On Friday, 22.10.2010, Stephan Harper, the Canadian Prime Minister on his way to the Sommet de la francophonie in Montreux stopped over in Bern for an official visit. According to the Swiss government a protocol was signed amending the Double Taxation Agreement between both countries and it was announced that the bilateral aviation agreement would be expanded:
The discussions served as an opportunity to take stock of bilateral relations between the two countries, which have been enhanced in the
economic field following the entry into force in July 2009 of the free trade agreement between Canada and EFTA. The subjects of international
governance and new rules and standards for finance and trade were also raised. Canada currently chairs the G8 and in June hosted the G20 Summit
in Toronto. Both countries work closely with the International Organisation of La Francophonie; the visit took place on the eve of the
opening of its XIII summit at which Canada will hand over the chair to Switzerland. The partners also discussed regional issues and reform of
the United Nations.
The official discussions concluded with the signing of a protocol amending the double taxation agreement by Finance Minister Hans-Rudolf
Merz and Josée Verner, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, President of the Queen’s Privy Council and Minister for La Francophonie. The
amended agreement is expected to come into effect in 2012.
President Doris Leuthard and Prime Minister Stephen Harper also announced the conclusion of negotiations on updating and expanding the
1975 bilateral aviation agreement between Switzerland and Canada. The main effects of the revised agreement will be to liberalise tariffs and
introduce traffic rights for stopovers and destinations via the two countries. The amendments will benefit passengers, airports, airlines
and freight carriers, as well as general economic relations between Switzerland and Canada.
The 23rd Sommet de la francophonie takes places from Friday, October 22 to Sunday, October 24 in Montreux, which is on lakefront of Lac Léman.