"Free trade is always good. We are a very small but extremely well-connected economy. We are open and we need trade and globalization in order to make our economy prosper. From that point of view we are against protectionism," Gasser said.
Switzerland is a party to tens of free trade agreements, while the negotiations between the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), of which Switzerland is a member, with Russia-Belarus-Kazakhstan Customs Union are currently on hold, but, as Norwegian Minister of Trade and Industry Monica Maland told Sputnik in April, may resume depending on the political situation.
"We have a policy of trying to extend our network of free trade agreements and we will follow this policy also in the near future," Gasser said.
Bern is interested in upholding the process of improving bilateral relations with Russia in the fields of economy, technology and science, Joerg Gasser added.
"We already have excellent bilateral relations with Russia in the field of economy, in the field of finance, in the field of technology and science. In these three fields we have yearly dialogues in which we try to improve what we have… The dialogue is intact and we are continuing this dialogue in order to improve already good relations that we have," Gasser said.
SPIEF, held in Russia's second largest city between Thursday and Saturday, is a major global platform for communication between business representatives and the discussion of crucial economic issues. The Sputnik news agency is an official media partner of SPIEF.