The Free Trade Agreement was signed between the countries in June 2009, but was not effected until July 2014 and has now been fully implemented as of 1 July 2015. It is hoped that this will allow the two governments to enable duty free access to goods.
It was noted by Swiss officials that nations that have previously entered into such agreements have witnessed faster growth. At present Switzerland has 60% of its trade with the EU, but the Gulf nations and Asian countries are at present experiencing a much faster growth than the EU and countries like Switzerland are keen to collaborate and minimise their dependence on the EU.
Relations between the UAE and Switzerland have been strong for some time with regular high-level visits and bilateral agreements such as;
- Investment protection agreement
- Air traffic agreement
- MoU on waiving the visa requirement for the holders of diplomatic or service passports
- Double taxation agreement
Dubai in particular has attracted numerous Swiss businesses due to its strategic geographical location and business investment orientated environment.
The UAE is also in talks to establish free trade zones with the European Union, Japan, China, India, Pakistan, Turkey, Australia, New Zealand, Korea, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay.