the world’s fourth largest country by population. Therefore, Switzerland has also negotiated an agreement with Indonesia. Opponents of the agreement have successfully called for a referendum. They are especially critical of Switzerland’s move to reduce import duties on palm oil subject to certain requirements.
The agreement provides that all Switzerland’s main goods can be exported duty-free to Indonesia. It places Swiss companies on a par with their foreign competitors in the growing Indonesian market. In return, Switzerland has abolished duties on Indonesian industrial products. For agricultural products, however, the agreement only reduces duties in some cases, in order to protect the Swiss agriculture industry. Indonesia and Switzerland have undertaken to trade in a way that favours sustainable development. Certain reductions in customs duties will apply to a limited quantity of Indonesian palm oil imports. Anyone who wishes to import palm oil on these terms must prove that the oil has been produced in compliance with the agreed environmental and social requirements.
Last modification 01.03.2021