World Trade Organisation (WTO)

The World Trade Organization (WTO) is the only international organisation that regulates trade relations between nations. It is the legal and institutional cornerstone of the multilateral trading system and came into being on 1 January 1995. The WTO supports liberal and non-discriminatory trade as a tool for growth and development.

Importance for Switzerland 

Unlike the major trading powers, Switzerland is a medium-sized player and cannot rely on its market size to secure its economic and trade positions. It needs reliable rules to ensure the security of international economic exchanges. As a member of the WTO, Switzerland is actively involved in problem-solving, the implementation and enforcement of existing agreements and the development of the regulatory framework.

Since May 2019, around 80 WTO members have been negotiating provisions on electronic commerce (e-commerce). The objective of these negotiations is to promote e-commerce by eliminating unnecessary trade barriers and developing common basic principles for national regulations.

The State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) is responsible for representing Switzerland in the WTO.

OFCOM’s role 

OFCOM is regularly consulted and cooperates with SECO in negotiations in the areas for which the office is responsible (telecommunications, market surveillance and equipment, media).

Specialist staff
Last modification 29.12.2015

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