• Published by, 23rd Apr 2019 in category Bilateral Relations in English

    Swiss exchange operator SIX and its Shanghai counterpart have agreed to intensify their cooperation during a visit of Swiss Finance Minister Ueli Maurer to China. A Swiss delegation led by Ueli Maurer, the finance minister of Switzerland, visited the stock exchange of Shanghai on Tuesday. SIX, the Zurich-based stock exchange operator, and Shanghai Stock Exchange renewed a memorandum of understanding with the intention to further their collaboration which was initiated in 2015. The document underpins the relationship between China and Switzerland that has intensified since the signing of a free trade agreement in 2013 and currency agreement between the central banks of the two countries in 2014, SIX said in a statement on Tuesday. The memorandum of understanding envisages to further intensify the cooperation between the two financial centers and to assess the feasibility of listing securities such as depository receipts on respective markets in the near future. This would allow companies listed at either exchange to tap into each other’s liquidity pools.

  • Published by, 17th Apr 2019 in category Bilateral Relations in English

    The government plans to launch a major promotion campaign in China ahead of and during the 2022 Winter Olympics and Winter Paralympic Games. As part of a 12-month tour across China, the House of Switzerland – a cultural center that the foreign ministry has been setting up for such occasions since 2004 – will showcase the diversity of Switzerland along with partners from business, tourism, science and culture. “The campaign in China offers the opportunity to further deepen bilateral relations,” a government statement said on Wednesday. “Major sporting events provide great emotional potential, attracting significant attention from the public and the media alike, both at the venue and internationally.” The government said it will provide CHF7 million (USD 7 million) for the project, which is due to start in 2021, with about one third to be financed through sponsorship. The decision comes a day after the finance ministry announced that Swiss President Ueli Maurer is travel to China next week for a state visit. He will also be accompanied by a finance and business delegation. During the week-long trip, Maurer, who is also Swiss finance minister, will hold talks with the Chinese President Xi Jinping, and Prime Minister Li Keqing, the finance ministry announced.

  • Published by, 16th Apr 2019 in category Bilateral Relations in English

    President Ueli Maurer pays a visit to China from April 22nd – 30th accompanied by a finance and business delegation. Chinese President Xi Jinping has invited Mr. Maurer for a state visit on April 28th and 29th. Following a Federal Council decision taken on April 10th, Switzerland and China will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation with third markets under the Belt and Road Initiative during the visit. In the days prior to that Mr. Maurer will hold meetings with the Chinese authorities and representatives from the financial and business sectors and attend the second Belt and Road Forum. President Ueli Maurer begins his visit to China on Tuesday, April 23rd, by meeting representatives from the Chinese authorities and the financial sector in the financial hub Shanghai; similar meetings are set to take place in Beijing on Wednesday and Thursday. On Friday and Saturday, April 26th and 27th, Mr. Maurer will attend the second Belt and Road Forum on international cooperation, where development strategies and questions concerning infrastructure and sustainability will be on the agenda. Around 40 heads of state and government are expected to attend. Switzerland will be represented at the Belt and Road Forum for the second time and is thereby supporting the contribution made by the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) to developing relations between Asia and Europe.


  • Published by, 10th Apr 2019 in category Bank / Finance / Insurance in English

    Swiss Re said that it is optimistic about China’s insurance market and plans to deliver more protection solutions to tap the country’s growing business opportunities together with its partners. The Switzerland-based reinsurance giant noted that it remains confident in the future of China's insurance sector despite rising global trade tensions and regional risks. Emerging markets are expected to be the growth engine for the global economy and the insurance industry over the next decade, a recent report from Swiss Re Institute showed. The study forecasts that China will contribute over a quarter of global output in the next 10 years and the world's second largest economy will become the biggest insurance market by the mid-2030s. John Chen, president of Swiss Re’s China operation, believes that insurance companies will usher in greater development opportunities as China is pursuing higher quality development. Underwriters can play a more prominent role in supporting the real economy and ensuring better lives for the general public, Chen added. To embrace the opportunities, Swiss Re aims to offer more targeted protection solutions by leveraging its strengths in data and technology to help insurers better fend off operational risks while expanding their business into wider areas. The company said it is exploring products related to environmental protection, which will help insurance companies evaluate an enterprise client’s pollution-related risks.

  • Published by, 03rd Apr 2019 in category Business in English

    Switzerland can provide technology and policy advice to China in the areas of wealth management and regulatory compliance — as the government has taken a number of proactive fiscal policies — and the opening-up of a stable financial sector will put economic growth on a firmer footing, a Swiss financial expert said. Urs Bolt, former director of Credit Suisse bank's external asset management department, said both wealth management and regulatory compliance are complex systems requiring integration of many tasks and processes into one platform so that all stakeholders, such as customers, service providers and regulators can benefit. "As an example of wealth and technology, or WealthTech and integrated compliance procedures (regulatory technology, or RegTech) we can look at investing in financial products. The investor might ask to buy or be offered certain financial products. Before allowing the client to invest, investor risk profiling has to be performed, which can be mapped against suitable products with specific expected risks and expected performance," he said. "If such RegTech had been in place for people investing in peer lending, the damage would have been largely avoided," said Urs, who currently runs a tech advisory company in Zug, Switzerland.

  • Published by, 02nd Apr 2019 in category Engineering / Manufacturing in English

    Tencent and Novartis International AG signed a partnership agreement last week that brings together artificial intelligence, social platforms, technology and innovation for the benefit of patients with chronic diseases in China. Ding Ke, vice-president of Tencent, and Yin Xudong, president of Novartis Pharmaceuticals Region APMA (Asia, Pacific, Middle East and Africa) and Novartis China, signed the memorandum on behalf of both parties. Building on the memorandum signed between the two corporations in 2018, this agreement extends the partnership to heart failure, and covers other long-term conditions. In order to meet the diverse needs of patients with chronic diseases, the cooperation will initially start in China to explore the possibility of leveraging AI to boost integrated management for patients with chronic diseases, with the potential to expand to other countries. As an internet industry leader, Tencent combines expertise in AI and science technology, and sees itself as a "digital assistant" to the healthcare industry. Headed by Dr. Wei Fan, Tencent's Medical AI Lab offers cutting-edge technology, including natural language processing, medical knowledge graphs, medical imaging and video analysis, computational fluid dynamics, and angiography.

  • Published by, 26th Mar 2019 in category Hospitality / Tourism / Retail in English

    Nestlé China on unveiled a new research & development center in Beijing and a system technology hub in Shenzhen to accelerate its trend-based innovation in the country, aiming to get closer to consumers and get products quicker to market. The new R&D center in Beijing focuses on creating new food and beverage products primarily for Chinese and Asian consumers. Nestlé CEO Mark Schneider said: "We are strengthening our local R&D capacities so that our team can work faster and more efficiently to turn great ideas into the latest must-have products for consumers in China." Stefan Palzer, executive vice-president and chief technology officer of Nestlé, said globally Nestlé rolls out 1,500 new products each year. About one-third of them are updated each year and the speed is increasing. "In the old days, it took us about two to three years to develop a new product. Now it takes a couple of months or even weeks," he said. Nestlé last year invested about CHF 1.7 billion (USD 1.7 billion) in R&D. It has about 30 R&D centers worldwide. Its R&D expenditures in China have seen changes in the types of investments being made. It has invested in how to get products developed and tested quickly in the Chinese market by locating its facilities in the proximity of markets, top universities, local entrepreneurs and startup environments, as well as suppliers.

  • Published by, 20th Mar 2019 in category Culture & Society in English

    In this year’s Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) survey, Paris, Hong Kong and Singapore tied for the position of the most expensive. The survey looks at 160 items including food, drink, rent, transport and utility bills, in 133 cities. New York, the base city, came in 7th, alongside Seoul and Copenhagen. Zurich and Geneva were 4th and 5th. The ten most expensive cities were: Singapore (Singapore), Paris (France), Hong Kong (China), Zurich (Switzerland), Geneva (Switzerland), Osaka (Japan), Seoul (South Korea), Copenhagen (Denmark), New York (US), Tel Aviv (Israel), Los Angeles (US). In the EIU survey, Zurich and Geneva, along with Tel Aviv, are the only cities in the top 10 that manage to be both small and expensive. All three have populations below 500,000. In Tel Aviv, currency appreciation played a part in its rise, but Tel Aviv also has some specific costs that drive up prices, notably those of buying, insuring and maintaining a car, all of which push transport costs 64% above New York prices. Seoul has the most expensive bread (USD 15.59 per kg), Zurich the most expensive beer (USD 3.25 for 330 ml) and New York the most expensive two-piece men’s suit (USD 2,729.77) and women’s haircuts (USD 210.00). High cost is not without its benefits. The most expensive also tend to be the most livable. A recent survey by Mercer, ranked Zurich and Geneva the 2nd and 9th most livable cities globally.

  • Published by, 18th Mar 2019 in category Bilateral Relations in English

    On March 15th, 2019, Director-General of the Department of European Affairs of the Foreign Ministry Chen Xu and Head of the Asia and Pacific Division of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs Raphael Nägeli of Switzerland held the political consultation between the two foreign ministries at director-general level. The two sides exchanged views on China-Switzerland relations, recent high-level exchanges between the two countries, and international and regional issues of common concern.

  • Published by, 10th Mar 2019 in category Hospitality / Tourism / Retail in English

    The draft revision of the Foreign Investment Law, which is under review during China's two sessions, marks an important measure of the country's reform and opening-up, said a senior executive of a transnational company. "With three laws merged into one, the new law will have unified requirements and standards for foreign-invested enterprises in China, making it easier for foreign investors to understand the foreign investment access system and its requirements. This will be a big step forward in facilitating investment," Rashid Qureshi, chairman and CEO of Nestle, told the Global Times over the weekend. The previous approval policy for foreign investment has been replaced by a notification system, which simplifies the process of entry and operation for foreign enterprises in China and creates a more favorable investment environment, Qureshi said. The new law will strengthen the protection of intellectual property rights of enterprises investing in China and ban any move to force foreign companies to provide technology transfers to Chinese partners, he added. The draft of the Foreign Investment Law will be submitted to the second session of the 13th National People's Congress for deliberation, according to an explanatory document on the draft released to the press on Friday, the Xinhua News Agency reported.