THE 5TH SINO-SWISS ECONOMIC FORUM HELD IN BEIJING
The Sino-swiss Economic Forum (SSEF) 2018 was held at the Peninsula Beijing hotel on September 6, 2018. It was attended by Federal Councillor Johann N. Schneider-ammann, head of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research of Switzerland; and Zhai Qian, director-general of the Department of European Affairs of the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China. The SSEF attracted the participation of more than 50 representatives from the economic and scientific sectors.
Federal Councillor Johann N. Schneider-ammann delivered a speech at the forum, stating that China is one of the most important destinations for Switzerland’s outbound direct investment in Asia, so it is very important for Swiss companies. He also stressed that bilateral trade between China and Switzerland reflects China’s important relationship with Switzerland. There has been a remarkable increase in trade between the two countries after the implementation of the SinoSwiss Free Trade Agreement. China is Switzerland’s third largest trade partner after the United States and the European Union. SchneiderAmmann praised the robust bilateral ties and trade between China and Switzerland and reaffirmed the interest of Swiss companies in the Chinese market.
Since China and Switzerland entered into the free trade agreement four years ago, more companies have engaged in bilateral trade and expect a promising future in this kind of trade. Chinese President Xi Jinping paid a state visit to Switzerland in January 2017 and consolidated economic ties between the countries. Representatives from the two countries pledged to continue promoting bilateral free trade at the SSEF 2018.
The SSEF takes place in Beijing biennially. This year’s SSEF was jointly hosted by the Embassy of Switzerland in China and the Swiss Chinese Chamber of Commerce in Beijing and was sponsored by swissnex China. The forum featured free trade as its theme. Participating experts and entrepreneurs discussed the future of retailing in the context of technological innovation. They also explored the living, working and business models of sustainable cities in China and Switzerland. Over 350 participants and guests were present at the forum, including business leaders and government officials from China and Switzerland.