Regional and Bilateral Initiatives
Trade and Economic Cooperation Arrangements (TECAs)
Confederation of Switzerland
Signed at Bern, Switzerland, December 9, 1997
Arrangement on Trade and Economic Cooperation between the Government of Canada and the Government of the Swiss Confederation (hereinafter referred to as "the Parties");
- Desirung to enhance the traditional bonds of friendship and cooperation between the two countries acknowledged in the Treaty of Friendship, Commerce, and Reciprocal Establishment Between Great Britain and Switzerland, signed at Berne on September 6, 1855; the Convention Additional to the Treaty of Friendship, Commerce, and Reciprocal Establishment Between Great Britain and the Swiss Confederation of September 6, 1855, signed at London on March 30, 1914; and the Convention for the Avoidance of Double Taxation with respect to Taxes on Income and on Capital between the Government of Canada and the Government of the Swiss Confederation done at Berne on May 5, 1997;
- Reaffirming their respective rights and obligations under the Marrakesh Agreement establishing the World Trade Organization, (hereinafter the "WTO Agreement") and other multilateral instruments, in particular of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), as well as under bilateral instruments of trade and economic cooperation;
- Acknowledging their mutual commitment toward the effective implementation of the WTO Agreement;
- Noting the importance they attach to the development of transatlantic relations;
- Aspiring to strengthen through continued and institutionalized dialogue, framework conditions favourable to the expansion and diversification of bilateral trade and investments;
- Wisching to explore opportunities to strengthen bilateral cooperation in other areas and activities;
- Have reached the following understanding:
The Parties will seek to:
- enhance economic relations between the two countries, in particular trade in goods and services as well as investment;
- strengthen their cooperation with a view to liberalizing trade between them by identifying and working toward the removal of measures that impede or distort bilateral trade and investment flows; and
- increase the participation of the private sector in both countries, in particular of the smaller and medium-sized enterprises, in bilateral economic cooperation.
II. Liberalization of Trade and Investment
- In conformity with their international commitments, especially within the context of the WTO Agreement and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the Parties will endeavour to create the most favourable conditions for a liberalization of trade in goods and services as well as of investment between them in accordance with the enclosed Joint Work Program.
- The Parties will collaborate on investment issues, with a particular focus on cooperating in the development of a Multilateral Agreement on Investment and in an effective work program in the WTO.
- The Parties will examine all questions defined in the Joint Work Program influencing bilateral economic relations or their respective interests in respect of trade and investment in third countries, including multilateral and plurilateral questions of common interest arising in appropriate fora.
III. Promotion of Trade and Investment
- The Parties will encourage the expansion of trade and investment between the private sectors of both countries.
- To this end they will, in particular, foster regular exchanges of information on opportunities for trade and investment and for other promotional initiatives, including contacts on the business level, in accordance with the Joint Work Program attached to this Arrangement.
IV. Consultative Group
- The Parties hereby establish a Consultative Group to ensure the implementation of this Arrangement and the fulfilment of its objectives. The Government of Canada will be represented by the Minister for International Trade and the Government of the Swiss Confederation will be represented by the Minister for Economic Affairs, or their designees. Private sector representatives may participate in the Consultative Group, with the consent of both Parties.
- The Consultative Group will convene periodically, ordinarily every eighteen months, alternatively in Canada and Switzerland, as may be arranged by the Parties. Sessions of the Consultative Group will be chaired by the host Party.
Either Party may request consultations with the other Party regarding any question relative to bilateral economic relations, trade and investment. Such consultations will take place promptly.
VI. Final Clauses
- Nothing in this Arrangement affects the respective rights and obligations of either Party to the other Party under Agreements, Conventions or other instruments to which they are both Parties.
- This Arrangement may be amended by the written concurrence of both Parties.
- The Arrangement comes into effect on signature and will remain in effect unless terminated by either Party on 180 days notice to the other Party.
Done in duplicate at Berne, this 9th day of December 1997, in the English and French languages, each language version being equally valid for the Government of Canada and the Swiss Confederation.
Joint Work Program
- Liberalization of trade and strengthening of economic cooperation:
- identification and analysis of factors and measures, including those of third countries, influencing bilateral trade and investment;
- options and appropriate actions in order to promote market access for goods and services;
- negotiation of a Customs Cooperation and Mutual Assistance Agreement;
- mutual recognition of conformity assessment procedures in specific sectors; and cooperation in the WTO to bring about the progressive liberalization of public procurement, trade and competition, trade-related intellectual property measures and investment.
- Promotion of trade and investment:
- by exchanging information on international trade and on business opportunities in all economic sectors;
- by encouraging small and medium-sized enterprises to participate in bilateral trade and economic cooperation;
- by promoting economic missions, trade fairs and industrial expositions, symposia, conferences and technical presentations; and
- by encouraging joint efforts of the private sector in third country markets.
- The present Joint Work Program may be reviewed and revised periodically by the Consultative Group.