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The Legal Framework of Swiss International Trade and Investments

The Legal Framework of Swiss International Trade and Investments I. INTRODUCTION In 2004, Switzerland ranked as the 16th-biggest importer and 21 st-biggest exporter of goods and the lOth-biggest importer and 18th-biggest exporter of services worldwide,' a remarkable figure for a country with a population of less than seven-and- a-half million persons.2 At the same time, it ranked 15th for inbound foreign direct investment (FDI) flows but 9th for outbound investment flows.3 The stocks of inbound FDI amounted to 50.6 per cent of Switzerland's gross domestic product (GDP) thus ranking 13th, but the stocks of outbound investments exceeded Swiss GDP by 9.8 per cent or a notable 5th rank.4 Obviously, Switzerland's external economy represents a vital component of its economy. To support this, Switzerland has developed a remarkably sophisticated internal and external legal framework. I identified more than four hundred instances in which Switzerland can rely on a framework, trade or investment, bilateral or multilateral treaty, yet little has been written on this significant aspect of the international relationships of Switzerland. This study covers indifferently trade5 and investments.6 While there are fundamental differences, at the same time they are so closely interrelated that they are indissociable elements of the external economy here addressed as a whole. To distinguish http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of World Investment and Trade Brill

The Legal Framework of Swiss International Trade and Investments

Journal of World Investment and Trade , Volume 7 (3): 362 – Jan 1, 2006

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
Copyright © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1660-7112
eISSN
2211-9000
DOI
10.1163/221190006X00216
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

I. INTRODUCTION In 2004, Switzerland ranked as the 16th-biggest importer and 21 st-biggest exporter of goods and the lOth-biggest importer and 18th-biggest exporter of services worldwide,' a remarkable figure for a country with a population of less than seven-and- a-half million persons.2 At the same time, it ranked 15th for inbound foreign direct investment (FDI) flows but 9th for outbound investment flows.3 The stocks of inbound FDI amounted to 50.6 per cent of Switzerland's gross domestic product (GDP) thus ranking 13th, but the stocks of outbound investments exceeded Swiss GDP by 9.8 per cent or a notable 5th rank.4 Obviously, Switzerland's external economy represents a vital component of its economy. To support this, Switzerland has developed a remarkably sophisticated internal and external legal framework. I identified more than four hundred instances in which Switzerland can rely on a framework, trade or investment, bilateral or multilateral treaty, yet little has been written on this significant aspect of the international relationships of Switzerland. This study covers indifferently trade5 and investments.6 While there are fundamental differences, at the same time they are so closely interrelated that they are indissociable elements of the external economy here addressed as a whole. To distinguish

Journal

Journal of World Investment and TradeBrill

Published: Jan 1, 2006

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