On 15 October, President Guy Parmelin and Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis, head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), welcomed Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili at the Lohn Manor. This was the first official visit by a Georgian president to Switzerland.
On Tuesday, 12 October, President Guy Parmelin attended the G20 Ministerial Meeting on trade and investment in Sorrento, Italy. Against the backdrop of the economic and health crisis related to COVID-19, ministers agreed to strengthen the rules-based multilateral trading system for a resilient, strong, sustainable and inclusive economic recovery and to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on international trade and investment.
President of the Swiss Confederation Guy Parmelin and FDFA head Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis set various thematic priorities during the high-level week marking the opening of the 76th session of the UN General Assembly in New York.
President Guy Parmelin, the head of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research (EAER), held an online roundtable discussion with the Secretary-General of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and several economic affairs ministers from the association’s member states. The dialogue was used to identify potential areas for economic cooperation.
On Thursday, 9 September, the Romanian president Klaus Iohannis met with President Guy Parmelin during an official visit to Switzerland. The discussions at Lohn Manor were also attended by Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis, head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), and Romanian Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu. The talks focused on economic and scientific cooperation, the European policies of both countries and international security issues.
On Saturday, 24 July, following the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Swiss president Guy Parmelin met Japanese prime minister Yoshihide Suga. Their talks focused on the close cooperation between Japan and Switzerland in trade and research, as well as on global issues. They also announced the opening of a new consulate in Osaka, which will also include a new swissnex location. This is the sixth location of the Swiss network for education, research and innovation.
From 22 to 25 July, Swiss president Guy Parmelin will be in Japan, where he will meet Prime Minister Yoshihide and the Japanese foreign minister Toshimitsu Motegi. At a hybrid event held in Tokyo, the establishment of a new Swiss consulate in Osaka will be announced. On Friday 23 July, Mr Parmelin will attend the opening of the Olympic Games, prior to which a reception with Emperor Naruhito is scheduled. The programme also includes a meeting with IOC president Thomas Bach on Saturday.
US–Russia summit and bilateral meetings with Switzerland
US President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. and Russian President Vladimir Putin met in Geneva on 16 June. The President of the Swiss Confederation, Guy Parmelin, took part in the opening of the summit and met both presidents for bilateral talks.
President Guy Parmelin was received by King Carl XVI Gustaf at the start of his visit to Sweden on Monday, 14 June 2021. He then met separately with Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, Minister for Business, Industry and Innovation Ibrahim Baylan and Minister for Higher Education and Research Matilda Ernkrans, and paid a courtesy visit to Speaker of the Riksdag Andreas Norlén.
Swiss President Guy Parmelin met with President Borut Pahor during his visit to Slovenia on Wednesday 9 June. He also held talks with Prime Minister Janez Janša, Minister of Economic Development and Technology Zdravko Počivalšek and Speaker of the National Assembly Igor Zorčič.
The Square Kilometre Array, the most sensitive radio telescope developed so far, is being constructed to research the origin of the very first stars and galaxies. It will be operated by the international organisation Square Kilometre Array Observatory (SKAO). The Federal Council is requesting Parliament to increase the guarantee credit already approved so that Switzerland can become a member of the SKAO until 2030.
Switzerland is strengthening its cooperation with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in developing countries. On 12 May, the Federal Council decided to invest CHF 25 million in bilateral cooperation over the next five years.
Sentiment amongst Swiss households is improving. The results of the April survey show that expectations regarding general economic development in particular are becoming more positive. The likelihood of households making major purchases has also risen.
On 1 April, President Guy Parmelin received Mr Guy Ryder, the Director-General of the International Labour Organization ILO. In the presence of employers' and workers' associations, they signed Switzerland's new agreement on development cooperation with the ILO. Mr Parmelin also announced that Switzerland had joined Alliance 8.7, a global platform to eliminate child labour, forced labour and human trafficking.
At the invitation of President Guy Parmelin, a virtual informal ministerial meeting was held on 29 January on WTO-related issues. Among those taking part were ministers responsible for WTO affairs and WTO Deputy Director General Alan Wolff. Participants discussed trade policy challenges and priorities ahead of the twelfth WTO Ministerial Conference, particularly in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.