China–Switzerland relations

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China–Switzerland relations
Map indicating locations of China and Switzerland

China

Switzerland

China–Switzerland relations officially began when mainland China came under communist control in the early 1950s.[1]

History[edit]

Diplomatic relations between Switzerland and the People's Republic of China (proclaimed on 1 October 1949) were established on 17 January 1950.[1]

Switzerland's economic relationship with China goes back to the late 18th century when colonial powers held foreign concessions in China, and Swiss traders benefited from consular protection, unequal contracts and extraterritoriality rights.[2] After the Chinese revolutions in the early 20th century, Swiss-Sino economic relations were heavily compromised by Japanese hegemony in mainland China, and Switzerland's proximity to European colonial powers. It was not until the end of the Second World War, when Switzerland along with other European countries abandoned colonial trade and moved from trading textiles and food to watches and machinery.[2]

Bilateral relations[edit]

The embassy of China in Berne. China also has a permanent mission to the United Nations Office at Geneva and the other international organisations in Switzerland.

Sino-Swiss economic relations have accelerated since Deng Xiaoping's economic reforms in the early 1980s.[2] Switzerland's trade with China is not in deficit as other industrialized nations trade with China. Two way trade between the two countries is growing at an annual rate of 20–30 percent.[3] In 2007, Swiss exports were valued at 5.4 billion Swiss francs or 5.36 billion US dollars.[3] China is now Switzerland's top trading partner in Asia, ahead of Japan.[3]

Swiss firms have been investing in China substantially over the last decade. There are approximately 300 Swiss firms with more than 700 branches operating in China with a total employment of 55,000 people.[2] Chinese firms have a small but growing presence in Switzerland as a base to expand in Europe.[3] Chinese firms are not only entering markets for basic consumer goods such as textiles and shoes but also for chemical intermediates, pharmaceuticals, high technology parts, and telecommunications.[3]

In May 2013, during his official visit to the alpine nation, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang signed the first free trade agreement between the two countries worth more than 26 billion. Direct exports from Switzerland to China account for 22.8 billion in that deal, which was heralded as a "real milestone" by Swiss President Ueli Maurer. Switzerland has a positive trade balance with China, and both countries are expected to profit from export guarantees, protection of intellectual property and financial cooperations between their largest banks.[4] Switzerland thus became the first continental European country[5] and the largest economy to conclude a free trade deal with China.[6][7]

In January 2015, during the World Economic Forum, the Swiss National Bank and the People's Bank of China signed a memorandum of understanding on the establishment of renminbi clearing arrangements in Switzerland.[8]

Economic ties[edit]

Chinese exports to Switzerland 
Swiss exports to China 

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]