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FTA btw China, Switzerland to enter into force in July

CRI, China

FTA btw China, Switzerland to Enter into Force in July

1 May 2014

Xinhua/The free trade agreement (FTA) between China and Switzerland will enter into force on July 1 with internal approval procedures completed, the Swiss Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research (EAER) said on Wednesday.

This comprehensive bilateral FTA would "improve mutual access to markets for goods and services, strengthen legal certainty with regard to protecting intellectual property and bilateral economic exchanges in general," the EAER said.

It would "also remove customs duties in most areas of bilateral trade, either in full or in part (transitional periods will apply in some cases)," it added.

The Ministry of Commerce of China commended the pact as one of the most comprehensive FTAs between China and other economies, which would be a boost to Chinese-Swiss bilateral economic cooperation and pave the way for further exchange between China and Europe.

The FTA, signed in Beijing on July 6, 2013, after nine rounds of negotiations of more than two years, is the first free trade pact inked between China and a country in continental Europe.

The agreement was ratified by the lower and upper houses of Swiss parliament in late 2013 and earlier this year respectively.

China is Switzerland’s largest trading partner in Asia, while Switzerland is China’s eighth-largest trading partner in Europe, according to official Chinese data.

Bilateral trade reached 21.81 billion U.S. dollars in 2013.