CIIE to en­large scope of China-Switzer­land links

China Daily - - CHINA INTERNATIONAL IMPORT EXPO - By HE WEI in Shang­hai hewei@chi­

China’s over­ar­ch­ing de­ci­sions for fur­ther open­ing-up de­liv­ered through the China In­ter­na­tional Im­port Expo are set to fur­ther widen the scope of the China-Switzer­land bi­lat­eral re­la­tion­ship that is al­ready “sub­stan­tial, es­tab­lished and all-en­com­pass­ing”, a top Swiss diplo­mat said.

As a re­sult of the strate­gic de­ci­sions taken at the high­est level, the CIIE is be­yond a trade fair but a “po­lit­i­cal state­ment by China to the world”, which can lead to a triple-win sit­u­a­tion for Chi­nese con­sumers, Chi­nese man­u­fac­tur­ers and for­eign in­vestors, said Swiss Am­bas­sador to China, Jean-Jac­ques de Dardel.

“Open­ing-up is not just for the pur­pose of help­ing the Chi­nese get bet­ter goods. Chi­nese man­u­fac­tur­ers can ac­cess ma­chines that en­able them to pro­duce bet­ter … and it brings in for­eign in­vestors to un­der­stand that they can do busi­ness in a more open en­vi­ron­ment,” he told China Daily dur­ing the expo in Shang­hai.

De Dardel said he also looked for­ward to the “trickle-down ef­fect” of the open­ing-up de­ci­sion via the CIIE, by po­ten­tially chang­ing the per­cep­tion on open trade, say­ing this may ex­ert a pro­found im­pact on “all lev­els of de­ci­sion-mak­ing in the busi­ness world”.

“If China is open­ing up and some other coun­tries are clos­ing down, ob­vi­ously the in­stinct is go­ing to lead these (busi­ness) de­ci­sion-mak­ers to start think­ing more deeply into new pos­si­bil­i­ties and new fron­tiers for them in China,” he said.

The Swiss Na­tional Pav­il­ion at the CIIE was rep­re­sented by 23 Swiss com­pa­nies and in­sti­tu­tional part­ners, cov­er­ing a wide range of fields — from clean tech­nolo­gies to phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals, fi­nance, watches and lo­gis­tics. An ad­di­tional 50 com­pa­nies also joined the event show­cas­ing their in­no­va­tion prow­ess at var­i­ous booths within the com­mer­cial area of the fair.

China was Switzer­land’s third-largest trad­ing part­ner, with bi­lat­eral trade vol­ume amount­ing to 37 bil­lion Swiss francs ($36.7 bil­lion) last year, trail­ing the Euro­pean Union and the United States. The ro­bust trade and in­vest­ment ties are as­sured by a num­ber of ar­range­ments in­clud­ing the Free Trade Agree­ment in 2014 and the In­no­va­tive Strate­gic Part­ner­ship in 2016.

“Our pres­ence here shows our com­mon com­mit­ment to free and rule-based in­ter­na­tional trade,” said De Dardel. “We hope to es­tab­lish links among in­dus­tries and busi­nesses from both coun­tries, to en­gage with more stake­hold­ers, thus to fur­ther el­e­vate our bi­lat­eral ties.”

Swiss am­bas­sador to China

Jean-Jac­ques de Dardel,

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