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China, Switzerland to ink MoU on closer finance, trade ties

China, Switzerland to ink MoU on closer finance, trade ties

Switzerland is expected to sign a memorandum of understanding with China focusing on finance and trade cooperation in third markets under the Belt and Road Initiative, Swiss President Ueli Maurer said in Shanghai.

Maurer, leading a top-level finance and business delegation, will attend the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing, which opens.

“The MoU will strengthen cooperation between Switzerland and China, providing know-how in sophisticated financial services mastered by Switzerland for the Belt and Road Initiative,” Maurer said.

The aim of the MoU is for both parties to intensify cooperation on trade, investment and project financing in third markets along the routes of the Belt and Road Initiative countries and regions, based on a catalogue of basic principles for cooperation and in line with international standards and legislation in the countries concerned, according to a statement by the Swiss Consulate in Shanghai.

Shanghai was the first stop for Maurer, who was invited by Chinese President Xi Jinping for a state visit. After arriving on Tuesday morning, Maurer visited some financial institutions including the Shanghai Stock Exchange, the China Pacific Insurance Group and the Shanghai Pudong Development Bank. He also attended a fintech forum hosted by swissnex China and the Fanhai International School of Finance under the Fudan University.

At the Shanghai Stock Exchange, Maurer witnessed the signing of an MoU for cooperation between the Shanghai bourse and its counterpart in Switzerland — SIX Swiss Exchange — for a stock connect program. It may allow companies listed in either bourse to be traded on the other. But the technical details must be studied further, said Romeo Lancher, president of financial service provider SIX Group AG.

During a meeting with Shanghai Party Secretary Li Qiang, Maurer said he expected “practical and effective” cooperation with China. And as an international metropolis, Shanghai can play an important role.

Li said the city also seeks for further cooperation with Switzerland in areas such as trade, investment and technology, and he welcomed Swiss companies to take an active part in the second China International Import Expo in Shanghai in November.