Free trade

Free Trade Agreement

The Free Trade Agreement between Switzerland and the People's Republic of China came into effect on 1 July 2014. The agreements cover the following subjects: trade in goods (industrial and agricultural products), rules of origin, customs procedures and trade facilitation, trade remedies, technical regulations, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, trade in services, protection for intellectual property, competition, investment promotion, transparency in government procurement, trade- related environmental and labor issues, economic and technical cooperation, institutional pro- visions (Joint Committee, consultation process, dispute settlement). 

With such a comprehensive coverage, the FTA will improve market access for Swiss exports of goods and services to the large and fast-growing Chinese market, facilitate two-way trade, strengthen the protection of intellectual property, generally improve legal certainty for economic exchange, promote bilateral cooperation between Switzerland and China and contribute to sustainable development. The FTA creates a competitive advantage for the Swiss economy over countries which have no FTA with China. At the same time, the FTA will prevent discrimination against Swiss economic operators compared to China’s existing and future free trade partners. The FTA also establishes an institutional framework for cooperation between the authorities for the monitoring and further development of the agreement and for resolving specific issues.

Since the economic relations of Switzerland with China are very important for the diversification of Swiss export destinations, as well as for the procurement of imports, the FTA between Switzerland and China will make a significant contribution towards strengthening the position of Switzerland as a business location.

The Federal Government of Switzerland’s assessment

The comprehensive agreement with China is a milestone in the Swiss foreign economic policy attracts enormous interest by with Swiss companies. The exports to China increased by 3 per cent in the first year after entry into force and imports by over 4 percent, while Swiss exports to the rest of the world only increased by 0.4%. No other Free Trade Agreement with partners outside the EU has provoked a similar strong interest in the business community.

Source: State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO