President Ignazio Cassis is travelling to Berlin this week, where he will be received by German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier on Thursday, 20 January. Also on the agenda that day are first meetings with the new chancellor, Olaf Scholz, and the new foreign minister, Annalena Baerbock.
The three meetings will pay tribute to the close bilateral and cross-border relations between Switzerland and Germany and include an exchange on the current response to the pandemic. In addition, President Cassis will outline the present situation with respect to Switzerland’s European policy. International current affairs, in particular the security situation in Europe, will also be discussed.
The close relations between Switzerland and Germany are based on a comprehensive set of 200 agreements. Besides close political and cultural ties, the economies of the two countries are highly integrated. Germany is Switzerland’s most important trading partner, both in terms of imports and exports.
Vitally important are mutual investments and the jobs they create. According to figures from the end of 2019, German businesses employ around 123,000 people in Switzerland. Conversely, approximately 263,000 people in Germany work for Swiss companies. The number of cross-border workers from Germany was about 61,000 at the start of 2020.
Germany and Switzerland are mutually attractive immigration countries. Around 300000 German nationals live in Switzerland. The number of Swiss settling in Germany, more than 90000 at present, has also increased in recent years.