Free Trade Agreement Signed Between China and Switzerland
Last Saturday, China and Switzerland signed a free trade agreement in Beijing which experts say a move that came even with the escalating tensions between the European Union and the Asian Economic Giant.
The agreement came after China signed its first free trade accord with a European economy and non EU member Iceland. But the new signed deal marks the first ever agreement trade accord with a country with an economy in continental Europe. Gao Hucheng, China’s Commerce Minister and Johann Schneider-Ammann the Swiss Economy Minister signed the agreement during a ceremony in Beijing.
Gao described the Free Trade Agreement with Switzerland is a comprehensive and mutually beneficial to both countries and the agreement will contribute to the increased trade between the two economies. Once the Free Trade Agreement takes effect, more than 99 percent of Chinese exports to Switzerland will immediately be exempted from tariffs, and more than 84 percent of Swiss exports to China will get zero tariffs. Based on the deal the purpose of the tariff reductions is to cover almost a 100 percent of Swiss exports to China and 96 percent if Chinese exports to Switzerland which exceeds the 90 percent level of an average Free Trade Agreement.
The agreement is also expected to facilitate a industrial cooperation and set new rules in the areas of labor, intellectual property, environment and government procurement. The bilateral trade volume between Switzerland and China have reached more than US$ 26 billion in 2012 and experts say that for the first five months of this year the volume could surge to US$ 22 billion alone.