China's overarching decisions for further opening-up delivered through the China International Import Expo are set to further widen the scope of the China-Switzerland bilateral relationship that is already "substantial, established and all-encompassing", a top Swiss diplomat said.
As a result of the strategic decisions taken at the highest level, the CIIE is beyond a trade fair but a "political statement by China to the world", which can lead to a triple-win situation for Chinese consumers, Chinese manufacturers and foreign investors, said Swiss Ambassador to China, Jean-Jacques de Dardel.
"Opening-up is not just for the purpose of helping the Chinese get better goods. Chinese manufacturers can access machines that enable them to produce better ...and it brings in foreign investors to understand that they can do business in a more open environment," he told China Daily during the expo in Shanghai.
De Dardel said he also looked forward to the "trickle-down effect" of the opening-up decision via the CIIE, by potentially changing the perception on open trade, saying this may exert a profound impact on "all levels of decision-making in the business world".
"If China is opening up and some other countries are closing down, obviously the instinct is going to lead these (business) decision-makers to start thinking more deeply into new possibilities and new frontiers for them in China," he said.
The Swiss National Pavilion at the CIIE was represented by 23 Swiss companies and institutional partners, covering a wide range of fields - from clean technologies to pharmaceuticals, finance, watches and logistics. An additional 200 companies also joined the event showcasing their innovation prowess at various booths within the commercial area of the fair.
China was Switzerland's third-largest trading partner, with bilateral trade volume amounting to 37 billion Swiss francs ($36.7 billion) last year, trailing the European Union and the United States. The robust trade and investment ties are assured by a number of arrangements including the Free Trade Agreement in 2014 and the Innovative Strategic Partnership in 2016.
"Our presence here shows our common commitment to free and rule-based international trade," said De Dardel. "We hope to establish links among industries and businesses from both countries, to engage with more stakeholders, thus to further elevate our bilateral ties."