UAE and Switzerland look to boost $22.4bn trade partnership – Arabian Business: Latest News on the Middle East, Real Estate, Finance, and More


The UAE and Switzerland are looking to further enhance economic and diplomatic relations, amid an already thriving $22.3bn trade partnership.

Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, headed a high-level UAE delegation to Bern and Basel, Switzerland, where he met senior government officials and private-sector leaders to strengthen economic collaboration and foster investment flows between the two nations.

The visit sought to build on growing UAE-Swiss ties, which in 2023 saw non-oil trade reach a total value of $22.3bn – a 41.2 per cent increase in 2022.

UAE-Switzerland trade

Al Zeyoudi held talks with Helene Budliger Artieda, Switzerland’s State Secretary for Economic Affairs, during which the two sides commended the growing bilateral trade exchange.

They then helped open the Swiss-UAE Economic Forum, which was held in Bern and gathered representatives of leading companies and investors from both nations to explore high-potential investment and partnership opportunities.

Al Zeyoudi also reiterated the strong UAE-Switzerland ties as the two countries celebrate 50 years of diplomatic relations, reflecting a united vision of mutual economic prosperity.

He said: “Switzerland is a valued trade and investment partner to the UAE, and the leading European destination for our non-oil trade exports and fourth globally with a value of $9.55bn in 2023.

“Our bilateral trade exceeded $22.3bn in 2023, which represents an increase of 41.2 per cent over 2022 and underlines the degree of synergy between our economies.

“Switzerland shares our vision for long-term, sustainable economic growth built on knowledge and innovation, which in turn provides a platform for deeper cooperation.

“By bringing together our respective public and private sectors, the UAE-Swiss Economic Forum is one of the optimum ways to identify and explore these opportunities and build the connections and networks that will support another 50 years of positive UAE-Swiss ties.”

The Minister cited recent UAE-Swiss collaboration in fields such as alternative fuels, trade finance, biotech and med-tech research as evidence of the potential for greater economic integration.

He also promoted the advantages of the UAE’s dynamic business landscape to Swiss businesses seeking to expand into markets in Asia and Africa, including its strategic location, and world-class infrastructure and logistics capabilities.

Swiss cybersecurity firm ZENDATA is a recent addition to the country’s NextGen FDI programme, which helps cutting-edge companies from around the world establish or expand their operations in the United Arab Emirates.

While in Switzerland, Al Zeyoudi and the accompanying delegation visited leading Swiss private-sector companies, including the headquarters of Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis, where they discussed prospects for partnerships in line with the UAE’s newly established Emirates Drug Establishment, of which Al Zeyoudi is the Chair of the Board of Directors.

Tours also included Swiss aircraft manufacturer Pilatus, which develops, produces, and sells aircraft worldwide.

Pilatus partners with the UAE’s Strata to boost advanced manufacturing capabilities in the nation and support its knowledge-based economy.

Beyond government officials, the United Arab Emirates delegation comprised senior executives of businesses representing high-growth industries, such as banking and finance, aviation, trade and investment, healthcare, and advanced technology, including representatives from the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dubai Chambers, Emirates Airline, M42, the Abu Dhabi-based global healthcare company, Etihad Credit Insurance, Ajman Chamber of Commerce, First Abu Dhabi Bank and Hub71, and others.


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