BEIJING, April 7 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Premier Li Keqiang met with Swiss President Johann Schneider-Ammann on Thursday, vowing to upgrade bilateral cooperation.
China attaches great importance to developing ties with Switzerland, said Li, noting that bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) has effectively boosted economic and trade cooperation between the two countries in the past two years.
The China-Switzerland FTA entered into force on July 1, 2014, which marks a milestone on the bilateral relationship.
China is willing to deepen cooperation with Switzerland in areas of trade, finance and innovation, and make bilateral cooperation a model in China-Europe relations, said Li.
Innovation is the only road to transformation and upgrading of the Chinese economy, while Switzerland has competitive advantage in innovation, said Li, saying bilateral innovation cooperation has broad prospect.
He suggested the two countries create mechanisms for innovation cooperation between businesses, colleges and research institutes.
Li also called on the two sides to strengthen the alignment of "Made in China 2025" and Switzerland's Industry 4.0 strategy, so as to ensure the two countries lead the pack in the trend of digitization and Industry 4.0.
Schneider-Ammann spoke highly of the operation of the Switzerland-China FTA, saying the two countries are real cooperative partners of mutual benefit and win-win.
Switzerland is ready to work with China to expand cooperation in finance, tourism and sports, and is willing to discuss with China on creating platforms for cooperation in innovation, high technology and high-end manufacturing, said Schneider-Ammann.
Schneider-Ammann is paying a state visit to China from Thursday to Saturday at the invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping.
(Note: The above is the same story reported in English and Chinese respectively, and is not literal translation.)