The second bilateral dialogue between Switzerland and the United States on cybersecurity and digital issues occurred on June 7, 2023, as both nations sought to strengthen their cooperation in these critical areas.
Led by Benedikt Wechsler, the Swiss delegation, made up of representatives from various departments, engaged in discussions with their American counterparts to promote bilateral cooperation and promote security and stability in cyber and digital space.
According to GlobalData’s report on “Global Government Cyber Security Market Forecast 2020-2030”, the global government cybersecurity market is expected to register a CAGR of 8.01%, growing from US$20.3 billion in 2020 to US$43.8 billion by 2030.
During the dialogue, both delegations identified several areas in which cooperation should be intensified in the medium term. Notable topics included fighting ransomware attacks and preserving freedom on the internet.
Discussions included further engagement and cooperation in multilateral bodies and bilateral initiatives led by Switzerland and the United States. Issues related to digital trade will continue to be addressed through the joint Swiss-US economic committees.
The delegation included members of the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), the Federal Office of Communications, the National Center for Cybersecurity, FEDPOL and the Federal Ministry of Defence, Civil Protection and Sports.
On the American side, the delegation consisted of representatives from various agencies, led by the State Department’s Office 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 has become a member of NATO’s Cooperative Cyber Defense Center of Excellence, which has provided the Swiss military with access to additional capabilities and research and training opportunities, according to Switzerland Defense Market Report 2022-2027 from GlobalData.
As digitization continues to affect all aspects of everyday life, Switzerland is prioritizing inter-agency and international cooperation to implement its digital foreign policy strategy.
As Switzerland and the United States intensify their dialogue and cooperation in the field of cybersecurity and digital technology, they remain committed to a free, open and secure digital space. These bilateral efforts aim to address emerging challenges, promote compliance with international law, and ensure the protection and stability of critical digital infrastructure.
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