Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) meets with Swiss President Doris Leuthard, who is here to attend the Belt and Road Forum (BRF) for International Cooperation, in Beijing, capital of China, May 13, 2017. (Xinhua/Rao Aimin)
Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday suggested that negotiations with Switzerland on the upgrading of a free trade agreement should begin as soon as possible.
Xi made the remarks when meeting with Swiss President Doris Leuthard, who is in Beijing to attend the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation scheduled for May 14 to 15.
With the development of bilateral relations since the establishment of China-Switzerland innovative strategic partnership in 2016, the two sides should maintain high-level contact, and seek innovation-driven cooperation and exchanges across the board, Xi said.
He urged the two countries to strengthen the alignment of "Made in China 2025" with Switzerland's Industry 4.0 strategies, enhance cooperation in finance, aviation, culture, winter sports, and work closely on China-Switzerland Year of Tourism in 2017.
Noting that Switzerland is a vigorous supporter and participant in the Belt and Road Initiative, Xi said he expects more practical cooperation in key areas.
Leuthard described Xi's state visit to Switzerland in January this year as a complete success, saying that they reached consensus about many issues, especially on the Switzerland-China Year of Tourism, which will significantly boost cultural and economic exchanges.
Leuthard said Switzerland believes the Belt and Road Initiative will bring more investment and benefit more people, stressing that Switzerland will be an enthusiastic supporter of the initiative.
Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli was present at the meeting.