Federal Government adopts strategy for South East Asia
15 February 2023 11:40
The Federal Government of Switzerland, the Federal Council, has for the first time adopted a regional strategy for Southeast Asian countries. According to a statement, it complements the China Strategy approved in 2021 and aims to strengthen exchanges between Switzerland and the eleven countries of Southeast Asia based on the four thematic priorities of the 2021-2023 Foreign Policy Strategy: peace and security, prosperity, sustainability and digitalization. A fifth priority provides for the continuation of high-quality services for Swiss citizens residing in the region.
Because Southeast Asia is one of the most dynamic economic areas in the world, there is growing potential for Swiss economic interests in the region. Switzerland is also striving to improve market access through free trade agreements, as well as relying on cooperation programs of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs in the less developed countries.
Another priority is to strengthen Switzerland's presence in various multilateral bodies, such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The new strategy is reportedly aimed at strengthening Switzerland's already privileged status and further expanding technical cooperation with ASEAN countries. In the statement, the Federal Council and the Foreign Ministry address in particular the areas of digitalization, vocational training, disaster risk reduction, human rights and the environment. Switzerland is planning to participate in further multilateral meetings. mm