On 6 July 2013, the People’s Republic of China (“China”) and Switzerland signed a free trade agreement (the “FTA”) after nine rounds of negotiations. The FTA will improve mutual market access for goods and services, enhance legal security for the protection of intellectual property and bilateral economic exchange in general, and deepen bilateral cooperation. The FTA is expected to come into effect in 2014.

The FTA has a comprehensive coverage and will improve market access for Swiss exports of goods and services to the large and fast-growing Chinese market. It creates a competitive advantage for the Swiss economy over countries that have not concluded an FTA with China, including namely the EU.

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