Viewing posts categorised under: Bilateral Relations

President Xi Jinping’s Speech at Davos Agenda is Historic Opportunity for Collaboration

by swisschambei in Bilateral Relations

Chinese President Xi Jinping called for both greater global efforts in the fight against an unprecedented public health crisis and a renewed commitment to multilateral cooperation, in a special address on Monday to business, government and civil society leaders taking part in the World Economic Forum’s virtual event, The Davos Agenda. “The pandemic is far from over and the recent resurgence in COVID cases reminds us that we must carry on the fight,” Xi said. “There is no doubt that humanity will prevail over the virus and emerge even stronger from this disaster.” “We should stay committed to keeping up with the times instead of rejecting change. Now is the time for major development and major transformation.” Xi outlined several objectives required for a better future. They include the need to work together to achieve strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth, to close the gap between developing and developed countries as a prerequisite for global prosperity, and to strengthen global cooperation in addressing the big common challenges, namely COVID-19 and climate change.

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Overseas Companies Hail Expanded Opening-up

by swisschambei in Bilateral Relations

President Xi presented his vision for the country’s reform and opening-up on a number of occasions last year. In a speech delivered via video link to the Global Trade in Services Summit at the China International Fair for Trade in Services in September, he said Beijing would remain steadfast in opening up wider to the world and would continue to work on a negative list system for managing cross-border services trade. “We will further ease market access for the services sector and will take greater initiative to increase imports of quality services,” he said. In Shenzhen, Guangdong province,-the country’s first special economic zone that celebrated its 40th anniversary in October-Xi said reform and opening-up must be moved forward at a higher level and new advances must be made on all fronts in such zones. Martin Mueller, chairman of the Swiss Chinese Chamber of Commerce, said he welcomed Xi’s policy statement about China’s opening-up. “We appreciate China’s commitment to multilateralism and its continued opening-up to more foreign trade and investment. China is now a very big factory for the whole world, and if it maintains this direction, the whole world will benefit,” he said. He added that the chamber welcomes every step taken toward opening-up and leveling the playing field for foreign businesses in China. “There were important improvements over the past year and we hope this can continue in coming years,” he said.

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Switzerland and China Sign MOU on Energy Efficiency in Buildings

by swisschambei in Bilateral Relations

The Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland (FDFA) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for cooperation in energy efficient buildings with the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development (MoHURD) in China. The Ambassador of Switzerland to China Bernardino Regazzoni met with Ni Hong, Vice Minister of China’s Housing and Urban-Rural Development on November 24th and signed the agreement. Under the MOU, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, acting for FDFA, will strengthen project cooperation and exchange technological expertise in energy-efficient and zero-emission buildings with its counterpart from MoHURD. “It is a great opportunity for the two countries to sign an MOU on energy efficient buildings this year as we are celebrating the 70th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between Switzerland and China,” said Ambassador Bernardino Regazzoni. Switzerland and China, both signed the Paris Agreement, are committed to tackling Climate Change. The Federal Council of Switzerland plans to reduce its net carbon emissions to zero by 2050 whereas China has pledged to reach carbon neutrality by 2060.

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Experts Call for Deeper Sino-Swiss Cooperation in Sustainable Development

by swisschambei in Bilateral Relations

While this year’s pandemic has cast over the world a shadow of uncertainty, it also prompts business observers to reflect on how to achieve more sustainable development. “COVID-19 is a severe wake-up call for mankind. We realized that it is so important to respect nature. Globalization will take a new turn now,” said Wang Huiyao, president of the Center for China and Globalization, a think tank based in Beijing. “It is time to turn to sustainable concrete practices if we want to reach targets, such as the 2060 Chinese carbon neutrality goal,” he said during a panel discussing at the forum. Echoing Wang’s comments, Rashid Qureshi, chairman and CEO of Nestlé GCR, noticed that the pandemic changes consumer behaviors as they are now “more aware of the necessity to protect the environment”, which direct companies into more sustainable business models. He said sustainability cannot be finished by one country but through partnership; that’s why better cooperation between Switzerland and China counts. The Sino-Swiss Economic Forum started in 2010 and is a biennial event that is the biggest economic forum between Switzerland and China. Friday’s event, attended by more than 300 business and government leaders, marked the closing ceremony for this year’s forum, which saw a series of seminars in October.

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Givaudan Opens its World-Class Fragrance Production Facility in Changzhou, China

by swisschambei in Bilateral Relations

Givaudan opened its newest state-of-the-art fragrance production facility in Changzhou, China. In line with the recently announced 2025 strategy – Committed to Growth, with Purpose – China remains a key growth market for innovative and consumer-preferred fragranced products. The Changzhou production facility, costing more than CHF 100 million and constructed on a land area of 76,000 square metres, is outfitted with the most advanced auto-dosing system allowing for high accuracy and efficiency and an agile manufacturing environment. Consistent with Givaudan’s global manufacturing processes, the production facility meets the highest global and local standards in fragrance manufacturing including advanced environmental, health and safety features. It will substantially increase the company’s existing manufacturing output spanning personal, home and fabric care fragrances through to oral care flavours, encapsulated fragrances, and prestige perfumes to serve customers in China and Asia Pacific. CEO, Gilles Andrier said: “Opening this production facility in China – an important high growth market – demonstrates our commitment to our customers, and aligns to our 2025 strategy and purpose. This investment will strengthen our position as a strategic partner to our customers in the region and will cater to the increasing consumer demands for great smelling sustainable fragrances.”

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Chinese, Swiss Leaders Mark 70th Anniversary of Diplomatic Ties

by swisschambei in Bilateral Relations

Chinese President Xi Jinping on September 14th exchanged congratulatory messages with Simonetta Sommaruga, president of the Swiss Confederation, on the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Switzerland. In his message, Xi noted that Switzerland was one of the first Western countries to establish diplomatic ties with the People’s Republic of China. The two countries have jointly cultivated a cooperation spirit of equality, innovation and win-win over the past 70 years and set an example of friendly cooperation between countries that are different in social systems, development stages and sizes, he said. Xi underscored the mutual assistance between China and Switzerland in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. He said he is willing to make joint efforts with Sommaruga to promote further development of bilateral innovative strategic partnership. Sommaruga said, Switzerland and China have upheld principles of openness and mutual respect in developing bilateral relations over the past 70 years.

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China Calls on Switzerland to Increase Medical Supply Production

by swisschambei in Bilateral Relations

China calls for Switzerland to increase production of medical supplies and work with China to guarantee the materials needed in combating the COVID-19 and ensure the stability of global industrial and supply chains, a senior official said. State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi made the remarks in a telephone conversation with Swiss Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis. China is speeding up production of ventilators, which are the most urgently-needed equipment, Wang said. He said China hopes Switzerland, one of the world’s major suppliers of ventilators parts, will increase production to meet the pressing demands of the world. China also would like to cooperate with Switzerland in researching and developing drugs and vaccines, Wang added. The State Councilor noted China has established a green channel to facilitate the transportation of supplies for pandemic prevention. China appreciated Switzerland for supporting the country in the fight against the novel coronavirus, he said, adding that the Swiss embassy and consulates in China lowered flags to half-mast as China mourned those sacrificed and succumbed to the COVID-19 on Tomb Sweeping Day, which showed the friendship of Swiss people to the Chinese people.

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Swiss Ambassador: Switzerland Stands with China in Virus Fight

by swisschambei in Bilateral Relations

Swiss Ambassador to China Bernardino Regazzoni expressed his solidarity to those who suffer under the situation caused by the coronavirus.  And according to him, Switzerland will soon send hospital equipments to China. The Swiss Government is currently working on a shipment of hospital equipment in coordination with the Chinese authorities. At the same time, a contribution of CHF 600,000 (around RMB 4.3 million.) was made in response to a call for help from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) located in Geneva and in support of World Health Organization (WHO) in China and its regional office for the Western Pacific. On the private sector side, Swiss companies, which play a key role in the thriving bilateral relations, have been donating medical supplies and nutrition products to support the fight against the epidemic, supporting local organizations on the frontline. In addition, Swiss Pharmaceutical industry is committed to providing expertise, products and advice to support virus research and patient diagnosis.

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Senior Swiss Official Highlights Importance of a Positive National Image, Seeks More Cooperation with China

by swisschambei in Bilateral Relations

Switzerland enjoys a good reputation worldwide for its exquisite products and financial hubs. Global Times reporter Lu Wenao had a chance to speak with Nicolas Bideau – head of Swiss Presence, a promotional arm under the Swiss Foreign Ministry – on multiple topics such as Switzerland’s experience in maintaining its national image and his thoughts on bilateral cooperation with China. Mr. Bideau stated, “The image of Switzerland is very cliché. When you ask a random Chinese what Switzerland is, he or she will tell you about the chocolate, the mountains, the banks and so on. But we are not only that. We are a nation which is very innovative. If you have a look at the innovation index, we are at the top, we do have very powerful high schools, universities and so on. I’m always trying to find enterprises that could give a face to the digital part of the innovative product of Switzerland because they provide a different image of Switzerland. We do have a lot of research on innovation, but we have a small market. This is the big difference with China. China has innovation and a big market, meaning that you can fulfill all the line from the research till the product.”

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Ignazio Cassis Meets China’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi in Bern to Discuss Bilateral Cooperation, Human Rights and Multilateralism

by swisschambei in Bilateral Relations

Federal Councillor and head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs Ignazio Cassis met China’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi on 22 October 2019, as the two countries gear up to celebrate 70 years of diplomatic relations. The meeting provided an opportunity to explore issues of current interest to both countries. The meeting builds on the strategic dialogue established between Switzerland and China in 2017 and follows on from Mr Cassis visit to Beijing in April 2018. At their meeting, Mr Cassis and Mr Wang discussed bilateral political and economic relations, China’s Belt and Road Initiative, human rights and multilateral cooperation.

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