• Published by, 13th Mar 2017 in category Culture & Society in English

    According to government statistics released today, the number of Swiss living abroad increased by 2.9% in 2016, reaching close to 775,000. This means around 1 in 9 Swiss nationals lives outside Switzerland. Growth in the number leaving has been accelerating. In previous years the growth rate was around 2%. The most popular places Swiss choose to live are France (26%), Germany (12%), USA (11%), Italy (7%), and Canada (5%), which together account for 60% of the total. The UK (5%), Spain (3%), Israel (3%) and Austria (2%), account for a further 16%. A further 11% live in the following ten countries: Argentina, Brazil, Thailand, South Africa, Belgium, Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden, Mexico, and China (including Hong Kong). These top 20 nations together account for 87% of Swiss expatriates.

  • Published by, 10th Mar 2017 in category BUSINESS NEWS in English

    Vaud, a French speaking Canton near Lake Geneva, was the sole focus at a Swiss wine tasting organized by Hong Kong’s Swiss wine importer, Swiss Wine Shop, and its wine trade organization, Office des Vins Vaudois (OVV), this week in Hong Kong. Producing about 25% of the country’s total wines, the region is home to a UNESCO site, Lavaux, an area known for its beautiful, terraced vineyards. The majority of its wines are consumed domestically and less than 2% of the wines are exported. Trailing behind Germany and the UK, Asia has slowly emerged on the map after Swiss wines were first exported here a few years back. In Shanghai, the wine seems to be taking off as well. “Chasselas is the wine that is very fresh, open and you can pair it with any kind of food. You know how people are like in China where they eat everything on the table. It’s difficult to do a wine pairing, and Chasselas works very well even with spicy dish,” said Philippe Huser, owner of Napa Wine Bar & Kitchen in Bund, which imports about 6,000 bottles of Chasselas to Shanghai. With the whole packaging of UNESCO and Swiss image, the wine became an instant hit, he added.

  • Published by, 07th Mar 2017 in category Bilateral Relations in Chinese

    On 6 March, the Chinese Ambassador to Switzerland Mr. Geng Wenbing invited Mr. Guy Parmelin, the Swiss Federal Councillor and head of the Department of Defense, Civil Protection and Sports to his official residence. Ambassador Geng said the current Sino-Swiss strategic partnership is at a comprehensive and rapid development stage. The pragmatic cooperation achieved significant results in various fields. He also expressed his willingness to take this opportunity to increase the high-level exchanges and visitsand enhance the mutual understanding and cooperation, in order to promote the development of bilateral relations to a higher level. Mr. Parmelin also stated that Swiss attached great importance to the friendly relationship and collaboration between China and Switzerland. He is willing to strengthen high-level exchanges as well in military reform, technical exchange, personnel training and other fields and make new contribution to Sino-Swiss relations.

  • Published by, 04th Mar 2017 in category Engineering / Manufacturing in English

    Swiss agrochemical and seed producer Syngenta AG has said it is willing to work with more Chinese partners to make agriculture more sustainable in the country and to rejuvenate China's ecosystems. The company is already working with academics at the Yantai Academy of Agricultural Sciences, apple growers and the vineyard of COFCO Great Wall Winery (YanTai) Co Ltd in Shandong province to adopt practical measures to improve soil quality and sustainability in their orchards.

  • Published by, 01st Mar 2017 in category Culture & Society in English

    Voters in Switzerland decided on Sunday to make it easier for young "third-generation foreigners" to get Swiss citizenship, agreeing to extend to about 25,000 people under age 25 access to the fast-track process now available to foreign spouses of Swiss nationals. The national statistics office said the "naturalization of third-generation immigrants" initiative passed with 60.4% of the vote, paving the way to a simplified path to citizenship for young people whose parents and grandparents have lived in Switzerland for decades. As in some other European countries, being born in Switzerland doesn't automatically confer citizenship. While about 25,000 people are estimated to be eligible for the new process, the referendum's passage ultimately could be far-reaching in a country where non-citizens make up one-fourth of the population.

  • Published by, 26th Feb 2017 in category BUSINESS NEWS in English

    Switzerland, with its rich experiences in winter sports, could cooperate with China to ensure the success of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games, said Swiss officials. Roger Schnegg, director of Swiss Olympic committee, told China Daily in Beijing that as the nation where the International Olympics Committee is headquartered, Switzerland has played a leading role in winter sports as well as many other areas. "We are the global leader in winter sports. We are the global leader in sustainable tourism and hospitality services. We are the global leader in innovation and clean technology. That's overall, not only in winter," he said. He was on a three-day visit to China last week with more than 40 representatives from 14 Swiss companies, associations and institutes, including SwissCham Beijing. The delegation members visited Chongli in North China's Hebei province where the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games will be held. During the visit, the representatives met with people from Chinese government and companies to discuss cooperation issues for the winter sports. A memorandum of understanding was also signed to establish friendly cities between the Swiss tourism resort Verbier and Chongli.

  • 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.