Japan, Switzerland Hold Free Trade Talks

Japan exported $2.4 billion in goods to Switzerland in 2006 and imported $5.1 billion worth of goods.

Japan and Switzerland on May 18 wound up an initial round of talks on a free trade agreement which would be Tokyo's first with a European country, the foreign ministry said. The two sides discussed "major areas of negotiations, such as trade in goods, trade in services, investment and intellectual property rights," a foreign ministry statement said.

Japan's exports to Switzerland, mainly motor vehicles, totaled $2.4 billion in 2006 while its imports of Swiss goods, led by watches and pharmaceutical products, amounted to $5.1 billion, according to customs data here.

Japan has been seeking a larger number of free trade deals amid the collapse of global liberalization talks. Japan has so far concluded free trade deals with Chile, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. It also has framework deals with Brunei and Indonesia.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2007

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