|Li Keqiang Meets with President Ueli Maurer of the Swiss Confederation|
On April 28, 2019, Premier Li Keqiang met with President Ueli Maurer of the Swiss Confederation at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse.
Li Keqiang noted that Switzerland was one of the first Western countries to recognize and establish diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China. The two countries enjoy a tradition of friendly exchanges. Since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, bilateral relations have constantly made progress on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit. President Xi Jinping will hold talks with Mr. President, which will inject new impetus into the development of bilateral relations. We are willing to, together with the Swiss side, increase political mutual trust, enhance high-level exchanges, tap into cooperation potential, align the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) with Switzerland's development strategies, constantly expand two-way investment, deepen cooperation in areas including high-end manufacturing, finance, science and technology, and innovation, and achieve balanced development of economic and trade relations through expanding trade scale, so as to promote bilateral practical cooperation for new progress. Noting that the China-Switzerland free trade agreement (FTA) has played an important role in promoting bilateral economic and trade relations and the Swiss enterprises have benefited from the new round of opening up of China, Li Keqiang said that the Chinese side is willing to start negotiations with the Swiss side on upgrading the FTA as soon as possible. It is hoped that the two sides will enhance communication and coordination under the China-Europe and multilateral frameworks, and jointly make contributions to the cause of world peace and development.
Ueli Maurer expressed that China and Switzerland enjoy sound relations and cooperation. Attaching high importance to the BRI, Switzerland stands ready to expand investment and cooperation with China in sectors such as scientific research and manufacturing under this framework. Switzerland, without any investment barriers, welcomes Chinese enterprises to invest. China's scientific and technological innovation enjoys rapid development. The two sides have great potential for cooperation in innovation sector. Since its signing, the FTA has brought actual benefits to both sides. The Swiss side stands ready to start negotiations with the Chinese side as soon as possible for upgrading the FTA to further promote bilateral relations and cooperation.
Xiao Jie attended the meeting.