Switzerland and China seek to deepen ties

15 January 2024 14:22

SwissCham Hong Kong

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Bern - Switzerland and China intend to continue their bilateral dialogue and deepen ties between the two countries. These points were agreed during a visit to Bern made by Li Qiang, Premier of the People’s Republic of China. Also up for discussion was how Switzerland and China can further develop the free trade agreement.

A Federal Council delegation headed up by Viola Amherd, President of the Swiss Confederation, welcomed a Chinese delegation led by the Chinese Premier Li Qiang on January 15 at the Lohn Estate. This was the first high-level meeting since the pandemic, as the Federal Council, the Swiss federal government, writes in an official press release.

Among other aspects, the two countries have formulated a common goal that aims to continue bilateral dialogue during 2024. For example, dialogue between the respective foreign ministries is to be resumed. In this context, topics such as development cooperation and human rights are to be discussed. Further bilateral dialogue is planned in areas such as economics, finance and science, while the inclusion of Switzerland on a list of countries whose residents may enter China for 15 days without a visa was also a topic of discussion.

In addition, Switzerland and China are seeking to “further deepen the innovative strategic partnership agreed in 2016”, as the Federal Council explains in the press release. The two countries have also signed a joint declaration that outlines a desire to finalize the joint study launched in 2017 on the further development of the Switzerland-China free trade agreement. According to the press release, this represents “an important step towards the start of possible negotiations”.

In terms of global issues, the Swiss delegation highlighted the need for an “international order based on the rule of law and the principles of the United Nations Charter”. ce/ssp

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