Thomas Alexander Zimmermann

Publications Publications of Thomas Alexander Zimmermann
Main Focuses
  • International economic relations
  • International economic policies
  • Trade policy
  • World Trade Organisation WTO
  • FDI Policy
  • European Integration
  • Swiss (Foreign) Economic Policy
  • Swiss-EU Economic Relations

Thomas A. Zimmermann studied "Europäische Wirtschaft" (European / international economics and management studies) at the University of Bamberg, Germany, and at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Milan, Italy (1992-1998).  He then became a doctoral student at the University of St. Gallen. In 2004, he was awarded a doctoral degree for his thesis on WTO dispute settlement.

Professional Career

Dr Thomas A. Zimmermann has been a research associate at SIAW-HSG since 2003.


In his main job, he has been working at the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO in Berne since 2003. Since 2020, he serves as head of the division "Special Foreign Economic Service", Ambassador, Delegate of the Federal Council for Trade Agreements and Member of the Board of SECO. Previously, he was head of the division "Organisation, Law and Accreditation" and Member of the Board (2009-2020). Prior to that role, he acted as chief of staff of SECO and as personal advisor to the Secretary of State, Mr. Jean-Daniel Gerber - a function which also encompassed the role of coordinator of the Foreign Economic Affairs Directorate of SECO (2006-2009). In his first assignment at SECO, he was the country relations officer for North America and the Caribbean in the Americas division of the Bilateral Economic Relations Department (2003-2006). From 1998-2003, he was a researcher and personal assistant to Prof. Dr. Heinz Hauser at the Swiss Institute for International Economics and Applied Economic Research (SIAW-HSG). During this time, he also spent one semester at the Faculty of Commerce at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. 


As a supplementary occupation, Dr Thomas A. Zimmermann is active in teaching on international economics and trade policy.   

Teaching Activities

Teaching Activities by Dr. Thomas A. Zimmermann (Selection)

2023; 2022; 2021; 2020; 2019; 2018; 2017; 2016; 2015; 2014; 2013; 2012; 2011; 2010; 2009; 2008; 2007; 2006: Lecturer at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Milan, Italy / Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milano, Italia; Graduate School of Economics and International Relations / Alta Scuola di Economia e Relazioni Internazionali (ASERI); in the Master of International Relations (MIR) / Master in Advanced Global Studies (MAGS); Course on "The Multilateral Trading System / WTO". Topics covered: the political economy of international trade; the WTO as an international organization; GATT; GATS; TRIPS; WTO dispute settlement; regionalism; developing countries in the WTO; the Doha Round; "new topics"; research questions and methodologies. Course language: English   


2022; Lecturer at the University of Zurich; Part-Time LL.M Program in International Business Law; Topics covered: Free Trade Agreements and Bilateral Investment Treaties; course language: German.    


2017; 2016; 2015; 2014; 2013; 2012; 2011; 2010; 2009; 2008: Lecturer at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich (ETH); in the Executive Master of Business Administration in Supply Chain Management (MBA-SCM); Course on "The Global Economy"; Topics covered: The multilateral trading System (WTO); Contents: multilateralism, regionalism and free trade agreements, foreign direct investment, international financial architecture and currency issues, globalisation of the world economy and role of developing and emerging markets, current macroeconomic issues (current economic situation; financial, economic and debt crises; rising inequality; global risks etc.); Course language: English.
2013; 2012; 2011; 2010; 2009: Lecturer at the University of St. Gallen; Lectures in the seminar No. 4,348 in preparation of the annual "oikos Model WTO" (together with Prof. Dr. iur. Matthias Oesch who was in charge of the exercises). Topics covered: the political economy of international trade; the WTO as an international organization; GATT; GATS; TRIPS; WTO dispute settlement; regionalism; developing countries; "new topics"; the Doha Round; research questions and methodologies. Course language: English. 
2010: Lecturer at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences (HSLU) - School of Economics; in the Master of Advanced Studies (MAS) Business Administration (MBA); Course on Globalisation and the world economy; Course language: German.
2007: Lecturer at the China International Law School in Shanghai; organized by the Center for International Business and Commercial Law (CIBCL) in co-operation with Tongji University, Shanghai, China; Course on "International Trade Policy and the WTO"; Course language: English.
2000/2001: Lecturer at the University of St. Gallen; public policy programme; seminar on WTO issues / International Economic Policy I (KF STAWI IBZ; Seminar No. 5,223; jointly with Alexander Roitinger); Course language: German.



Trinational Economic Award 1997 (Drei-Länder-Wirtschaftspreis 1997; Switzerland; Germany; France) by the Association of Chambers of Commerce in the Southern Upper Rhine Valley (Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Handelskammern am südlichen Oberrhein) for the diploma thesis on the topic "The non-participation of Switzerland in European integration processes and its consequences for industrial firms in the Canton of Schaffhausen" ("Die Nichtteilnahme der Schweiz am europäischen Integrationsprozess: Betriebswirtschaftliche Auswirkungen auf die Industrieunternehmen im Kanton Schaffhausen")

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