The Crest of the Commonwealth of Australia Treasury Portfolio Ministers
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David Bradbury

Assistant Treasurer, Minister Assisting for Financial Services & Superannuation and Minister for Competition Policy & Consumer Affairs

5 March 2012 - 18 September 2013

Media Release of 12/05/2013

NO.067

Revised Tax Treaty with Switzerland

The Australian Government announced today that it intends to sign a revised tax treaty between Australia and Switzerland.

The existing treaty has not been updated since it was signed in 1980 and is now one of Australia's oldest unamended tax treaties. Negotiations for the text of a revised treaty, which the Government announced in February 2011, were recently concluded.

Updating our treaty with Switzerland will support closer economic relations by reducing tax‑related trade barriers.

Importantly, a revised treaty would strengthen administrative assistance between Australian and Swiss revenue authorities, including overcoming long-standing bank secrecy provisions. This is a key objective of both governments and reflects long-standing efforts to improve international standards of tax transparency and tax information exchange.

Improving tax system integrity through international cooperation is also a key focus of the G20.

The updated treaty will also promote investment between Australia and Switzerland. Switzerland was Australia's fifth largest source of foreign direct investment (A$23 billion) and sixth largest investor overall (A$42 billion) in 2011. Australian foreign direct investment in Switzerland amounted to A$6.2 billion in 2011.

The Australian and Swiss Governments will sign the revised treaty text at the earliest opportunity, subject to the completion of their respective domestic approval processes. Further information on the revised treaty will be made available upon signature.

12 May 2013