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Li Keqiang Meets with President Johann N. Schneider-Ammann of the Swiss Confederation

On the afternoon of April 7, 2016, Premier Li Keqiang met at the Great Hall of the People with President Johann N. Schneider-Ammann of the Swiss Confederation, who was in China for a state visit.

Li Keqiang expressed that China attaches great importance to developing relations with Switzerland. President Xi Jinping will hold talks with you tomorrow. The two countries have effectively boosted economic and trade cooperation since the free trade agreement (FTA) took effect about two years ago. In 2015, the bilateral trade maintained a growing trend against the background of overall decline in China-Europe trade. China stands ready to work with Switzerland to carry forward the traditional friendship, deepen practical cooperation, and take trade and finance as the two-wheel drive, and innovation cooperation as a new growth point to accelerate and upgrade China-Switzerland cooperation. China will continue to play a leading and exemplary role in relations between China and European countries.

Li Keqiang pointed out that innovation is the only road to transformation and upgrading of the Chinese economy. China is deeply carrying out the innovation-driven development strategy, and promoting mass entrepreneurship and innovation so as to turn the economic growth pattern from excessive dependence on natural resources to more reliance on human resources. Switzerland is not only a country of innovation, but renowned for its craftsmanship. Both sides have broad prospect for innovation cooperation. It is hoped that the two countries could create mechanisms for bilateral innovation cooperation between businesses, colleges, research institutes and others. Meanwhile, the two sides should strengthen the alignment of "Made in China 2025" and Switzerland's "Industry 4.0" strategy, so as to help the two countries lead the pack in the trend of digitization and "Industry 4.0", go beyond traditional trade and investment relations and achieve a higher level of mutual benefits and win-win results.

Johann N. Schneider-Ammann expressed that the operation of the Switzerland-China FTA is doing well, which has vigorously promoted bilateral economic and trade exchanges. The two countries are real cooperative partners of mutual benefit and win-win result, and enjoy great potential for economic cooperation. Switzerland is willing to work with China to continuously expand cooperation in areas including finance, tourism and sports, and is willing to actively discuss with China on creating corresponding platforms for developing cooperation in such key areas as innovation, high technology and high-end manufacturing.

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