Signature of an investment protection agreement and a Declaration on Cooperation with Colombia

Berne, 17.05.2006 - Federal Councillor Joseph Deiss and the Minister of Trade, Industry and Tourism of the Republic of Colombia, Mr Jorge Humberto Botero, signed two agreements in Bern on 17 May 2006. The first was an agreement on the promotion and reciprocal protection of investments between Switzerland and Colombia. The second was a Declaration on Cooperation between the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and Colombia.

The main provisions of the investment protection agreement cover the handling of foreign investments by the host country, the transfer of capital and investment income, compensation for expropriation and procedures for settling disputes.

This agreement sets out Switzerland and Colombia's intent to guarantee their investors added legal security and to seek to create a favourable climate for the investment of foreign capital. With Colombia being one of the main recipients for Swiss direct investments in Latin America, it will help strengthen economic relations between the two countries.

Federal Councillor Joseph Deiss, Colombian Trade Minister Jorge Botero and representatives of the other member States of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) also signed an EFTA-Colombia Declaration on Cooperation. Under this Declaration, the EFTA States and Colombia undertake to strengthen their efforts with a view to improving conditions for economic cooperation. In the framework of the EFTA-Colombia Joint Committee set up under the Declaration, the parties will jointly examine the possibilities for promoting trade and investment, using available foreign economic policy instruments.

At their meeting the two ministers also discussed bilateral issues relating to trade, Swiss economic cooperation, the signing of a double tax convention and the Doha Round negotiations.

Address for enquiries

Ivo Kaufmann,
Head of International Investments and Multinational Enterprises,
tel. 031 324 08 54

Christian Etter,
SECO / Integration Office,
Head of EFTA Section,
tel. 031 324 08 62

Simone Hug, DEA,
tel. 031 322 20 25


Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research

State Secretariat for Economic Affairs