Xinhua | 2014-3-24
China welcomes Swiss parliament’s FTA approval
The decision by the Swiss parliament to approve the Chinese-Swiss Free Trade Agreement (FTA) last week was welcomed by China on Monday.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei made the remarks during a daily press conference, noting that it is the first FTA signed between China and a developed industrialized country in continental Europe.
The agreement, signed in Beijing last July after nine rounds of negotiations over more than two years, was approved by the lower house of the Swiss parliament in December and was expected to be considered by the upper house, the Council of States, in March this year.
According to Hong, the earliest date for the FTA to come into effect is July.
Hong said the deal is one of the most comprehensive that China has reached in recent years, and showed the determination of the two countries to strengthen trade liberalization and investment.
Hong said the agreement illustrated the common willingness of China and Switzerland to open up to each other and advance economic and trade cooperation.
"It will have an important and positive impact on deepening bilateral ties," Hong added.