WEF Annual Meeting: Switzerland and Germany hold talks on energy and economic issues
Bern, 16.01.2023 - On 16 January, Federal Councillors Guy Parmelin and Albert Rösti met with Robert Habeck, the German Vice Chancellor and Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, at the WEF Annual Meeting in Davos. The talks covered a range of matters including bilateral economic relations and Switzerland's relations with the EU. Against the backdrop of the tense situation in the energy sector worldwide, the three ministers also discussed common challenges in the field of energy security.
Federal Councillor Albert Rösti, head of the Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications (DETEC) and Federal Councillor Guy Parmelin, head of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research (EAER) met with Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos. The discussion was dominated by the ongoing war in Ukraine and its impact on Europe.
At the meeting with Vice Chancellor Habeck, Federal Councillor Albert Rösti addressed Switzerland's cooperation with Germany in the energy sector. The two ministers agreed that the outstanding issues in the gas sector can also be clarified at a technical level and that as such there is no need for a bilateral solidarity agreement between Germany and Switzerland. The work between the German Federal Network Agency and Switzerland’s crisis management bodies will continue. This pragmatic approach will allow the same goal to be achieved. Federal Councillor Rösti emphasised the importance of close cooperation between the transmission system operators in stabilising the electricity grid in Europe. Vice Chancellor Habeck signalled his support on this issue.
On the part of the EAER, discussions focused on bilateral economic relations and Switzerland's relations with the EU. Federal Councillor Guy Parmelin stressed that Germany is Switzerland's most important economic partner and that the partnership with the EU is beneficial for both sides. Mr Parmelin reiterated the Federal Council's desire to continue on the bilateral path with the EU. He emphasised that an association to Horizon Europe and Erasmus+ at the earliest opportunity remained the Federal Council's declared goal.
Germany is by far Switzerland's most important trading partner. In 2021, Switzerland exported goods worth CHF 51 billion, while imports amounted to CHF 57 billion. Germany and Switzerland are also important to each other in terms of investment. At the end of 2020, Swiss direct investment in Germany amounted to CHF 70 billion, while German companies invested over CHF 38 billion in Switzerland.
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General Secretariat of the Federal Department of Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications; General Secretariat DETEC
Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research
Swiss Federal Office of Energy