Doris Leuthard discusses a possible Free Trade Agreement with China and signs a Joint Declaration on economic cooperation

Berna, 08.07.2007 - At her meeting in Beijing today with the Chinese Minister of Commerce Bo Xilai, Federal Councillor Doris Leuthard signed a joint declaration on economic cooperation. This document strengthens the relations between both countries on trade, investment and intellectual property rights. The Chinese side has also expressed its willingness to launch a process leading to a free trade agreement by conducting as a first step an internal feasibility study. As for Switzerland, it has recognized China as a market economy.

At their meeting in Beijing today, the Head of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs and the Chinese Minister of Commerce have decided to conduct internal feasibility studies towards a possible free trade agreement. These studies will show whether the conditions are in place for a free trade agreement between the two countries at some point in the future.

The two ministers have also decided to bolster the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPR) by setting up a regular dialogue through a working group consisting of representatives of their administrations and industry or business associations.

The mandate of the working group is to find solutions, advance dialogue on institutional and legislative aspects of IPR and their enforcement. Switzerland and China also reaffirmed their reciprocal obligations under the WTO agreement on Trade related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).

The ministers have also decided to set up a bilateral working group to promote investment. This working group will have the goal of assisting Swiss business to invest in China and of attracting Chinese investors in Switzerland.

Indirizzo cui rivolgere domande

Massimo Baggi, SECO, Head of Bilateral Economic Relations - Asia/Oceania,
tel. 031 322 23 02

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Dipartimento federale dell'economia, della formazione e della ricerca


Servizio della comunicazione SG-DEFR

Palazzo federale est
3003 Berna



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