Federal Councillor Schneider-Ammann to visit Russia, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and the USA

Bern, 04.07.2017 - On 9 July Federal Councillor Johann N. Schneider-Ammann will set off on a voyage that will take him to Russia (10 - 11 July), Indonesia (13 and 14 July), Saudi Arabia (15 and 16 July) and the USA (17 and 18 July). The aim of these visits is to further develop bilateral trade relations, analyse prospects for free trade deals and gauge the investment climate. On the first three legs of the tour he will be accompanied by an economic delegation. A scientific delegation will also be present in Indonesia. In the USA meetings are expected to take place with Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross, Secretary of Labor, Alexander Acosta and Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, as well as with presidential advisor Ivanka Trump, where the development of vocational education and training will be among the themes covered.

In Moscow the head of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research will meet with the First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov on 10 July and Minister of Economic Development Maxim Oreshkin on 11 July. He will then travel to Yekaterinburg where he will hold talks the same day with the Minister of Industry and Trade, Denis Manturov, while at INNOPROM, an international industrial trade fair.

Mr Schneider-Ammann will be accompanied by around twenty Swiss business representatives. The meetings will focus on the state of and prospects for bilateral economic relations, cooperation in a multilateral framework, as well as certain specific concerns held by both parties.


On 12 July the head of the EAER will then travel on to Jakarta, where he will stay until 14 July. Bilateral meetings are planned with Mohamad Nasir, minister of research, technology and higher education, Enggartiasto Lukita, minister of trade and Airlangga Hartarto, minister of industry. A meeting with Thomas Lembong, president of the investment authority BKPM is also scheduled. The main topics of the meetings with the government representatives, which are aimed at deepening bilateral economic relations, will be the ongoing free trade negotiations between EFTA and Indonesia and the renewal of the investment protection agreement.

The programme also includes the launch of the economic development cooperation strategy with Indonesia for the period 2017-2020 and the inauguration of a Swiss Business Hub at Jakarta. The 5th meeting of the Swiss-Indonesian Economic Commission will be held on the fringes of this visit. The head of the EAER will not only be accompanied by an economic delegation, but also by a scientific delegation.

Saudi Arabia

On 15 and 16 July Mr Schneider-Ammann will be in Jeddah in Saudi Arabia. The visit aims to deepen the dialogue on developing economic relations with an important partner in the Middle East. Mr Schneider-Ammann will be accompanied on the visit by an economic delegation. The schedule includes meetings with his counterparts, including the Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr Majed Al Qasabi, and exchanges with the local Swiss business community. Topics to be addressed during the official meetings include the possibilities of developing bilateral economic relations, prospects and challenges in the region and specific issues of concern to representatives of Swiss businesses.


Mr Schneider-Ammann will round off his tour with a visit to Washington DC on 17 and 18 July. At his meeting with Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross, Federal Councillor Schneider-Ammann will discuss trade relations between the two countries and their prospects, as well as vocational education and training. Talks with Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, will focus on education and the system of apprenticeships in particular. The latter topic will also be on the agenda during the meeting with Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta.

The Department of Commerce and the Department of Education are in fact partners in a joint declaration of intent on vocational education and training signed in 2015. Strengthening the system of vocational education and training is one of the economic policy priorities of the new Administration. The topic will also be addressed during talks with presidential advisor Ivanka Trump, in charge of education matters at the White House. Furthermore, the head of the EAER will meet with members of Congress for an exchange of views on various issues regarding the economy and education.

Economic indicators


Volume of trade (2016): CHF 3.6 billion (Switzerland’s 23rd largest partner)

Imports from Russia: CHF 1.6 billion

Exports to Russia: CHF 2 billion

Swiss direct investment in Russia: CHF 8.5 billion (Ranked 10th)

Jobs generated by Swiss companies: approx. 43,000


Volume of trade (2016): CHF 2.8 billion (Switzerland’s 31st largest partner)

Imports from Indonesia: CHF 2.4 billion

Exports to Indonesia: CHF 456.9 billion

Swiss direct investment: CHF 6.4 billion (Ranked 11th)

Jobs generated by Swiss companies: 21,388

Saudi Arabia

Volume of trade (2016): CHF 3.2 billion (Switzerland’s 18th largest partner)

Imports from Saudi Arabia: CHF 439.8 billion

Exports to Saudi Arabia: CHF 2.8 billion

Swiss direct investment: CHF 938 million[1]

Jobs generated by Swiss companies: approx. 11,710


Volume of trade (2016): CHF 60 billion (Switzerland’s 2nd largest partner). 

Imports from USA: CHF 23.6 billion

Exports to USA: CHF 36.4 billion

Swiss direct investment (2015): CHF 205 billion (Ranked 6th)

Jobs generated by Swiss companies: approx. 500,000

[1] No recent ranking available. In 2010, Switzerland ranked 12th.

Address for enquiries

EAER Communication Service
Tel. 058 462 20 07, info@gs-wbf.admin.ch


Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research

Last modification 27.04.2016

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