Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Swiss counterpart Doris Leuthard meet with Swiss business leaders in Bern, Switzerland, Jan. 16, 2017. (Xinhua/Li Xueren)
BERN, Jan. 16 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping said here on Monday that the Chinese and Swiss business circles share common interests in maintaining a free and open international economic order, and should work together for mutual benefits and against all kinds of trade protectionism.
Accompanied by his Swiss counterpart Doris Leuthard, Xi made the remarks during a meeting with Swiss business leaders.
He said the two countries have reaped a lot in their fruitful economic and trade cooperation since they established diplomatic relations 67 years ago.
The Swiss entrepreneurs, famous for their innovative spirit and commitment to excellence, have always been ahead of the curve in the West's cooperation with China, hence receiving generous returns, Xi noted.
Besides the two countries' free trade agreement that has propelled bilateral trade and investment, a number of new deals signed by the two sides during his ongoing visit forebode more chances for economic cooperation in the future, added Xi.
The Chinese leader also briefed the Swiss side on the Chinese economy, saying he is confident about a stable growth of the world's second largest economy.
China cannot secure its development without other parts of the world, and vice versa, Xi said, adding China is willing to boost global economic recovery and tap the potential for more cooperation with countries like Switzerland.
He noted that the European nation, with its advanced technologies and managerial expertise in such areas as intelligent manufacturing, finance, insurance and energy, could become China's partner in innovation.
Xi also suggested that as China is advancing the Belt and Road Initiative, the two sides could also seek to expand the markets, so as to enhance cooperation with third parties in infrastructure construction, finance and productivity promotion.
He encouraged business circles of the two counties to work together for win-win results, and contribute to the development of China-Switzerland relations.
For her part, Leuthard hailed Xi's decision to meet with Swiss business leaders in his intensive schedule during the visit, saying it highlights Xi's appreciation of bilateral economic and trade relations.
China has become Switzerland's leading trading partner in Asia, she said, adding that her country, an advocate for open and free trade, wishes to work with China to facilitate the two sides' business cooperation.
Leaders of Swiss businesses, such as Schindler, Roche, Nestle, UBS and ABB, said China has become an innovation center in a group of industries.
The business leaders said they appreciate China's devotion in protecting intellectual property rights, and stand ready to increase their investments in China to expand high-tech cooperation with the Asian country.