Swiss President Attends ‘Silk Road’ Summit

by eggplant in BFI

In addition to discussing energy and free trade during her visit to Beijing this weekend, Swiss President Doris Leuthard officially represented her country at the first international forum for a billion-dollar international Chinese trade initiative. The Chinese president pledged USD 124 billion (CHF124.1 billion) toward the project at the summit, which ends 15 May, plus supplementary funding for the Silk Road Fund and development aid for organisations in countries along the route. Upon her arrival in China on 13 May, Leuthard was greeted by the Chinese president. The leaders also focused on financial issues, particularly the opening up of markets, as well as the development of transport infrastructure and digitization. Several agreements were signed between Swiss and Chinese institutions in the context of 2017 as the “Year of Swiss-Chinese Tourism”, although no further details were given. Leuthard and the Swiss delegation also visited the Great Wall with China’s tourism minister. As Switzerland’s energy minister, Leuthard also met her Chinese counterpart NurBekri. A roadmap was completed for cooperation on energy issues between the two countries, according to a Swiss government spokesman. Also present in the Swiss delegation was canton Geneva government member Pierre Maudet, who signed an accord with the COFCO – a company in the agriculture and food sector that has plans to establish its headquarters in Geneva. It’s a move that is expected to create some 150 new jobs.

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