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Backgrounder: Basic facts about Switzerland

07-14-2010 10:29 BJT Special Report:Wu Bangguo Visits France, Serbia, Switzerland |

BEIJING, July 14 (Xinhua) -- Top Chinese legislator Wu Bangguo will pay an official goodwill visit to Switzerland from July 16 to 21.

Wu, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, will also attend the third World Conference of Speakers of Parliament in Geneva during his stay in Switzerland.

The following are some basic facts about Switzerland:

Located in central Europe, the landlocked Switzerland has common borders with Austria, Liechtenstein, Italy, France and Germany. ' With a total area of about 41,284 square km, Switzerland has a population of about 7.7 million people. Bern is the capital of the country.

Switzerland, a highly industrialized country, implements liberal economic policies to reduce intervention from the government. The gross domestic product (GDP) of the country reached 532.1 billion Swiss francs (about 510.2 billion U.S. dollars) in 2008, with per capita GDP standing at 68,308 Swiss francs (about 65,680 dollars).

The main industries of Switzerland, such as machinery manufacturing, chemicals and medicine, are highly competitive in the world. It also has advanced industrial sectors in the production of food, textile and luxury clocks.

Switzerland, which is also a popular tourist destination, has many cities such as Zurich, Geneva and Lausanne that attract travelers from around the world.

China and Switzerland established diplomatic relations on Sept. 14, 1950. Their bilateral ties have since then developed smoothly with frequent high-level visits.

Switzerland is one of China's major trade partners in Europe. Two-way trade volume reached 11.25 billion dollars in 2008, up 19.1 percent from the previous year.

Editor:Du Xiaodan |Source: Xinhua

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