Third Party Event

Evaluation of the Sino-Swiss FTA

While nobody doubts the importance of the Sino-Swiss FTA, it is often said that FTAs do not work as intended or that they mostly benefit large corporations, less so SMEs who don’t have the resources or expertise to apply for tariff reductions. Is that true in the case of the Sino-Swiss FTA?

With the aim of providing this insight a research-based assessment of the Sino-Swiss FTA has been carried out. Behind this work is a team of academics of the Sino-Swiss Competence Center (SSCC) from the University of International Business and Economics (UIBE) in Beijing, Nanjing University, and the University of St.Gallen (HSG).

Evaluation of the Sino-Swiss FTA

The Sino-Swiss FTA has since this July been in effect for 4 years. Prof. Patrick Ziltener (University of Zurich) had calculated that the FTA with China is by far the most important FTA for Switzerland. That is, even more significant than a theoretical FTA with the United States; the potential savings for Swiss exporters are much larger.

But what is the utilization rate of the Sino-Swiss FTA across different industries? What is the satisfaction of Swiss and Chinese SMEs with the FTA? Why is the FTA utilized or not utilized? Most importantly, how can the FTA be further developed and improved?

The research results will be published in the Sino-Swiss FTA 2018 Academic Report, which will be released on September 26, 2018 at a formal Event organized in St.Gallen to which S-GE members are invited.

The event’s location is the St. Gallen Kantonsratssaal des Regierungsgebäudes. You can register for the Event – at no cost for S-GE members - by writing to Marietta Ochser:

The Sino-Swiss FTA 2018 Academic Report’s centerpiece is an economic impact and utilization analysis. This will show the extent to which the FTA is utilized by firms such as yours, and whether this creates more business revenue and bilateral trade.

The firm-level question of why the FTA is used/not used, is also addressed via a survey of Chinese and Swiss exporting firms. We encourage you to participate in the survey by clicking this link:

In short, the event is a space for the exchange of opinions and insights to contribute to an even more relevant and potent Sino-Swiss FTA for your firm. You will be able to voice your opinions and make suggestions, challenge findings based on your own experience. The discussions you will have with Swiss and Chinese experts and government officials on the FTA and BRI will no doubt be incredibly enriching and possibility provide you with new insight on how to optimize your China strategy.


Target audience CEOs and leaders, export managers, those in charge of business in Asia and of internationalization
Organizer Canton of St. Gallen, Sino-Swiss Competence Center (University of International Business and Economics & University St. Gallen)
Event language


Cost of participating Free for S-GE members

The event is hosted by Benny Würth, Minister of Economics of the Cantonal Government of St.Gallen.

The Honorable Marie-Gabrielle Ineichen-Fleisch, State Secretary for Economic Affairs, and SECO Director, together with the Honorable GENG Wenbin, Ambassador of China to Switzerland, will preside the event’s opening ceremony.

The afternoon sessions will discuss the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Chinese and Swiss experts will discuss how BRI is relevant to Swiss business in the context of trade (manufacturing), services (finance), investment (across Eurasia), and technology (Digital Silk Road). Get ready to gain novel insights and ideas relevant to your firm.

If you wish to attend the Conference, please send your registration to Marietta Ochsner:


Klosterhof 3
9000 St. Gallen


Official program