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Swiss-China talks focus on trade

The president, Adolf Ogi, says he is upbeat about China's prospects for joining the World Trade Organisation (WTO), despite outstanding trade issues. Ogi is in China attending celebrations marking 50 years of diplomatic ties between the two countrie

This content was published on September 13, 2000 - 14:12

In his talks with the Chinese president, Jiang Zemin, Ogi said Switzerland intended to approve Beijing's membership of the WTO as soon as possible.

His comments came despite the failure so far of Swiss business leaders to persuade the Chinese to further open up their markets to Swiss insurance products (see "Swiss business pushing for more access to Chinese markets" on swissinfo's business site).

Switzerland and Mexico are the only two countries which have to yet to agree to China's accession to the WTO.

Ogi said discussions on the issue would continue next week in Geneva, when he hoped the remaining issues would be resolved.

The Chinese prime minister, Zhu Rongji, who Ogi met on Tuesday, was quoted as saying that he hoped Switzerland would adopt a "flexible attitude" to the talks.

After his talks with Jiang, Ogi attended the official celebrations marking the 50th anniversary of Sino-Swiss diplomatic relations (see "Ogi joins official celebrations in China" on swissinfo's culture site). Switzerland was one of the first countries to recognise China after the communist revolution.

swissinfo with agencies

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