Business / Economy

Swiss president confident of China's economic prospects

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-04-07 10:45

BERN - Swiss President Johann Schneider-Ammann told Xinhua in an interview Tuesday that he had every confidence China's market will continue to play a "huge and important" role for the global market despite the slowdown observed in recent years.

The GDP growth of about over 10 percent 10 years ago was in real figures a GDP growth of about $200 billion. A GDP growth of 6.9 percent last year is in real terms about $700 billion, he explained ahead of his trip to China.

"In other words, the Chinese economy has gone within 10 years through a huge development, tripled its volume, and I think we are doing well if we accept the lower growth rate," he added.

Switzerland, a small but prosperous nation, has enjoyed fruitful relations with China since the confederation recognized the People's Republic of China in 1950.

Swiss company Schindler was in fact one of the first western companies to set up a joint industrial venture with China in early 1980s.

As well as supporting China's accession to the World Trade Organization in 2001, Switzerland was also among the first countries to acknowledge China as a market economy in 2007.

In light of these ties and in view of strengthening relations, a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) which came into effect on July 1, 2014 was signed between both countries to facilitate and increase trade relations while benefiting Swiss businesses which now have an improved access to China's substantial and growing goods and services sectors.

The FTA is also seen as a way to secure jobs in Switzerland as well as a means to open up new opportunities for the country's export industry which has had to contend with considerable financial pressures due to the strong Swiss Franc.

In addition, the confederation was one of the first participants in the region to join China-proposed new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) in 2015.

"Switzerland wants to stay in contact with the best performing countries all around the globe. That's why we are very much interested in establishing closer relations with China," the Swiss president highlighted while lauding China's leading role in tackling complex issues such as climate change, international political issues and peacekeeping initiatives across the globe.

"We are happy to know that we are partners with the Chinese government, and we are happy to realize that the Chinese government is so engaged in such global aspects of importance," he added.

The Swiss president's state visit to China will take place between April 7 and 9.

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