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Switzerland hopes for better access to Chinese markets

Economics Minister Pascal Couchepin’s visit is not only aimed at reassuring China of continued support for its economic reform programmes, but also to expand existing trade ties.

This content was published on November 5, 1999 - 17:11

Economics Minister Pascal Couchepin’s visit is not only aimed at reassuring China of continued support for its economic reform programmes, but also to expand existing trade ties.

Switzerland is already one of the major investors in China, with direct investments totalling $2 billion dollars.

During his talks in China, Couchepin as well as the 20 top business leaders accompanying him, are hoping to expand the current number of 300 Swiss-Chinese joint ventures by another 100.

Swiss businesses also hope that the discussions – not least at the “Swiss Finance Day” organised by the Swiss Embassy in Beijing – will help pave the way for better access to Chinese markets, in particular for service industries.

Switzerland and China still have a clear trade deficit as Chinese imports totalled SFr1.34 billion ($900 million) between January and September, whereas Swiss exports to China only amounted to SFr700 million ($452 million).

Switzerland mostly exports precision tools and machinery, chemicals and pharmaceuticals as well as watches.

From staff and wire reports.

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