Switzerland and China resume bilateral dialogue

07 February 2024 15:05

SwissCham Hong Kong

Beijing - Ignazio Cassis has made the first visit to China by a member of the Swiss government since 2019. The foreign minister and his counterpart Wang Yi discussed issues such as the need to modernize the free trade agreement, support for Swiss companies in China, and the simplification of visa procedures.

Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis visited China on 6 and 7 February, becoming the first member of the Federal Council, the Swiss government, to visit Switzerland's third most important trading partner since 2019. According to a statement from the Federal Council, Mr. Cassis was received by his counterpart Wang Yi. He paid a courtesy visit to Vice President Han Zheng.

Among others, Cassis and Wang Yi discussed the innovative strategic partnership established in 2016. They also spoke about climate policy and human rights issues as well as the war in Ukraine, with connection to Switzerland's commitment to organize a high-level conference on peace in Ukraine. 

The ministers also discussed the need to modernize the free trade agreement that came into force in 2014. Other discussions went into support for Swiss companies in China, investment rules and simplifying visa procedures.

Prior to his talks in China, Mr. Cassis met the Indian Minister of External Affairs Subrahmanyam Jaishankar in New Delhi and the Korean Foreign Minister Cho Tae-yul in Seoul. He will visit the Philippines on 8 February. ce/stk

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