Chinese premier arrives in Switzerland for Davos forum, working visit

Source:Xinhua Published: 2015-1-20 21:24:17

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang arrived here Tuesday to attend the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos and pay a working visit to Switzerland.

Li is scheduled to deliver a keynote speech at the annual meeting, meet representatives of the International Business Council of the forum and hold talks with Klaus Schwab, WEF founder and executive chairman, during his three-day trip.

He will also meet President of the Swiss Confederation Simonetta Sommaruga.

Upon his arrival, Li said that the WEF, which is dedicated to promoting international dialogue and communication, building consensus and discussing how to address global challenges, has been playing an important role in pushing forward the development of the global governance system.

The Chinese premier expected to have an in-depth exchange of views with participants on the topics of world economy, international and regional situations, China's reform, opening up and economic development, as well as other hot issues of common concern.

"We can make joint efforts in maintaining world peace and stability and promoting the world economy to grow in a strong, sustainable and balanced manner," Li said.

The premier's visit came as China and Switzerland are set to celebrate the 65th anniversary of their diplomatic relations.

Bilateral trade grew by 126 percent year-on-year to hit nearly 60 billion US dollars in 2013, when they inked a free trade agreement (FTA), the first such pact signed between China and a country in continental Europe.

Under the trade agreement, almost all Chinese exports to Switzerland are immediately exempt from tariffs, while nearly 85 percent of Swiss exports to China will eventually be duty-free.

Li said he is expecting to exchange views with Swiss leaders on bilateral ties and issues of common concern to consolidate the traditional friendship, expand and deepen mutually beneficial cooperation and make their FTA more fruitful to benefit the two peoples, adding that financial cooperation should become the new highlight of overall bilateral cooperation.

The two countries are set to sign a series of cooperation deals in finance, people-to-people exchanges and scientific research during Li's stay in Switzerland, China's fifth-largest trade partner in Europe.

This year's WEF winter meeting, which will take place from Wednesday to Saturday in Davos, is to convene under the theme "The New Global Context."

Over 2,500 participants from more than 140 countries, regions, international organizations, academia, civil society and the media are expected to attend the annual gathering and exchange views on a wide range of issues like global economy, environmental protection and non-traditional security, in the Swiss mountain resort.

Posted in: Diplomacy

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