China, Switzerland to start talks for FTA upgrade ASAP

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, July 3, 2024
Adjust font size:

This aerial photo shows a cargo ship at a smart container terminal of Tianjin Port in north China's Tianjin, July 7, 2023. [Photo/Xinhua]

China and Switzerland on Monday signed a memorandum of understanding and agreed to officially start negotiations for the upgrade of the Sino-Swiss free trade agreement (FTA) as soon as possible, according to Chinese Ministry of Commerce.

Chinese Minister of Commerce Wang Wentao held talks with Swiss Federal Councilor Guy Parmelin, also head of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research on Monday, discussing the robust development of Sino-Swiss economic and trade relations.

Wang highlighted the close economic ties and strong complementarity between the two nations, and the positive impact of the bilateral FTA over the past decade on trade and investment growth.

The Chinese side expressed its willingness to work with Switzerland to implement the important economic and trade consensus reached by the leaders of both countries.

Wang called for the swift initiation of negotiations to upgrade the Sino-Swiss FTA, aiming to enhance the quality of bilateral economic cooperation.

He also urged the Swiss side to maintain free trade principles, oppose protectionism and unilateralism, and continue to provide a fair and open investment environment for Chinese enterprises.

Parmelin, acknowledging China as one of Switzerland's most important trading partners, praised the positive role of the Swiss-Sino FTA and expressed the Swiss business community's anticipation for its upgrade.

He said, as an open economy, Switzerland had consistently opposed protectionism and restrictions on trade cooperation, and expressed Switzerland's willingness to strengthen cooperation with China in regulatory policies and intellectual property protection to create a fair and non-discriminatory business environment.

The meeting was attended by nearly 30 representatives from Swiss business associations such as the Swiss Business Federation, Swissmem, and the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry, as well as companies including Nestle, Novartis, and Glencore.

Switzerland is China's sixth largest trading partner in Europe, and China is Switzerland's largest trading partner in Asia. In 2023, the trade volume between China and Switzerland was 59.5 billion U.S. dollars, of which exports to Switzerland were 5.74 billion U.S. dollars, and imports from Switzerland were 53.76 billion U.S. dollars.

Trade between the two countries reached 16.76 billion U.S. dollars during the first two months this year, up 90.3 percent year on year, official data showed.

Follow on Twitter and Facebook to join the conversation.
ChinaNews App Download
Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comment(s)

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Enter the words you see:   
    Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from