Swiss National Council ratifies free trade deal with China

Source:Xinhua Published: 2013-12-11 8:02:49

The lower house of Swiss parliament approved a free trade agreement (FTA) with China on Tuesday.

Lawmakers of the Swiss National Council voted 120 in favor, 46 against and 16 abstentions to ratify the deal after debating its pros and cons, local website Swissinfo reported.

The Swiss-Chinese FTA, signed in Beijing on July 6 after nine rounds of negotiations over more than two years, is expected to be considered by the upper house, or the Council of States in March 2014.

It is the first free trade pact inked between China and a country in continental Europe.

Statistics show that the bilateral trade volume between China and Switzerland reached 26.31 billion US dollars in 2012. The figure for the first five months of this year surged to 22.89 billion US dollars, 114.2 percent higher than the same period last year.

China is Switzerland's largest trading partner in Asia, while Switzerland is China's eighth-largest trading partner in Europe, according to official Chinese data.

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