Geneva, December 11 In an exclusive interview with Xinhua News Agency, Philip Nell, a Swiss economist and former trade negotiator, said that China has become the engine of growth in many industries and economic sectors around the world.
On November 6, at the 3rd China International Import Expo held in Shanghai, representatives of Chinese and Swiss enterprises shook hands and congratulated each other after signing an agreement.
Nell served in the Swiss Secretariat of State for Economic Affairs and participated in trade negotiations with the European Union, the United States and Latin American countries on many occasions.
Nell told reporters that China’s accession to the World Trade Organization and the signing of a free trade agreement with Switzerland have greatly promoted the trade between China and Switzerland.
After China’s accession to the WTO, Swiss watch exports to China surged from 36 million Swiss francs in 2001 (about 0.89 Swiss francs) to 1.88 billion Swiss francs in 2019; after the entry into force of the Sino-Swedish Free Trade Agreement, Switzerland from 2014 to 2019, he said. Exports to China increased by 63%.
At the same time as exports to China, Switzerland also imports consumer goods from China, and also imports factors of production required by watchmaking, machinery production, electronic equipment and other industries from China.
Nell said that the global innovation index jointly released by the World Intellectual Property Organization, the European School of Business Administration and Cornell University in the United States shows that Switzerland and China have strong innovation capabilities and have a lot of room for cooperation in the future.
Referring to the recently signed regional comprehensive economic partnership agreement, Nell believes that the agreement will promote investment in Asia and Oceania, and the relevant rules in the agreement are conducive to promoting the development of free trade.
Nell pointed out that China’s growing middle class and China’s transition from an investment- and export-driven economic growth model to a consumption-driven approach will help global trade development.
He believes that against this background, “Switzerland exports to China and Swiss investment in China will continue to flourish”.