Swiss Finance Minister Karin Keller-Sutter met her Austrian counterpart, Magnus Brunner, in St Gallen. Following a visit to the Abbey Library, they discussed current financial and tax topics. The conversation centred around, among other things, the OECD’s minimum taxation rules, the uncertain global economic situation and the repercussions of the Russian aggression against Ukraine. The meeting also provided an opportunity to deepen bilateral relations between the two countries and to acknowledge the importance of cooperation among the four countries that border Lake Constance.
In particular, Federal Councillor Karin Keller-Sutter and Minister of Finance Magnus Brunner discussed the current economic situation, budget policy in the two countries and measures in connection with the Russian aggression against Ukraine. “Switzerland and Austria are not just good neighbours. Our positions and views overlap in a number of areas: high inflation, the challenges of budget discipline and the uncertainty of the power supply are things that we both regard with a critical eye”, said Karin Keller-Sutter.
As regards the measures taken to ensure financial market stability, Finance Minister Keller-Sutter stressed that “the takeover of Credit Suisse by UBS has laid the foundation for greater stability, both for the Swiss economy and for the financial system in Switzerland and internationally”. Other topics of conversation were the EU’s market access rules for third countries and the implementation of the OECD’s planned minimum taxation rules for large internationally active companies. The fight against money laundering and bilateral tax issues were also addressed during a working meal.
Minister of Finance Magnus Brunner took the opportunity to provide some detailed insights into Swiss-Austrian economic relations. “Switzerland is one of our most important economic partners and we have a common goal of ensuring sustainable budgets. It has also been a good example for us in terms of compensation for bracket creep”, emphasised Brunner.
Austria is one of Switzerland’s ten most important trade partners globally. In the past few years, the volume of trade with Austria has averaged CHF 16 billion.