Direct democracy Switzerland: How To
Your browser is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this websites. Learn how to update your browser[Close]


Swiss-Chinese trade deal takes effect

Economics Minister Johann Schneider-Ammann and a high-ranking Chinese government delegation have celebrated the entry into force of a key free trade agreement between the two countries.

The accord, signed last July, improves mutual market access for goods and services, and together with a bilateral agreement on labour and employment, will contribute to long-term economic development.

The economics ministry said the deal is the most important free trade agreement for Switzerland’s export industry since the 1972 accord with the European Union.

China is the third most important trade partner for Switzerland after the EU and the US. Trade volume with China reached CHF20 billion ($22.5 billion) last year, according to a officials.

On Tuesday, the festivities took place simultaneously at the Rhine port of Basel and in Beijing.

Switzerland’s pharmaceutical, chemical and biotech industries said the deal was a crucial step to improve the competitive edge of Swiss companies.

However, the non-governmental Society for Threatened Peoples has protested against safeguards in the agreement for the respect of human rights. Another NGO, the Berne Declaration, staged a demonstration in Bern on Tuesday.


It is only permitted to use a hyperlink to specific SWI content on the website of the party requesting the content or the website of a third party. The framing of content from SWI is only allowed if it is unchanged, without advertising.

Articles can be copied and used if these guidelines are followed:

The article can only be used if it clearly mentions “[author],” For any further use, please send an email to: The editorial content on SWI adheres to the guidelines, rights and duties specified by the Swiss Press Council. If content not adhering to those outlined by the Press Council are found on third-party website displaying SWI content, SWI can demand that all SWI content be removed from the corresponding pages.