Free trade with Japan nears

A free-trade agreement between Switzerland and Japan will enter into force on September 1, the Swiss economics ministry says.

This content was published on July 29, 2009 - 14:23

Officials from the two sides exchanged documents on Wednesday to pave the way for the introduction of the historic accord.

The treaty was approved by Swiss parliament in early June with lawmakers saying it is on a par with a similar agreement reached with the European Union in 1972.

Economics Minister Doris Leuthard said the agreement should boost Switzerland's export industries by helping them maintain their ground against competitors.

Japan is the fourth largest market for Swiss exporters after the EU, the United States and China.

The accord includes provisions on the trade of goods and services, grants greater travel freedoms for business people, and provides protection for investments and intellectual property.

The accord is Japan's first with a European trading partner. and agencies

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