A new free trade agreement has come into force between Switzerland and China, with both countries cutting import tariffs to boost bilateral trade.

Existing Swiss tariffs on Chinese industrial products will be removed under the agreement, and Chinese tariffs on Swiss industrial exports will be at least partially dismantled. Most Swiss export goods will be immediately exempt from all Chinese tariffs but some sectors will receive a five to 10- year transitional reduction scheme.

China is Switzerland’s largest industrial trade partner in Asia, while Switzerland represents China’s sixth largest source of foreign direct investment in Europe.

Following the signing of a free trade agreement with non-EU member Iceland in April 2013, Switzerland became the first continental European economy, and the first of the world’s 20 largest economies, to make such an agreement with China in July 2013.