World / Europe

Premier Li's visit to Switzerland to boost finance, trade cooperation

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-01-16 15:28

BEIJING - Chinese Premier Li Keqiang's upcoming visit to Switzerland will intensify cooperation in finance and trade, a senior diplomat said here Friday.

Li will attend the 45th Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) and pay a working visit to Switzerland next Tuesday to Thursday.

Finance cooperation will highlight the premier's working visit to the European country, Vice Foreign Minister Li Baodong told a press briefing.

Calling Switzerland "an important financial hub in Europe," the vice foreign minister said Switzerland has advanced experience in the area.

China has been deepening its reform in the financial sector and encouraging Chinese banks to go abroad, which provides great opportunities for both sides to better financial cooperation, he said.

China and Switzerland established financial dialogue plan during Premier Li's visit to Switzerland in May 2013, Li said, adding that both sides will further exchange views on financial cooperation and there will be new outcomes this time.

This is Premier Li's second visit to Switzerland since he took office in March 2013, which shows the importance China has attached to Switzerland, Li said.

During his visit, Premier Li is expected to have talks with President of the Swiss Confederation Simonetta Sommaruga and other Swiss leaders in Davos, he said.

The year 2015 marks the 65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Switzerland. The visit will also launch the commemoration activities and further promote the stable development of bilateral ties, Li said.

China is Switzerland's largest trade partner in Asia, while Switzerland is China's fifth trade partner in Europe. The China-Switzerland free trade agreement (FTA) entered into force on July 1, 2014, which marks a milestone on the bilateral relationship.

According to Li, both countries are expected to reach important consensus on areas including finance, trade, science and research, food and medicine, and culture and announce a series of new cooperation agreements.

The two sides will also discuss the implementation of the detailed FTA policy and expect to make breakthrough on facilitating personnel exchanges,the vice foreign minister said.

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