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China and Switzerland free-trade deal gets closer

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The Swiss economy minister has confirmed that China has agreed on the details of a free-trade agreement with Switzerland, according to a report in the Financial Times

The newspaper reported that the deal is likely to be signed in the next few months.

The deal between China and Switzerland has taken more than three years of negotiation and is said to include some reductions in tariffs in sectors such as manufacturing, chemicals and agriculture. The details in full have not yet been published and Swiss economy minister Johann Schneider-Ammann said on Wednesday that they are likely to be published over the summer.

China is Switzerland’s sixth-largest export market and luxury. China’s import of Swiss watches have rocketed over the past decade and watch brands owned by the likes of Richemont and Swatch have significantly benefited from China’s emerging middle class shoppers.

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Chinese prime minister Li Keqiang is visiting Switzerland next week where he is likely to talk about the deal with Scheider-Ammann and other Swiss politicians.

Tags : Swiss; china
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