Interview: Switzerland-China relations based on "mutual trust" -- Swiss Federal Councillor

(Xinhua) 14:19, May 08, 2021

ST. GALLEN, Switzerland, May 7 (Xinhua) -- Switzerland-China relations are centered on mutual trust, Swiss Federal Councillor Karin Keller-Sutter has said, calling for updating their free trade agreement.

On the sidelines of the 50th St. Gallen Symposium this week, a world-leading student initiative for cross-generational dialogue under the theme of "Trust Matters," Keller-Sutter told Xinhua that trust was a cornerstone in the China-Swiss relationship.

"Switzerland and China have a long-standing relationship," she said. "Switzerland is the only country in Europe that has a free trade agreement with China. I think this also reflects the mutual trust between the two nations."

Switzerland and China established diplomatic relations on Sept. 14, 1950.

Two-way trade exceeded 31.8 billion U.S. dollars in 2019, up from some 6 million dollars in 1950. On July 1, 2014, their free trade agreement entered into force and China is now Switzerland's third-largest trading partner.

"We are talking about the modernization or the updating of the free trade agreement. Without going into specific areas, I think there is always room for improvement of existing relationships," Keller-Sutter said.

Switzerland's United Federal Assembly elected Keller-Sutter as federal councillor on Dec.5, 2018. Since Jan. 1, 2019, she has been the head of the Federal Department of Justice and Police.

(Web editor: Shi Xi, Liang Jun)


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