On April 29, China and Switzerland exchanged notes on enforcing the China-Switzerland Free Trade Agreement. According to relevant provisions, the agreement will come into effect officially on July 1, 2014.
China and Switzerland launched negotiations on the agreement in January 2011. In May 2013, a memorandum of understanding on finishing China-Switzerland FTA negotiations was signed during Chinese Premier Li Keqiang’s visit to Switzerland. In July 2013, Minister of Commerce Gao Hucheng signed the agreement in Beijing with Johann Schneider-Ammann, Swiss federal councilor and head of the Swiss Federal Department of Economic Affairs on behalf of the two governments.
The agreement is one of the highest-level and most comprehensive FTA China has signed with foreign countries in recent years. Trade in goods enjoys a high zero-tariff ratio, and favorable mechanisms for bilateral cooperation in many fields including horologe are established. A number of new rules on environmental protection and intellectual property rights are also included. The agreement will further improve China-Switzerland economic and trade cooperation and deepen China-EU economic and trade cooperation.
The signing and implementation of the agreement show the determination and confidence of China and Switzerland to strengthen economic and trade relations, show the Chinese government’s determination and confidence to unswervingly expand opening up, and show China’s determination and confidence to positively participate in economic globalization and regional economic integration. China will take the opportunity of the signing and implementation of China-Switzerland Free Trade Agreement to accelerate the FTA strategy and participate in global competition and cooperation with a more open attitude.