• Published by, 01st Nov 2016 in category Culture & Society in English

    This year nearly 31 leading contemporary galleries from domestic and abroad will participate and bring works from the most dynamic and pioneering artists to the fair. A wave of enthusiasm for contemporary art will have swept over Shanghai by that time. Switzerland will mark its presence at the West Bund Art and Design in several respects: Starting on 8 November, distinguished Swiss speakers will welcome the invited guests at the opening reception and promote Switzerland as a country which not only offers breathtaking landscapes, but also a great variety of art exhibitions and a rich cultural heritage in many prodigious museums. Moreover, supported by Pro Helvetia, there will be a Swiss Pavilion at the West Bund Art and Design Fair which features the ECAL Graphic Design Exhibition, a collection of outstanding art projects by students of the leading Swiss design academy, the University of Art & Design Lausanne.

  • Published by, 31st Oct 2016 in category Bilateral Relations in English

    Switzerland is opening a consulate general in November in the economic hot(s)pot Chengdu, the provincial capital of Southwestern China’s Sichuan, as part of the government’s efforts to promote business between China and Switzerland and to further boost Sino-Swiss bilateral relations. Mr. Frank Eggmann has been appointed the consul general. An official opening ceremony of the consulate general has been scheduled for early 2017. The Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) decided to open a consulate general in Chengdu following a decision of the Federal Council. This will be Switzerland's fifth official representation in China, in addition to the embassy in Beijing and the consulates general in Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hong Kong. The tasks of the new consulate general will focus on the economy, trade, innovation and tourism. “To open the consulate general in Chengdu recognizes the exciting prospects this city and region holds for Sino-Swiss relations. The new consulate general will no doubt upgrade the visibility of Switzerland in Western China and help promote the image of the innovative, creative and competitive Switzerland of today through either business or cultural activities,” said Swiss Ambassador to China Jean-Jacques de Dardel.

  • Published by, 28th Oct 2016 in category BUSINESS NEWS in English

    The European Union (EU) regulators have greenlighted the acquisition of Swiss aircraft solutions provider SR Technics by Chinese conglomerate HNA Group, the EU said on Tuesday. The European Commission, the bloc's executive body, in a statement said that the proposed acquisition "would raise no competition concerns, because there are only limited overlaps between the companies' activities." HNA Group, founded in 1993, is a Chinese conglomerate encompassing core divisions of aviation, holdings, capital, tourism and logistics. SR Technics is a technical aircraft solutions provider, offering maintenance, repair and overhaul services for commercial aircraft. In September, the Commission approved HNA's acquisition of Swiss Gategroup, which provides catering services and retail on-board aircrafts and other related ancillary activities such as on-board service equipment and supply chain and logistics solutions or management of airport lounges.

  • Published by, 25th Oct 2016 in category Culture & Society in English

    After a mixed summer with fewer Chinese tourists, Switzerland’s tourism office predicts a 'stable' winter season for 2016-2017. It hopes to attract expatriates and Chinese visitors to the slopes. These are difficult times for the tourism business in the small alpine nation. The number of overnight stays by Chinese tourists fell by 19.7% in summer, Switzerland Tourism reported on Tuesday. This is a worrying trend for tourism officials, as Chinese visitors were leading recent growth in Switzerland up until recently. The lower numbers are partly due to the terrorist threats in Europe as Switzerland is closely associated with France, according to the tourism office. Earlier this year Switzerland Tourism reported that the drop-off in numbers was also partly linked to the new requirement for biometric fingerprint data for visas. Since last November, this has been mandatory for anyone applying for a visa to Europe’s Schengen zone of countries, including Switzerland. This means all Chinese tourists must travel to a Swiss consulate in person to apply.

  • Published by, 19th Sep 2016 in category Culture & Society in English

    One of the highlights of the Shanghai cultural agenda is the yearly Shanghai Tourism Festival. The city celebrates its 27th edition from 10 to 13 September. Performers from all over the world will descend on Shanghai to entertain locals and tourists alike with activities reflecting cultures and customs from their home countries. This year, the festival launch starts with the grand opening at Huaihai Road (close to the Shanghai Times Square) in the evening of 10 September. "Weidfäger Wolhusen" and "Brass Band MG Oberrüti" are representing Switzerland in the parade. The Swiss musicians will perform during the whole festival at different venues in Shanghai.

  • Published by, 15th Sep 2016 in category General Interest in English

    The Consulate General of Switzerland in Hong Kong cordially invites Alumni of Swiss Public Universities and Universities of Applied Sciences currently living in Hong Kong and Macao (incl. former exchange students) as well as current exchange students from Switzerland in Hong Kong to the traditional Swiss Alumni Event 2016: Connecting People Around the Gotthard: Swiss Alumni Event 2016. On 1 June, 2016, Switzerland celebrated the opening of the world’s longest railway tunnel, which was a milestone of worldwide significance. For this occasion we invited Prof. Emeritus Christian Schlüchter – Assistant Professor between 1986 and 1983 at the Institute of Geology at the ETHZ and Professor and Chair in Quaternary and Environmental Geology at the University of Bern – to talk about this masterpiece in engineering from a geological point of view. Join us for this fascinating talk about the geology and the difficulties to cut a tunnel through the Gotthard Massive. Additionally the Consulate General of Switzerland will present a small exhibition which documents the Gotthard Base Tunnel from sketch to construction, proudly brought to you by Presence Switzerland.

  • Published by, 12th Sep 2016 in category BUSINESS NEWS in English

    The latest data from People’s Bank of China (PBoC) shows that FX reserve in China is continuing their decline and in August the total reserve has declined to USD 3.185 trillion, down half a percent from July. The reserve is still decline but compared to last year, the decline has slowed down a lot. In June 2014, China’s foreign exchange reserve has touched the highest on record top USD 3.99 trillion. The reserve is down more than 20% from the peak. However since January, this year it has stabilized.  Since January, it is down just 0.04 trillion. Last year, reserve declined just short of USD 600 billion. Some of the other indicators from China, such as house prices and PMI reports also pointing to stabilization, if not recovery. While China’s story has been about the bleeding of the reserve, it has been just opposite for Switzerland, which is suffering from a chronic problem of increase in foreign exchange reserves due to the intervention of Swiss National Bank in order to keep the exchange rate steady, and inflows of foreign funds. In August FX reserve increased by USD 12 billion, and it has increased from USD 227 billion in 2012. The Swiss National Bank (SNB) abandoned its euro-franc peg in January last year but FX reserve has increased by USD 130 billion since, which is equivalent to almost 20% of GDP.

  • Published by, 07th Sep 2016 in category General Interest in English

    The bi-annual Economic Report looks into China’s current economic development. It offers an overview of China’s macroeconomic situation, and analyses the structural reforms launched in 2015 as well as in China's 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020). It also provides an insight into China’s international and regional economic agreements, and discusses the outlook for the Sino-Swiss economic agreements. Download the report here.

  • Published by, 04th Sep 2016 in category BUSINESS NEWS in English

    Switzerland retained its title as the world's most innovative country, followed by Sweden and the United Kingdom, according to this year's Global Innovation Index. China was ranked 25th – the first time a middle-income country has joined the highly developed economies that have dominated the top of the index in its nine editions. The Global Innovation Index 2016, co-published by Cornell University, INSEAD, and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), surveyed 128 economies, using 82 indicators to gauge both innovative capabilities and measurable results. The world's top 10 most innovative economies are: 10. Germany; 9. Netherlands; 8. Denmark; 7. Ireland; 6. Singapore; 5. Finland; 4. United States of America; 3. United Kingdom; 2. Sweden; 1. Switzerland.

  • Published by, 02nd Sep 2016 in category Engineering / Manufacturing in English

    Commodities and mining group Glencore PLC reported a narrower first-half net loss and signaled that it's on track to significantly reduce its net debt by selling unwanted assets to weather the recent commodities turmoil. The world's third largest diversified miner by market value reported a USD 369 million net loss for the six months ended 30 June, 2016, helped by cost reductions, compared with a USD 676 million net loss in the same period a year before. Revenue fell 6% on year to USD 69.4 billion due to broadly lower commodity prices as well as lower copper, zinc, coal and oil production in the first half compared with the same period a year before. Glencore's shares have more than doubled so far this year, buoyed by a surge in commodity prices that caught analysts off guard. Production cutbacks, particularly in zinc, and sturdy demand in China, the world's largest consumer of many commodities, after Beijing's recent economic stimulus, have contributed to improved prices.