by swisscham in Bilateral Relations
Federal Councillor Johann N. Schneider-Ammann opened the ceremony to mark the entry into force of the free trade agreement between Switzerland and China at the Rhine port in Basel on Tuesday afternoon. This is the most important free trade agreement for Swiss foreign trade since the agreement with the European Union in 1972. The comprehensive free trade agreement between Switzerland and China enters into force on 1 July 2014, almost a year to the day since Federal Councillor Johann N. Schneider-Ammann and his Chinese counterpart, Minister of Commerce Gao Hucheng, signed the agreement in Beijing on 6 July 2013. Swiss business, especially the export industry, has been keenly awaiting this day because its access to the Chinese market improves compared to that of its European competitors.
Federal Councillor Schneider-Ammann invited representatives from business and government to the ceremony at the Rhine port in Basel, a place that best represents Switzerland’s gateway to the world. The Chinese minister of commerce will be represented at the ceremony by China’s ambassador to the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Yu Jianhua. A ceremony to celebrate the free trade agreement will also