作者：沪江英语 来源：网络 2015-08-18 15:22
Work Hand-in-Hand to Create a New Future of China-Switzerland Pragmatic Cooperation—Speech at Luncheon Hosted by the Swiss Economic and Financial Community
H.E. Li Keqiang, Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China
Zurich, 24 May 2013
Your Excellency Federal Councilor Schneider-Ammann,
Your Excellency President Jordan,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am delighted to meet you, friends of the Swiss economic and financial community, in the city of Zurich. Switzerland is a shining pearl on the European continent and one of the world’s strongest financial powers. It is home to a large number of multinational companies and international organizations. This is my first overseas trip after becoming the premier of China. I have chosen Switzerland as my first stop in Europe, because we have very close and friendly relations with Switzerland.
Switzerland’s modern industries and agricultural sectors have provided the foundation for the development of advanced financial and service industries. Swiss-made precision instruments, industrial goods and agricultural products will soon enjoy very low tariff rate when exporting to China, and the same preferential treatment will be provided for Chinese products entering Switzerland. That is because China and Switzerland have reached a deal on the FTA agreement.
The FTA agreement has not come easily. My previous visit to Switzerland took place in the beginning of 2010, when the global economy was still in the grip of the international financial crisis. From Zurich to Bern and to Davos, I was all the way thinking about what China and Switzerland could do to deepen cooperation and meet the challenges together. It was during that visit that the leaders of Switzerland and I agreed to launch the FTA negotiations. Over the past three years and more, the two sides have made dedicated efforts to expand common ground while reserving differences, and completed nine rounds of consultations. This afternoon, President Maurer and I will jointly witness the signing of the MOU on the conclusion of FTA negotiations. I am confident this blueprint will be turned into a reality.
China-Switzerland FTA is a fruitful agreement with high quality and rich content. It not only covers trade in goods and services, but also includes new trade issues such as environmental protection, labor and employment, intellectual property and market competition. The two sides have agreed to provide low- or even zero-tariff treatment to the vast majority of each other’s products, and advance liberalization and facilitation of trade in services, including the financial sector. This will help reduce the cost of transactions, promote the development of companies through competition, better leverage the fundamental role of the market in resources allocation, and generate momentum for economic globalization.
The significance of the building of a China-Switzerland FTA goes beyond the two countries. It is China’s first FTA with a country from the European continent and with one of the world’s top 20 economies. It is a milestone achievement. First, it is good news for China-Switzerland business cooperation. It will make our rules and policies more transparent, and help “made in China” and “made in Switzerland” products, each competitive in their own ways, gain access to the other side’s market more easily, and bring benefits to the companies and consumers of both countries. Second, it is good news for China-Europe relations. Switzerland is closely linked with the EU member states and the euro zone economies, and it is an important bond connecting Chinese and European enterprises. Third, it is good news for global trade and investment liberalization and facilitation. China and Switzerland are respectively the world’s second and nineteenth largest economies, and the second largest trading nation in the world and Europe. The FTA agreement reached between China and Switzerland can serve as a model and guide for other countries.
The conclusion of the FTA agreement with Switzerland fully shows that China stands ready to open wider to the outside world and takes the accelerated implementation of the FTA strategy as an important step in its opening-up. Although China is a large economy in aggregate terms, its per capita GDP is still very low, and it still has a long way to go before achieving modernization. We will remain committed to following the path of peaceful development and pursuing the win-win strategy of opening-up. And the building of FTAs is an important strategic focus of our endeavor. Up to date, China has signed 11 FTA agreements with 19 countries and regions, and FTA negotiations with some other countries are also well underway. We will make unremitting efforts to advance these negotiations. China will be more active in opening to the outside world, and work with its FTA partners to reap the “dividends of opening-up” in the new era, unleash more “reform dividends” and share greater “development dividends”. China’s service sector is relatively underdeveloped, and the size of trade in services is only equivalent to about 1/8 of that of trade in goods. This has proven to be a constraint on the transformation and upgrading of the Chinese economy. We need not only high-quality products but also better services. We will promote further opening in such service sectors as logistics, finance, business, medical services and education, and accelerate the development of the service industry.