Franceand Switzerland have signed a co-production agreement with a view to "tightenthe bonds between the two cinematographic industries."

Swissculture minister Pascal Couchepin was on hand with his French counterpartRenaud Donnedieu de Vabres in Paris for the signing of the new agreement whichreplaces and updates a 1977 accord. The new terms include a reduction in thenecessary participation to qualify as a minority producer from 20% to 10%.

At thesigning de Vabres said, "Our two countries co-produce an average six films peryear. The talents working in Switzerland are dear to the hearts of the Frenchpublic. " He continued, "This new accord, I am convinced, will bring newoccasions to encourage and discover new talents."

Switzerlandis a member of the Eurimages fund and will also join the EU's Media Plusprogramme in 2005.