• Published by, 25th Aug 2018 in category Legal / Tax / Consulting / Services in English

    Over 95% of the Chinese population is medically insured, but not all treatments are covered. The “State Council Order 650” also poses new challenges for the approval of products. A market study indicates the current opportunities, risks and advice for SMEs. Due to its growing middle class, advancing urbanisation and the aging population, there is still great, even double-digit growth potential in China for medical technology sales of all kinds. The majority of expenditure is determined by the public health system, on average 650 US dollars per inhabitant: implants and expensive treatments for chronically ill patients are seldom covered by this. Accordingly, manufacturers of medical devices generate more sales than those that manufacture implants. At the same time, a second, purely privately financed system is growing in which high-priced goods are in demand. In June 2014, the State Council Order 650 came into force. The China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) now requires that certain innovative product groups be clinically tested. The registration of a MedTech product thus entails higher costs and takes longer, for example between three and five years. For particularly innovative products, there is a fast-track process, for which certain preconditions have to be met. Most Swiss MedTech SMEs enter the Chinese market with the help of Chinese partner companies in order to benefit from their local expertise and network. The Chinese government has also launched a “two invoice” system. The codename “two invoice system” means that only two invoices may be submitted from now on: from the manufacturer to the distributor and from the distributor to the hospital.

  • Published by, 13th Aug 2018 in category Business in English

    Huawei plans to massively expand its presence in Switzerland. The Chinese technology giant intends to open two research centres in Zurich and Lausanne. It will also strengthen corporate services. Switzerland is an important location for Huawei, wrote Patrik Müller in an article for the weekend newspaper Schweiz am Wochenende. Müller interviewed Eric Xu, CEO of the Chinese smartphone and telecommunications technology giant, during a working visit by Federal Councillor Doris Leuthard to the Huawei headquarters in Shenzhen. Huawei currently employs around 350 people in Switzerland at its site in Dübendorf in the canton of Zurich, but this will rise considerably in the future: “We will employ more people because we will open R&D centres in Zurich and Lausanne,” said Lu. According to the article, the presence of the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology in Zurich and Lausanne was decisive to Huawei’s choice of location. Huawei also requires more employees in Switzerland to “market our services for companies”. In Switzerland, telecommunication providers such as Swisscom and Sunrise use Huawei infrastructure and software products.

  • Published by, 13th Aug 2018 in category General Interest in English

    Zurich Airport has scooped third place in the “Handelszeitung” Airport Ranking 2018. In a repeated run of success, Europe’s best airport was beaten only by Singapore and Hong Kong. Anyone landing at Singapore Changi Airport will make it “from airport to taxi” within 25 minutes, “including immigration control, baggage collection and customs clearance”, writes Claus Schweitzer in the Airport Ranking 2018 published by “Handelszeitung”. It has been “the world’s best airport for years”, and the only negative Schweitzer could find was the complicated WLAN access. In second place, Hong Kong International Airport boasts the “attractive new The Deck lounge with open-air terrace and view over the airfield”. But Zurich Airport too lays claim to an open-air area – and it is among the reasons the airport has once again scooped third place in the ranking. With “around 300,000 visitors annually”, the observation deck is “one of Switzerland’s most popular attractions”, writes Schweitzer. While Zurich also scored well for its “clear signage, predominantly pleasing passenger flow and exemplary connection to public transport”, Schweitzer and the frequent flyers surveyed for the ranking were unhappy with the time-consuming new Automated Border Control gates and the Skymetro, which is often overcrowded. 

  • Published by, 10th Aug 2018 in category Bilateral Relations in English

    Switzerland’s minister for energy Doris Leuthard oversaw the signing of a declaration to build a zero-energy building in Beijing using Swiss cleantech technology. The project called “Swiss House Sunlon” is backed by Swiss companies and will be the first zero energy dwelling in China. The technology used in the building will come from the Swiss cleantech sector and is meant to serve as a showcase for Swiss innovation in the country. The agreement was signed on Thursday in the presence of Leuthard by the Swiss companies and the Chinese partner New Legend. According to the La Liberté paper, the four-storey building will serve as an office for Swiss, Chinese and foreign small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and will have a floor space of almost 18,000 square metres. There will also be conference rooms, exhibition areas and a space for shops. The project cost is estimated at CHF140 million (USD 141 million). The building will be PlusEnergy certified, which means it will produce as much energy as it consumes via technologies already well established in Switzerland by the Minergie A standard. The project still needs to be approved by the local authorities.

  • Published by, 27th Jul 2018 in category Engineering / Manufacturing in English

    The international community has high expectation from the first China International Import Expo (CIIE) and the business opportunities it presents, as the 100-day countdown of the event begins. "CIIE will bring a very strong exposure to our company, by having high-level government officials, influential trade professionals, including lots of existing and potential customers, and hopefully also the general public which can bring us recruiting opportunities," Laurent Castella, Head of Marketing Region Asia, GF Machining Solutions, said in Shanghai on Thursday. Founded by Gorge Fisher in 1820, during the first industrial revolution, the Swiss company GF is an industrial leader in three main areas: the safe transport of liquids and gases, lightweight casting components in vehicles, and high-precision manufacturing technologies. With rapid technological development, especially digitalization transformation, also called IOT or industrial 4.0, the game will change. The machines will talk to machines and the data collected from the machines will move to the clouds. Artificial intelligence will look at the data and make decisions that human cannot make. GF is also behind this digital transformation, creating a new manufacturing world for tomorrow and the company is working with key universities in the world to develop more intelligent products and more intelligent process and it will bring all these leading technologies into China, Castella said.

  • Published by, 26th Jul 2018 in category Business in English

    Swiss companies exported machinery product in the value of CHF1.45 billion (USD 1.46 billion) to China and Hong Kong in the first six months of 2018, according to figures released by the Swiss Federal Customs Administration. This represents an increase of 10% compared to the first half of 2017. Nicolas Musy, founder of the Swiss Centers China, said the Asian country’s thirst for automation has increased demand for high-quality machines from the Alpine nation. “Chinese manufacturers upgrade their equipment and automation becomes ever more important. Highest quality machines are in high demand – that is why China will remain a key market for Swiss machinery companies in the coming years,” he said in a statement published on Thursday. Since 2016, Swiss machinery exports to China and Hong Kong have been on the rise. The Chinese market (including Hong Kong) is the third biggest market for Swiss machinery products worldwide. The largest market remains Germany (CHF4.1billion), followed by the United States (CHF1.8 billion). Switzerland exported CHF8.9 billion in goods to China and Hong Kong in the first half of 2018, with imports amounting to CHF7.4 billion, resulting in a trade surplus of CHF1.5 billion. Swiss watches and precision instrument exports boomed in the first half of 2018 to a value of CHF4 billion. That figure represents a 17.5% increase compared to the same period the previous year.

  • Published by, 26th Jul 2018 in category Hospitality / Tourism / Retail in English

    Shares in Switzerland’s Nestlé rose on Thursday after better sales in the US and China helped chief executive Mark Schneider pep up the performance of the world’s largest food and drinks group. The company behind brands such as KitKat, Perrier water and Nescafé coffee reported total sales in the first six months of 2018 had increased 2.8% on an organic, or like-for-like, basis compared with 2.3 % in the same period a year earlier. The pick-up would have been almost 3% without the impact of a protracted truckers’ strike in Brazil. Analysts had expected 2.5% growth. Nestlé’s growth fell in 2017 to the slowest in more than two decades amid shifting consumer trends, slow global economic growth and deflationary price pressures. Adding to the pressure on Mr. Schneider, Third Point — the US activist hedge fund founded by Daniel Loeb — invested USD 3.5 billion in a 1.25% stake in the Swiss group. Earlier this month, Third Point complained Nestlé still had a “muddled strategic approach” and remained “insular, complacent and bureaucratic”. However, Mr. Schneider said the first-half results showed that “our strategic initiatives and rigorous execution are clearly paying off . . . In particular, the US and China markets showed a meaningful improvement”.

  • Published by, 10th Jul 2018 in category Business in English

    China broke into the world's top 20 most-innovative economies as Switzerland retained its number-one spot in the Global Innovation Index (GII) ranking published annually by Cornell University, INSEAD and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Now in its 11th edition, the Global Innovation Index (GII) is a detailed quantitative tool that helps global decision makers better understand how to stimulate the innovative activity that drives ecomomic and human development. The GII ranks 126 economies based on 80 indicators, ranging from intellectual property filing rates to mobile-application creation, education spending and scientific and technical publications. Eleven of the top 20 innovating economies come from Europe, including the top three: Switzerland (1st), the Netherlands (2nd), and Sweden (3rd). Switzerland earns the top position in the GII for the eighth consecutive year. It ranked first in various patent and IP-related indicators, as well as second in high- and medium-high-tech manufacturing production. It is among global leaders in R&D spending and quality of local universities. China's number 17 ranking this year represents a breakthrough for an economy witnessing rapid transformation guided by government policy prioritizing research and development-intensive ingenuity. While the United States fell back to number six in the GII 2018, it is an innovation powerhouse that has produced many of the world's leading hi-tech firms and life-changing innovations.

  • Published by, 09th Jul 2018 in category Bilateral Relations in English

    President Xi Jinping has extended his greetings to the opening of the Eco Forum Global Annual Conference Guiyang 2018, which opened in the capital of southwestern China's Guizhou province. "Ecological conservation concerns the future of the mankind, and it's the common goal of all nations to build a green home," Xi said in a congratulatory letter to the forum. "China highly values ecological and environmental protection," the president said. Xi said he believed that the annual conference - this year themed "Embracing a new era of eco-civilization: green development with high priority to ecology" - would help all parties strengthen consensus and cooperation for the development of global ecological civilization. The three-day conference includes seven summits, 10 themed forums, five international workshops and international consultation sessions, as well as some featured activities. Besides inviting international stakeholders, the eco forum has made international exchange and cooperation key parts of its agenda. The Sino-Swiss Dialogue, held annually since 2014, brought together guests from both countries for in-depth conversations in fields like technological innovation. "For a long time, Switzerland has paid attention to the relationship between development and environment, and found a successful path of green development for an inland mountainous country like itself. Guizhou should learn from its experience," said Lu Yongzheng, vice-governor of Guizhou.

  • Published by, 07th Jul 2018 in category Business in English

    On 5 July 2018, Geneva Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Services signed a strategic partnership MoU Thursday in Shanghai with Silk Road Chamber of International Commerce (SRCIC) for enhancing economic and innovative cooperation. Both parties agreed to forge a partnership to boost development in countries along the Belt and Road. Mr. Vincent Subilia, deputy director-general of the Geneva Chamber, said the agreement would feature a robust catalyst for growth to benefit the chamber members. “Geneva' s and Swiss' companies would play a more active role in the Belt and Road Initiative,” Subilia added. Ms. Tian Xiaohong, deputy secretary-general of SRCIC, said Geneva not only embraced many companies in high-end industries but gathered resources from all over the world as an important international city. The MoU was one of several agreements signed during a 10-day visit to China by a Geneva business delegation composed of government officials and entrepreneurs.