# 13 / 2016

Free Trade Agreement with China – A Milestone for Swiss Business

Summary business sector viewpoint

The Agreement represents a significant improvement overall compared to the situation prior to 1 July 2014. The FTA gives Swiss businesses greater access to the Chinese market and will deliver an advantage over competitors from other countries during the years ahead. economiesuisse sees the review clause and the important role played by the Joint Committee as being especially positive factors over the long term. The Agreement can thus be further developed, for example, if China should later conclude a free trade agreement with the EU with better access conditions, China and Switzerland could implement similar facilitations. With the mechanism of the Joint Committee it will be easier to represent and further the interests of Swiss enterprises under the free trade agreement as the basis for serious, sustained dialogue between the trading partners. Reliability and a long-term focus are of particular importance to China. With the free trade agreement China demonstrates that it is committed to opening its markets and does not pursue any protectionist foreign trade policies. The Agreement thus represents a strong policy signal by China to the rest of the world.

The free trade agreement represents an important step for both countries. The symbolism is evident when compared with 1950: Switzerland continues to benefit to this day from the fact that it became one of the first Western nations to recognise the People's Republic of China.

Every FTA outlines specific standards and rules which businesses must observe in export and import. Application of rules of origin and the correct issuance of corresponding proof of origin are especially important among these. Companies acquire the specialised knowledge required to take advantage of improved market access conditions in both directions. economiesuisse continues to support the application and implementation of the Agreement together with its members and in cooperation with the Swiss authorities. We work to ensure that Swiss businesses are able to obtain the maximum possible potential of the free trade agreement.

Questions about the free trade agreement?

Businesses with questions about the free trade agreement between Switzerland and China can contact economiesuisse by e-mail or phone ([email protected];   [email protected]; +41 (0)44 421 35 35). We will make the necessary clarifications as quickly as possible.

Links to the most important official documents

The text of the free trade agreement between Switzerland and China and the most important documents are available at:

Additional contacts for businesses

Swiss-Chinese Chamber of Commerce

Höschgasse 89
CH-8008 Zürich
+ 41 44 421 38 88
[email protected]

Switzerland Global Enterprise 

Stampfenbachstrasse 85
CH-8021 Zürich
+ 41 44 365 51 51
[email protected]

Schweizerische Exportrisikoversicherung

Zeltweg 63
CH-8032 Zürich
+ 41 58 551 55 55
[email protected]