by swisscham in Bilateral Relations
“The Belt and Road Initiative will strengthen well-being and contribute to poverty reduction in concerned regions. It will improve ‘connectivity’ between Europe and Asia, and help develop trade and the exchange of people,” Swiss president Doris Leuthard told Xinhua in a recent interview.Leuthard is among the heads of state and government leaders who accepted China’s invitation to attend the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation slated for May 14 and 15 in Beijing.The trip to China reflected Switzerland’s support for the Belt and Road Initiative. It also highlighted the very positive relations prevailing between two countries, she said.She noted that Switzerland was among the first non-Asian countries to become a member of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), whose mandate involves, among other things, financing infrastructure projects along the Belt and Road.Speaking of the relations between Switzerland and China, Leuthard said that they were characterized by “friendship and mutual respect.”Switzerland has always shown a pioneering and innovative spirit when it comes to its relations with China. And also, Switzerland was the first nation in continental Europe to establish a free-trade agreement with Asia’s economic powerhouse. “This pioneering character is indeed an important feature of the bilateral relations between our countries, and Switzerland counts on consolidating and pursuing these good relations,” the Swiss president said.