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

    Two bidders competed to send a Chinese vase to a record CHF 5 million in Geneva. The pre-sale estimate for the piece was CHF 500 to 800."Including the commission, the vase will cost the Asian buyer CHF 6.08 million (USD 6.1 million)," auctioneer Olivier Fichot told the AFP news agency. The auction house, Genève-Enchères, had listed the piece as a 23-inch tall vase with three blue dragons on a yellow background, possibly dating from the early 20th century yet with an 18th century Qianlong seal. The auctioneer said their estimate was conservative and that the piece was difficult to date accurately.

  • Published by, 24th Sep 2017 in category Culture & Society in English

    Roger Federer calls the city his second home and the man fondly known as 'Cow' in China had his fans in a froth on his return to the Shanghai Masters.  Already hugely popular in China because of his easygoing personality and outstanding success, the Swiss legend had the crowd swooning once more following his victory on 11 October. Federer's 'Cow' moniker stems from a Swiss tournament twice gifting him one of the animals. The first was Juliette in 2003, and then there was Desiree in 2013. The Chinese also consider his personality -- they see him as gentle and mellow -- to be similar to that of a cow. Shanghai has fond memories for Federer, who played here in 2002 when he first broke into the top ten. He also won the 2006 and 2007 Tennis Masters Cups and the 2014 Masters at the Qi Zhong Stadium. 11 October was Federer's first match in the Chinese metropolis since 2015, and his supporters were determined to give him the warmest of welcomes.

  • Published by, 17th Sep 2017 in category BUSINESS NEWS in English

    CHANGZHOU, China, Sept. 30, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- On September 28, the Centre for International Economic and Technological Cooperation, a government unit under the aegis of China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, signed a strategic partnership with the municipal government of Changzhou, formally kicking off the construction of Sino-Swiss Industrial Park in Changzhou National Hi-Tech District.

    The establishment of the park was the result of the Changzhou CPC Municipal Committee's and the Changzhou city government's proactive engagement in an initiative to strengthen ties between China and Switzerland. The initiative also helps to advance both "China Manufacturing 2025", the Chinese government's plan to move the country from the role as the world's low-priced factory floor to one whose industrial leaders stand head and shoulders with their counterparts in the world's developed countries, and Switzerland's "Industry 4.0", the Alpine country's plan to take the lead across Europe in completing the fusion of industry and digitisation.

    A business, science and education zone based on a Swiss model will be built with Xinlong International Business City, a commercial complex, as the core, while a roughly 65-hectare plot of land zoned for industrial use located in neighbouring Binjiang Economic Development Zone is where a grouping of the park's planned manufacturing facilities will be built. The combination vastly facilitates a collaborative approach to the recruiting of new projects, innovation in scientific research, efficiency in the use of energy and improvements in environmental protection, as well as education and humanities-oriented projects.

    Changzhou National Hi-Tech District is home to a cluster of Swiss manufacturing facilities and remains an important investment destination for Swiss companies seeking to set up operations in the Yangtze River Delta. Currently, 14 top Swiss companies have set up shop in the district, among them, Mettler Toledo, Rieter, Givaudan, FoamPartner Bock, GF Machining Solutions and V-Zug, with an aggregate investment reaching US$420 million. The district has attracted investors from 67 countries and regions worldwide, with 1,660 foreign-owned firms having located a facility there, including more than 50 of the Fortune 500 firms. In 2016, the district contributed 115.5 billion yuan to China's GDP and handled US$10 billion in foreign trade. As of the end of 2016, Changzhou had granted approval for the establishment of facilities for 27 Switzerland-invested companies.


  • Published by, 24th Aug 2017 in category BUSINESS NEWS in English

    Switzerland-based mining giant Glencore PLC will acquire assets in South Africa and Botswana from Chevron Global Energy Inc., after a similar deal between Chevron and Chinese oil behemoth Sinopec Group fell through earlier this year. Glencore will buy a 75% stake in Chevron South Africa Proprietary Ltd. and wholly acquire Chevron Botswana Proprietary Ltd., for a total of over USD 970 million, Glencore said in a statement on 6 October. Sinopec had announced in March that it would buy Chevron’s Botswana subsidiary and the 75% stake in the South Africa business for USD 900 million, after rounds of bidding that included offers from Glencore and France’s Total SA. The Chinese company had planned to rebrand Chevron’s Caltex gas stations in the two countries under Sinopec’s name. In April 2016, Sinopec sold a 40% stake in its investment arm, Sinopec International Petroleum Exploration and Production Corp. (SIPC), in a deal it said was intended to “increase its competitiveness and achieve sustainable, healthy development.” In August this year, SIPC said it would terminate its Addax Petroleum operations in Switzerland because of continued low oil prices. But Sinopec, together with China’s other “Big Three” oil companies — China National Petroleum Corp. and China National Offshore Oil Corp. — placed a vote of confidence in the global oil market this year when they announced plans to invest a combined RMB 371 billion (USD 54 billion) in 2017. “Sinopec does have a number of challenges to address domestically in both the upstream (declining assets) and downstream (competition from teapots),” an industry term for China’s privately-owned oil refineries, Virendra Chauhan, oil analyst at Energy Aspects, told Caixin.

  • Published by, 17th Aug 2017 in category Bilateral Relations in Chinese

    On 13 October 2017, the Federal Council submitted the agreements on the introduction of the automatic exchange of financial account information (AEOI) with Hong Kong and Singapore for consultation. The agreement with Hong Kong was signed by Switzerland on the same day, the agreement with Singapore had already been signed on 17 July 2017. The consultation will run until 27 January 2018. It is important for Switzerland's financial sector that the same competitive conditions exist all over the world. The introduction of the AEOI with competing financial centres is of particular importance. Hong Kong and Singapore are two of the world's leading financial centres. Based on specific bilateral agreements, the Federal Council intends to introduce the AEOI with Singapore and Hong Kong in 2018 and exchange data for the first time in 2019. In order to meet the time schedule set, the Federal Council has initially decided to introduce the AEOI with both countries provisionally from 1 January 2018. The committees responsible approved the provisional application of the agreements in June 2017. By law, the Federal Council has six months from the start of the provisional application to submit the matter to Parliament for approval. The Federal Council expects to submit the dispatch on both agreements for adoption in spring 2018. This will ensure that Parliament can deal with the proposal as part of the ordinary procedure.


  • Published by, 10th Aug 2017 in category Bilateral Relations in Chinese

    On 16 October, the Chinese Ambassador to Switzerland, Geng Wenbing, visited the headquarters of Nestlé in Vevey and held talks with Mr. Paul Bulcke, Chairman of Nestlé and CEO of Zone Asia Oceania and sub-Saharan Africa Ms. Wan Ling. Mr. Bulcke said that China is currently the second largest market for sales of Nestlé, and the development is very rapid. Belt and Road Initiative, the decentralization of government and a series of reforms bring great significance to both Nestlé and the whole world. Nestlé is pleased to see China's strong economic growth and greater progress in government regulation. Also, Nestlé is confident in the future of China market. The Ambassador spoke highly of the participation of Nestlé into the development of Chinese economy. Ambassador Geng briefed the current situation of China's economic development and said that after the Ninth National Congress of the Communist Party of China, we will further deepen reform and open up the market and provide more opportunities for Nestlé's development in China. He expected that Nestle could seize the favorable opportunity and increase investment in Chinese market and make greater contribution in food safety, quality control, etc.

  • Published by jerome-biard-chinois-100-derriere-corum, 03rd Aug 2017 in category General Interest in French

    The new director of Corum and Eterna will take his functions next September, replacing Davide Traxler. Jérome Biard mentions his future Chinese bosses and explains why he gives up the idea of collaborating with Amazon for e-commerce. Officially, he has not yet taken over but Jérome Biard knows the two watch brands from La Chaux-de-Fonds (NE) and from Granges (SO) that he will take over in September very well. During the past eight years, he contributed to sell the two brands on emerging markets as general manager of LPI, a Russian company specialized in luxury goods distribution. Since 2013, the owner of Corum and Eterna is the Chinese businessman Kwok Lung Hon and his diversified group Citychamp. The two previous directors – Antonio Calce (2007-2014) and Davide Traxler (2015 – 2017) – will have stayed less than two years under this president. It’s time for Franco-Swiss Jérôme Biard (who worked for Vacheron Constantin, Cartier and Girard-Perregaux in the past) to take on the challenge.

  • Published by markets/ey-listed-banks-in-china, 31st Jul 2017 in category Legal / Tax / Consulting / Services in Englsih

    This is the 10th EY annual report on China’s listed banks. The purpose of this annual report is to provide an outlook on the direction of the future development of China’s banking industry based on observations of the businesses, operating models and regulatory environment of the 37 listed banks in mainland China. “2017 is an important year for the implementation of the ‘13th Five-Year Plan’ and a year for the continued deepening of supply-side structural reform. China’s banking industry is still undergoing critical transformation where both opportunities and challenges coexist. To cope with the complex and ever-changing environment, listed banks will continue to explore the path for transformation and development, and FinTech will inject new impetus into the shaping of future banking. In addition, banks should strengthen risk prevention and control during transformation to achieve long-term sustainable development”, said Jack Chan, Managing Partner of EY Financial Services in Greater China.


  • Published by, 27th Jul 2017 in category Hospitality / Tourism / Retail in Chinese

    CHEERS, which has a high reputation among the new generation in China, is from a century-long Swiss family in wine since 1898. Ms. Lina of the Masueger family, whose husband had died prematurely, had to take care of the young children alone. So she became the pioneer to lead the family into the wine industry. In that era, independent working women were still rare. In order to provide a better life for the children, Ms. Lina bravely traveled between the Swiss and the Italian imports of barrels of wine. At first, she sold only to neighbors. Later, the business expanded, the whole family participated to work together from generation to generation. It takes this Swiss domestic wine business family a hundred years to extend their business to the world. Ms. Claudia relayed the family business and aimed the Chinese market. She and CHEERS has been stationed in China for 9 years and by 2017, there is a plan to open 100 CHEERS around China and her target is 888 in the future.

  • Published by China-Import-Approval-Agrisure-, 27th Jul 2017 in category Hospitality / Tourism / Retail in English

    Syngenta announced on 17 July that it has received notification of import approval from the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture for its Agrisure Duracade® trait. The approval covers corn grain and processing co-products, including dried distillers grains (DDGs), for food and feed use. rik Fyrwald, CEO, said: “Obtaining this regulatory approval opens up new opportunities for our corn seed portfolio. Growers can expect more choice and exciting new hybrids that offer elite genetics plus the latest in corn rootworm control technology.” Corn rootworm costs US growers more than $1 billion annually due to yield losses and costs of control measures. Agrisure Duracade, which features a unique mode of action, helps deliver control of corn rootworm for a healthier corn crop with higher yield potential.The Agrisure Duracade trait has completed the Food and Drug Administration consultation process, received registration from the Environmental Protection Agency and has been fully deregulated by the USDA since 2013.