The second bilateral dialogue between Switzerland and the United States on cybersecurity and digital matters occurred on June 7, 2023, as both nations sought to strengthen their cooperation in these critical areas.
Led by Benedikt Wechsler, the Swiss delegation, comprised of representatives from various departments, engaged in discussions with their American counterparts to advance bilateral cooperation and promote security and stability in the cyber and digital space.
According to GlobalData’s report on “The Global Governmental Cybersecurity Market Forecast 2020-2030“, the global government cybersecurity market is expected to register a CAGR of 8.01%, growing from US$20.3bn in 2020 to US$43.8bn by 2030.
During the dialogue, both delegations identified numerous areas where collaboration should be intensified in the medium term. Notable topics included combating ransomware attacks and upholding internet freedom.
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The discussions further encompassed commitments and cooperation in multilateral bodies and bilateral initiatives led by Switzerland and the United States. Matters relating to digital commerce will continue to be addressed through the Swiss-US joint economic commissions.
The delegation included Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) members, the Federal Office of Communications, the National Cyber Security Centre, FEDPOL, and the Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport.
On the American side, the delegation comprised representatives from several agencies, led by the Department of State’s Bureau of Cyberspace and Digital Policy, established in 2022. The participation of a wide range of stakeholders reflects the multidimensional nature of the issue.
The government announced in April 2022 that it planned to invest CHF 2.4 billion ($2.6 billion) in cyber capabilities over the next few years, including training 7,000 militia soldiers to meet its current needs.
Switzerland became a member of the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence, which has provided the Swiss military access to additional capabilities and research and training opportunities, according to a Switzerland Defense Market 2022-2027 report from GlobalData.
As digitalisation continues to impact all aspects of daily life, Switzerland prioritises interdepartmental and international cooperation in implementing its digital foreign policy strategy.
As Switzerland and the United States intensify their dialogue and cooperation in cybersecurity and digital technology, they remain committed to a free, open, and secure digital space. These bilateral efforts aim to address emerging challenges, promote international law adherence, and ensure the protection and stability of critical digital infrastructures.