(Yicai Global) May 13 -- Chinese President Xi Jinping today met with Swiss Federal President Doris Leuthard at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse and invited her to attend the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation.
Since the two countries established an innovative strategic partnership last year, bilateral relations have improved rapidly. At the beginning of this year on his state trip to Switzerland, Xi and Leuthard began China-Switzerland Tourism Year, which saw 10 documents signed in areas such as innovative, free trade and Culture, the Chinese President said. He believes both nations should make an effort to put the agreements into practice.
Both should continue high-level exchanges and use innovation as a guide to comprehensively promote cooperation in various fields, he added. Negotiations to upgrade the free trade agreement should begin as soon as possible to boost links between 'Made in China 2025' and the Swiss 'Industrial 4.0,' as well as financial and other areas of cooperation, Xi said, adding that the pair should also promote activities for the China-Switzerland Tourism Year and strengthen aviation, culture and winter sports ties.
Switzerland is an active supporter and participant in the One Belt, One Road initiative, he said. Construction along the strategy's route has opened up space for further China-Swiss cooperation. The Chinese leader expressed hope that both nations can highlight strategic links and promote pragmatic cooperation in key areas at the Belt and Road Forum.
Xi's visit to Switzerland in January was very successful, Leuthard said, adding that the two had reached a consensus on the launch of the Switzerland-China Tourism Year, and how it would be a strong promotion of cultural and economic exchanges between the two nations.
Both countries should look to promote innovation, energy, finance, tourism and other areas of cooperation, she added, saying that Switzerland appreciates the One Belt, One Road strategy and believes construction on its route will drive more investment in countries involved in the initiative. Switzerland is willing to actively participate in and contribute to construction and cooperation along the Belt and Road, she said.