• Published by, 23rd Feb 2017 in category Bilateral Relations in English

    Switzerland looks forward to China renewing its commitments to multilateralism, open economies and free trade during the upcoming two sessions to be held in March, Swiss Ambassador to China Jean-Jacques de Dardel said. "Chinese foreign policy is geared toward multilateralism, openness of market and free trade," he told China Daily in Beijing on Thursday. "The creation of the AIIB (Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank) is welcome proof of the fact that China is ready to play the game in a multilateral sphere, not only in bilateral relations," he added. Speaking highly of the speeches made by President Xi Jinping in January during his trip to Switzerland, the ambassador said that he hoped China would continue to be dedicated to openness and free trade. "The two sessions will bring more substance to what I've heard in Davos, Geneva and Bern very recently," he said. China is scheduled to hold the annual sessions of the country's top legislature and top political advisory agency in March, during which lawmakers will review the government work report submitted by the State Council, China's Cabinet.

  • Published by, 20th Feb 2017 in category Bilateral Relations in English

    On 24 January, The Chinese Ambassador to Switzerland Mr. Geng Wenbing paid a visit to the President of Swiss Confederation, Ms. Doris Leuthard. The President Leuthard spoke highly of President Xi Jinping's state visit to Switzerland and expressed her willingness to continue maintain the high-level exchanges and further develop the strategic partnership between two countries. The Ambassador Geng appreciated President Leuthard and the Swiss Federal Council for the special and well-planned reception of President Xi Jinping's visit to Switzerland. He expressed his willingness to maintain close contact with the Swiss side and implement the outcome of Xi's visit to Switzerland to promote the development of bilateral relations to a higher level.

  • Published by, 17th Feb 2017 in category Bilateral Relations in English

    China and Switzerland have signed a customs agreement on mutual authorized economic operator (AEO) status, a move that will further boost bilateral trade and economic cooperation, the country's top customs authority said. Chinese companies that obtain the AEO status will enjoy the same simplified customs procedures as native Swiss companies when their products enter Switzerland, the General Administration of Customs said in a statement on its website. According to the World Customs Organization (WCO), an AEO is an organization or company involved in the international movement of goods that has been certified by, or on behalf of, a national customs administration and complies with WCO or equivalent supply chain security standards. China and Switzerland launched AEO negotiations at the start of 2015, and finally reached the agreement this month after three rounds of talks. AEO programs are expected to play a key role in boosting the country's exports amid sluggish global demand, according the statement. China's exports dipped 2% year on year to RMB 13.84 trillion last year, while imports rose 0.6% from one year earlier to RMB 10.49 trillion.

  • Published by, 14th Feb 2017 in category BUSINESS NEWS in English

    With its current five-year plan, China's government is pursuing ambitious goals for growth and diversification. For Swiss companies, this opens up opportunities in the areas of water management, food security and robotics. China's five-year plans define the country's social, economic and political goals for the relevant period. This is also true of the thirteenth five-year plan, the first from the government of President Xi Jinping. While the world's second-biggest economy has seen a slight slowing down of its economic growth over the last few years, the new five-year plan continues to set high goals: the gross national product is set to grow by 6.5 % annually. At the same time, the country is aiming to implement a new development concept that combines growth together with social and political reforms. Just how China wants to balance out its growth strategy and reforms remains to be seen. The international investors certainly appear enthusiastic. Reforms for suppliers, innovation, technological upgrading, competition, improved efficiency and the reduction of dependency on fossil fuels promise some outstanding opportunities. In Switzerland, several thousand companies operate in the area of waste water management, with many producing technical systems or components for waste water treatment. Local Chinese actors are continually on the hunt for Swiss technologies, and if Swiss companies are able to connect up with them, then countless opportunities are opened up.

  • Published by, 11th Feb 2017 in category BUSINESS NEWS in English

    Investments by Chinese companies in Switzerland quadrupled last year to reach USD 4.8 billion (CHF4.8 billion), according to research from consultants Baker McKenzie. The report excludes the proposed USD 43 billion takeover of Syngenta by ChemChina, which still awaits final regulatory approval. To put that mega-deal into perspective, Chinese foreign direct investment (FDI) in the whole of Europe totalled USD 46 billion in 2016 (up 90% on 2015) and USD 48 billion (+189%) in North America, says Baker McKenzie. Last year, China’s HNA Aviation Group snapped up Swiss air transport support companies Gategroup and ST Technics. The Chinese company had previously bought Swissport. Other significant deals in recent years include the takeover of iconic aluminium bottle maker Sigg by Haers Vacuum Containers. Other Chinese companies have invested in Switzerland without taking over Swiss firms. Leading Chinese software company Neusoft has run its European headquarters from Appenzell since 2009. Speaking to at the World Economic Forum last month, Neusoft chairman Liu Jiren said to expect more Chinese FDI in the coming years as they sought to diversify into cutting-edge service sectors.

  • Published by, 08th Feb 2017 in category BUSINESS NEWS in English

    The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Alibaba Group today jointly announced a long-term partnership through 2028. Joining The Olympic Partner (TOP) worldwide sponsorship program, Alibaba will become the official “Cloud Services” and “E-Commerce Platform Services” Partner, as well as a Founding Partner of the Olympic Channel. The partnership was announced today at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, with IOC President Thomas Bach, Alibaba Group Founder and Executive Chairman Jack Ma and Alibaba Group Chief Executive Officer Daniel Zhang. Thomas Bach, President of the IOC, said: “In this new digital world, Alibaba is uniquely positioned to help the IOC achieve a variety of key objectives outlined in Olympic Agenda 2020, while positively shaping the future of the Olympic Movement. This is a ground-breaking, innovative alliance, and will help drive efficiencies in the organization of the Olympic Games through 2028, whilst also supporting the global development of digital opportunities including the Olympic Channel.”

  • Published by, 20th Jan 2017 in category Bilateral Relations in English

    Chinese President Xi Jinping said that the Chinese and Swiss business circles share common interests in maintaining a free and open international economic order, and should work together for mutual benefits and against all kinds of trade protectionism. Accompanied by his Swiss counterpart Doris Leuthard, Xi made the remarks during a meeting with Swiss business leaders. He said the two countries have reaped a lot in their fruitful economic and trade cooperation since they established diplomatic relations 67 years ago. The Swiss entrepreneurs, famous for their innovative spirit and commitment to excellence, have always been ahead of the curve in the West's cooperation with China, hence receiving generous returns, Xi noted. The Chinese leader also briefed the Swiss side on the Chinese economy, saying he is confident about a stable growth of the world's second largest economy. Leaders of Swiss businesses, such as Schindler, Roche, Nestlé, UBS and ABB, said China has become an innovation center in a group of industries. The business leaders said they appreciate China's devotion in protecting intellectual property rights, and stand ready to increase their investments in China to expand high-tech cooperation with the Asian country.

  • Published by, 18th Jan 2017 in category Culture & Society in English

    Over 6.2 million copies of President Xi Jinping’s book The Governance of China have been distributed worldwide since its release two years ago, Minister of the State Council Information Office Jiang Jianguo said. "The book has steadily attracted worldwide attention and more than 6.2 million copies have already been distributed in different languages," Jiang revealed when he addressed a launch ceremony on a global China-themed book exhibition in Geneva. Jiang said the book’s distribution volume has already set a record, surpassing all other Chinese leaders’ works since the reform and opening up from the late 1970s. The book exhibition, which will last one month, was launched the day before China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs officially announced Xi’s upcoming visit to Switzerland from 15 to 18 January. "President Xi will be discussing with his Swiss counterpart on how to upgrade relations to a new level and the visit will be of landmark importance to the region and the world," said Jiang. In addition to beefing up trade relations, China and Switzerland will announce new measures in boosting cultural exchanges, tourism and financial cooperation during the visit.

  • Published by, 16th Jan 2017 in category General Interest in English

    Official figures from Switzerland suggest the country is becoming a favored destination for Chinese travelers in Europe, while China remains a popular choice for Swiss travelers making their way to Asia. Statistics from the Swiss government show that 2015 saw a 33% increase in the number of hotel bookings by Chinese tourists. It is part of a trend that has been taking place over the past decade. China has for the first time become the fourth largest source of tourists for Switzerland, behind only Germany, the United States and the United Kingdom. Simon Bosshart, an official with Switzerland Tourism, says finding a common link with Chinese visitors has become a key strategy in promoting Switzerland. "With the Beijing Olympics in 2022, the interest in winter sports is clearly rising in China. We are proud to say that our resorts are more and more ready to welcome Chinese guests in an appropriate manner. For example, we have 19 ski resorts which offer one-day ski experiences out of this winter. These are experiences for absolute beginners who want to give it the first try. Another example, ten resorts are providing Chinese ski instructors upon previous requests of booking with Chinese-speaking ski lessons."

  • Published by, 13th Jan 2017 in category Bilateral Relations in English

    Chinese President Xi Jinping plans to attend the World Economic Forum in Davos later this month, in what will be the first time a Chinese president takes part in the annual gathering of global leaders in the Swiss resort town, a source involved in arrangements said on 4 January. The 17-20 January meeting’s theme is “Responsive and Responsible Leadership” and discussions are expected to focus on issues such as the incoming US presidency of Mr. Donald Trump. Mr. Trump, whose inauguration will be on 20 January, is likely to miss the forum making Mr. Xi’s attendance the event’s highlight. Planning is underway for Mr. Xi to attend the Davos meeting during his visit to Switzerland in mid-January, the source said. The World Economic Forum secretariat is scheduled to announce next Tuesday the official list of participants and program for this year’s Davos forum. Among other world leaders, British Prime Minister Theresa May and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte are considering attending the meeting, while German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande are expected to skip the event this year, according to Reuters news service.