• 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.

  • Published by, 09th Jan 2017 in category Bilateral Relations in English

    As a sign of the ever closer political and economic ties between Switzerland and China, the Federal Council led by President Doris Leuthard will receive the Chinese President, Xi Jinping, for a state visit to Switzerland next week. The programme for the visit begins on Sunday, 15 January. It is planned that the official talks will involve an exchange on world trade, the global financial system, the environment and climate protection and the situation in and around Syria. On bilateral issues, the focus will be on cooperation on economic and scientific matters, cooperation in the financial sector and on cultural matters, on human rights and in the context of the UN and on environment, climate and energy. In addition to President Leuthard and President Xi Jinping, members of both governments will take part in the talks. As part of the programme for the visit, a round table is scheduled to take place on Monday with representatives of the Swiss business community.

  • Published by, 03rd Jan 2017 in category Legal / Tax / Consulting / Services in English

    The China Legal Briefing 254 was released. In this briefing, you can read: Shanghai issued a new unified work permit for foreigners; China introduced measures to help prevent risks in internet finance and China amended its Foreign Investment approval regime

  • Published by, 29th Dec 2016 in category Hospitality / Tourism / Retail in English

    The Swiss watch industry’s value of exports declined by 5.6% to just under CHF 1.9 billion, or USD 1.8 billion at current exchange rates, for the month of November. The Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry noted that the decline of exports, a trend that has continued for nearly two years, “softened” in November, but the sector is still struggling. In addition to waning interest, the decline in value is being linked to precious metal watches. In its November statistics report, the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry shared that the rises and falls of the main price segments alternated for the month. But, falls were more dominate. Sales of watches with an export price of between 200 and 500 Swiss francs, or USD 195 to USD 487, and those priced more than CHF 3,000, or USD 2,926, were lower. Other segments, however, posted small gains. Main markets were also down for November, but approximately half of the 30 primary regions for watches grew in November.

  • Published by, 26th Dec 2016 in category Bank / Finance / Insurance in English

    Swiss Re, a wholesale provider of reinsurance, believes the combination of a growing middle-income sector in Asia, especially in emerging markets, the low insurance penetration, and China’s “One Belt, One Road” policy will make Asia become the biggest insurance market in the new year. Speaking on the business outlook for Asean countries in 2017 at the “Thailand Insurance Symposium” yesterday, Clarence Wong, chief economist for Asia at Swiss Reinsurance Company, said he believed that premium income would surpass those in North America and the European Union. Ten years ago, premium income in Asia was half that of North America, he said, adding that the growing income in Asia over the past few years had attracted insurance firms to broaden their presence in this region. The insurance industry in Asia is in its third phase of development, in economic growth, income growth, solvency reform and personal lines, he said. Premium income from life and health insurance in the region is on an upward trend due to demographic changes and need for healthcare.