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Maurer's delicate Mission to China

Since Easter Monday, Federal President Ueli Maurer in China dwells, in the Wake of a Swiss business delegation. It is one of the most important trips of his presidential year, as the top-class programme of shows From Tuesday to Thursday Maurer met in Shanghai and Beijing with Chinese authorities and financial industry representatives, on Friday and Saturday, he participates in the international Silk road Forum, on Sunday and Monday, he is invited on a state visit with President Xi Jinping.

it is Planned that Switzerland and China have reached a Memorandum of understanding on the "new silk road" sign. Thus, the project of the century, the Chinese state leadership, with the new economic corridors between Asia and Europe. Thanks to the joint Declaration made by the Swiss company would receive the opportunity, in the case of projects in the countries along the trade routes.

The historic silk road over land, a trade is added a new route across the seas. Overall, China wants to make up to $ 1 trillion(1'000'000'000'000) for its so-called Belt-and-Road-Initiative loose and new roads, seemed to build trusses and ports. Beijing advertises that by Chinese loans, Jobs, and growth.

critics warn that the projects could be the case to a debt for the participating States, which would be so dependent on China. Many Western politicians see the gigantic infrastructure project an attempt by China to become the leading global Power.

"China sees Switzerland as a gateway."Fabian Molina, SP-Nationalrat

Maurer's trip is disputed. SP national councillor Fabian Molina about it, given the human rights situation in the country is wrong, that the Chinese Expansion is supported: "China sees Switzerland as a gateway," he said recently to the Tamedia-editorial. Other politicians, such as the green national councillor Sibel Arslan, fearing the instrumentalisation of the Switzerland. The Federal government sees enhanced cooperation as an opportunity to open the doors.

now the two countries are connected economically strong. China is behind the EU and the United States, the third most important and at the same time, the fastest-growing trading partner of Switzerland. In just the last seven years, the volume of exports has more than tripled. And also the imports from China increased in this period by almost 40 percent.

in 2017, Switzerland exported goods to the value of 24 billion Swiss francs to the middle Kingdom. In 2018 it should be according to the provisional data of the Federal government nearly 30 billion, almost 10 percent of total exports. Only Germany and the USA are major purchasers of local products.

he is Particularly in demand in the Chinese Gold, which is seen as inflation, and credit default protection. The precious metal was last year, more than half of all Swiss exports to China. Due to the volatility of the gold market and the price it comes therefore in the export statistics to large fluctuations from year to year.

in addition to Gold mainly pharmaceutical products, machinery and watches exported to China in the Swiss economy. In turn, mobile phones, computers, and textiles and clothing are imported. In 2017, the imports amounted to about 13 billion Swiss francs. China has become one of the most important suppliers.

the relationship between Switzerland and China gained in importance, due to the free trade agreement between the two States, the 2014 came into force, and lower barriers and customs duties for companies. Switzerland is the first and so far the only country in continental Europe, with China such an agreement.

Since then, it has developed bilateral trade exceptionally fast-paced and dynamic. Many companies, especially from the pharmaceutical and watch industry, welcome the. "Switzerland already benefits greatly from the free trade agreement with China," says the business Association Economiesuisse. But there are also critical voices that say that Switzerland makes to the world at the shorter end of the lever and of China as a figurehead to be used.

Ueli Maurer is on a politically sensitive visit. The coming days will show how well the Federal President, the balancing act between constructive dialogues, and address sensitive issues such as human rights masters.

(editing Tamedia)

Created: 26.04.2019, 18:26 PM

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