China–Switzerland Free Trade Agreement To Become Effective July 1
SHANGHAI – The free trade agreement (FTA) signed between Switzerland and China last year in Beijing is due to come into effect on July 1, 2014, says the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM). The event is being highlighted as of special significance, as it is the first FTA between China and a continental European nation.
Its provisions will grant increased market access for 84.2 percent of Swiss exports to China, such as fine machinery, power plants, chemicals and watches, which are to receive greatly reduced or zero tariffs. In the other direction, Switzerland has agreed to implement zero tariffs on 99.7 percent of Chinese exports, mainly industrial products and produce.
The agreement also stipulates new customs procedures between the two countries and extends to a number of business practices such as intellectual property, competition, transparency and dispute settlement. Bilateral trade between China and Switzerland reached US$26.3 billion in 2012, the vast majority Swiss exports to China.
Chris Devonshire-Ellis of Dezan Shira & Associates comments, “This agreement will allow China’s rising middle class to enjoy certain personal status symbols at close-to-normal global prices, such as Swiss Watches, which at present are subject to hefty luxury taxes.”
“It will also give the Swiss watch-making industry a boost and may result in some premium brands located elsewhere in Europe establishing production bases in Switzerland. This will depend on the degree to which luxury brands are specifically tied to one country.”
Asia Briefing Ltd. is a subsidiary of Dezan Shira & Associates. Dezan Shira is a specialist foreign direct investment practice, providing corporate establishment, business advisory, tax advisory and compliance, accounting, payroll, due diligence and financial review services to multinationals investing in China, Hong Kong, India, Vietnam, Singapore and the rest of ASEAN. For further information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.dezshira.com.
Stay up to date with the latest business and investment trends in Asia by subscribing to our complimentary update service featuring news, commentary and regulatory insight.
Trading With China
This issue of China Briefing Magazine focuses on the minutiae of trading with China – regardless of whether your business has a presence in the country or not. Of special interest to the global small and medium-sized enterprises, this issue explains in detail the myriad regulations concerning trading with the most populous nation on Earth – plus the inevitable tax, customs and administrative matters that go with this.
The China Tax Guide: Tax, Accounting and Audit (Sixth Edition)
This edition of the China Tax Guide, updated for 2013, offers a comprehensive overview of the major taxes foreign investors are likely to encounter when establishing or operating a business in China, as well as other tax-relevant obligations. This concise, detailed, yet pragmatic guide is ideal for CFOs, compliance officers and heads of accounting who need to be able to navigate the complex tax and accounting landscape in China in order to effectively manage and strategically plan their China operations.
- Previous Article China Outbound: Asia’s Export Processing Zones and ASEAN Opportunities
- Next Article China Regional Focus: Suzhou, Jiangsu Province