China Opens up to Swiss Exporters

by swisscham in Business

A new agreement between Bern and Beijing aims to reduce barriers to bilateral trade. It means Swiss companies will be able to export to China on favourable conditions. Yet for some, the thousand-page document contains worrying aspects. The 1,152-page document, signed on July 6 in Beijing, opens new horizons for Swiss exporters – even some very unlikely ones. Switzerland could sell the Chinese crocodile meat, (live) monkeys or dolphins, bamboo shoots or dried coconuts. It may sound like madness, but there’s method in it. The deal covers not just real exports, but all possible trade. So besides the typical Swiss products there are also plenty of exotic ones mentioned. “This is a new way of designing free trade agreements, especially with Asian countries. But the substance is unchanged,” explains Christian Etter, ambassador and delegate of the Swiss government for trade agreements. About 95% of Swiss exports to China will benefit from a reduction of customs duties, notes the Swiss Business Federation, economiesuisse. From the calculations, it emerges that the actual reduction obtained will vary considerably from one sector to the next:

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