Switzerland expands presence in China market

Updated 2017-01-18 10:01:52 Xinhua

As soon as President Xi Jinping landed in Switzerland on Sunday, the Swiss Tourism Bureau extended a warm welcome on its official Chinese microblog account, accompanied by a picture of the splendid Alpine landscape.[Special coverage]

With over 270,000 followers, the account shares useful travel tips and photographs of the European country almost every day.

According to predictions by China's largest online travel agency Ctrip, 50 percent more Chinese tourists will visit Switzerland during the Spring Festival over the same period of 2016.

The tourism bureau of Lucerne, a city in central Switzerland, has chosen the romantic Chinese name "Liusen" as its official promotion name. The Chinese character "liu" refers to colored glaze and "sen" means forest.

Besides the rise in Chinese tourists to Switzerland, Swiss companies are also expanding rapidly in China.

ABB Group, a Switzerland-headquartered global technology company, delivered its 50,000th robot manufactured in China at December's China International Industry Fair.

Intellectual technology is key to the company's global expansion, according to Gu Chunyuan, chairman of ABB China. Gu said ABB recently decided to build a robot application center in the southwestern municipality of Chongqing.

In the meantime, biotech firm Roche's third global strategic center, after Basel and San Francisco, is taking shape in Shanghai.

Over 330 researchers in Roche's China office have applied for over 160 patent applications, the company said, adding it is expanding cooperation with China's local governments to improve the affordability of Chinese health care.

Switzerland was the first country on the European continent to sign a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) with China, which entered into force on July 1, 2014. Investment and M&A activities between the two countries have been gaining momentum ever since.

"The China-Switzerland relations have become a model of friendship and cooperation between countries that are different in social system, development stage and size," President Xi said during talks with Swiss President Doris Leuthard on Monday.

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