China, Switzerland Pledge Closer Cooperation

by swisscham in Bilateral Relations

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang met with visiting Swiss President Ueli Maurer on Thursday respectively, and pledged to boost cooperation between the two countries in an all-around way. During his meeting with Maurer, Xi said the China-Switzerland relationship has been in the vanguard of ties between China and the West. He said Switzerland was not only one of the first western countries that recognized the People’s Republic of China (PRC), but also the first continental European country that signed a free trade agreement (FTA) with China. Maurer is in China to attend a global ecological forum to be held from Friday to Sunday in Guiyang, capital city of southwest China’s mountainous Guizhou Province. Maurer said the two nations, both regarding diligence and innovation as driving forces for economic development, have immense potential for cooperation. China is now Switzerland’s largest trading partner in Asia, while Switzerland is China’s eighth-largest trading partner in Europe. Statistics show that bilateral trade volume between China and Switzerland reached USD 26.31 billion in 2012. The figure for the first five months of this year surged to USD 22.89 billion, 114.2% higher than the same period last year.

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