By Ren Yan and Wang Yuan
Beijing: The Swiss community has reached a consensus that thanks to Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit, it’s economic and trade cooperation with China will be upgraded to a new high on the basis of the previous abundant fruits.Switzerland has been a pioneer in conducting economic and trade cooperation with China. After it recognized China’s market economy status in 2007, the nation inked a free trade agreement (FTA) with China in July 2013, which was the first FTA pact inked between China and a developed European country and also one of the most fruitful and most comprehensive free trade pacts that China has signed in recent years.So far, Switzerland has grown into China’s important partner in Europe, while China is Switzerland’s biggest trade partner in Asia. Despite the sluggish global economy and trade in recent years, the bilateral trade has secured a stable growth.Data released by the Swiss customs indicated that the bilateral import and export amounted to $25.42 billion from January to September in 2016, up 9.4 percent year on year.“The rise of bilateral trade benefits from the dividend of the FTA,” Chinese Ambassador to Switzerland Geng Wenbing told the People’s Daily, adding that the FTA has significantly bolstered bilateral trade and investment since it came into effect in 2014.Both China and Switzerland have reaped reciprocal harvests from the free trade pact. Thanks to the tax-cut policies, Switzerland has canceled taxes on all Chinese industrial products and called off or cut tariffs on most Chinese agricultural products.Both nations accomplished remarkable fruits in financial cooperation, including the banking field, which is Switzerland’s biggest pillar industry.The central banks of both countries signed cooperation agreements to boost local currency swap, strengthen cooperation in renminbi business, and build yuan clearing banks in Switzerland. China Construction Bank’s Zurich branch, which was established in 2016, is the first China-funded bank in Switzerland.Experts believed that such a cooperation momentum largely benefits from the stable growth of the Chinese economy. In 2016, China contributed more than 30 percent to world economy, acting as ballast to world’s economic growth.
As world’s second largest economy, world’s largest trading nation in goods as well as a major foreign investor, China is slated to create stronger market demand, bring more investment, provide abundant products and provide more cooperation opportunities for global economy. Ricardo Melendez-Ortiz, chief executive of the International Center for Trade and Sustainable Development, told the People’s Daily that China showcased a marvelous development capability after joining the World Trade Organization.The world has high expections toward China after President Xi put forward the “Belt and Road” initiative, he said, adding that that China will bring en-route countries win-win development with such an innovative mechanism.