CHINA FREE TRADE AGREEMENT Assessment of the potential of the free trade agreement with the People`s Republic of China for Swiss exports Free trade agreements Free trade agreements Allowed Free trade agreements Implementation of FTA rules of origin Between China and several Western countries, especially the United States, there is currently a latent trade war. Not with Switzerland. Sino-Swiss economic relations have been strengthened by a free trade agreement (FTA) that entered into force on 1 July 2014. It is one of the few free trade agreements signed by China with countries outside the Asia-Pacific region. Six years later, the CSFTA gives interesting insights. Even though the EU is far from considering its own trade deal with China, the CSFTA serves as an indicator of the concessions the EU might expect from China and should make in exchange. However, the CSFTFT sets a low bar for EU negotiators. After Brexit, the EU remains a much more important trading partner for China than Switzerland (trade between the EU27 and China amounted to $670 billion in 2018, more than ten times more than between Switzerland and China). In May 2013, during his official visit to the Alpine nation, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang signed the first free trade agreement between the two countries, worth more than €26 billion.
Switzerland`s direct exports to China amount to €22.8 billion in the agreement, which was announced by then Federal President Ueli Maurer as a “real milestone”. Switzerland has a positive trade balance with China and both countries should benefit from export guarantees, intellectual property protection and financial cooperation between their largest banks.  Switzerland was thus the first country in continental Europe and the largest economy to conclude a free trade agreement with China. T72  China`s concessions under the CSFTA were even more limited than for trade in goods. The service plan of the Sino-Swiss agreement largely reflects the service plan of China`s protocol of accession to the WTO (where China has made significant commitments to the well-established WTO members). The CSFTA makes only slight additional concessions. Given that the Swiss have major offensives on services, especially financial services, their inability to make more concessions to China is an indication of China`s reluctance to further open up its services sector. Services are also an important offensive interest of the EU. While the EU faces a large trade deficit with China, it has a surplus in services. China`s total merchandise exports to Switzerland have also slowed since the agreement entered into force, from an average annual growth rate of 7.8 percent between 2010 and 2013 to 3.8 percent in 2014-18. . .