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China trade team seals Swiss deals

A CHINESE business delegation yesterday inked trade deals worth more than US$300 million with Swiss companies, ending the second leg of their four-state procurement tour in Europe.

The agreements covered products ranging from software to electric equipment and metals, which meet China's domestic needs, according to Chinese trade officials.

Among those agreements, Switzerland's ABB, a global leader in power and automation technologies, signed a letter of intent for the supply of generator circuit breakers to China Nuclear Power Engineering Company.

Switzerland's Glencore, one of the world's largest suppliers of a wide range of commodities and raw materials to industrial consumers, also signed a deal with Chinalco, the world's second-largest alumina producer and the third largest primary aluminum producer.

Holcim, one of the world's leading suppliers of cement and aggregates, signed a framework agreement with China's Huaxin Cement Co for technical service, technology and new equipment supplies covering the next two years. Holcim is already the single largest shareholder in HCC, holding a 39.9-percent stake of the Chinese firm.

"HCC with Holcim's support will continue to strengthen and extend its leading role as a modern cement producer in China," the two companies said in a statement.

Chinese Commerce Minister Chen Deming, who led the delegation, said besides this team, there will be more Chinese business delegations coming to Switzerland for trade and investment opportunities. Swiss Economy Minister Doris Leuthard revealed a Swiss business group will also go to China this year.

Switzerland was the second stop after Germany, where the Chinese delegation signed 37 procurement deals worth about 11 billion euros (US$14 billion) with local firms. The delegation would arrive in Madrid, Spain, later yesterday.


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