Three challenges require special attention: poverty and exclusion, migration and flight, and climate change. At the same time, as a leading offshore financial center, as the foremost hub of the global commodity trade and as home of a great many transnational corporations’ headquarters, Switzerland has a special responsibility on the road to a sustainable global trading, finance and tax system. Companies domiciled here can avoid taxation in the countries in which they make their profits and benefit from very low tax rates in Switzerland. In foreign trade, Switzerland is still pursuing a free trade strategy guided by its own interests.
Helvetas expects the Swiss Federal Council to commit to multilateral trade that respect human rights and integrate international environmental standards. Bilateral free trade agreements between Switzerland and a developing country must not have any negative effects on people affected by poverty. Own protectionism to the detriment of developing countries must be excluded. Furthermore, the Federal Council is to make Switzerland’s foreign tax policy transparent and fair.