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China and Switzerland Launch Jointly FTA Feasibility Study

Chinese Minister of Commerce Chen Deming held talks with Swiss Vice-President of the Federal Council and Economics Minister Doris Leuthard in Geneva on November 30. The two parties agreed to launch jointly feasibility study on Sino-Swiss Free Trade Agreement (FTA) for purpose of further promoting bilateral economic relations. The study will cover such subject as trade in goods and services, investment, and other areas of cooperation. The findings by the joint study group shall be taken by the two governments as reference in FTA negotiations.

Chen Deming and Leuthard signed the “Joint Statement on Sino-Swiss Joint FTA Feasibility Study”, and met the media together after the talks.

Chen Deming said that the economic and trade relations between China and Switzerland have made considerable progress in recent years. Bilateral trade doubled in three years reaching USD 11.3 billion in 2008. And at present, Switzerland is China’s 9th biggest trading partner, 6th largest source of foreign investment, and 4th largest source of technology import in Europe. China becomes Switzerland’s 4th largest trading partner in the world, the largest import source and the 2nd largest trading partner in Asia. China-Switzerland economic and trade relations enjoy a good momentum of development, with enhancing mutual political trust, which brings rare opportunities for the construction of Sino-Swiss Free Trade Area.
Leuthard said that promoting the construction of Sino-Swiss Free Trade Area will enhance the level of trade and economic cooperation between the two countries, and provide more opportunities for the development of bilateral trade, which is of positive significance under the current situation of global economic downturn, and will forge stronger ties between Switzerland and China. Switzerland will strengthen cooperation with China on the joint feasibility study. She also said that she may lead a Swiss enterprise delegation to China in the beginning of next year to promote the development of Sino-Swiss economic and trade relations.

(All information published on this website is authentic in Chinese. English is provided for reference only.)