Reader's Digest > 4 July - 18 July

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Reader's Digest, 5 - 18 July 2014

Swiss and Chinese Business Related News in Switzerland and China


Sino-Swiss Dialogue at Eco-Forum Global Annual Conference Guiyang 2014
Published by, 11th July 2014
The Sino-Swiss Dialogue at the Eco Forum Global Annual Conference Guiyang 2014 kicks off on the afternoon of July 10, 2014. Senior officials from both sides attend the high-level dialogue, including Chen Min'er, Governor of Guizhou Province, and Hannes Germann, President of the Council of States 2013/14, Swiss Parliament. The Sino-Swiss Dialogue is hosted by the Guizhou Department of Commerce, CCPIT and co-organized by the Ministry Of Commerce People‘s Republic of China (MOFCOM) and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) on behalf of the Embassy of Switzerland in China. The goal is to make the Sino-Swiss Dialogue a strategic dialogue to strengthen the communication, enhance the learning from experiences of Switzerland and promote the cooperation in the fields of green economy and sustainable development.

Swiss Experts Weigh in on Wenjiang's Low-Carbon Development
Published by China Daily, 10th July 2014
Experts from the Swiss Embassy in China, headed by the regional counselor Patrizia Palmiero, and experts from Energy Cities gathered in Wenjiang district on June 25, to investigate the construction of a low-carbon ecological civilization, to seek cooperation and development as well as to explore the practical path of constructing a green, recyclable and low-carbon ecological civilization. n a symposium, experts from Energy Cities shared their experience in how Switzerland improved its environment, and they emphasized the “2000 watt society”, tramway, and the disposal and recycling of solid waste. Combined with the current situation in Wenjiang, experts gave their analysis and suggestions. Core leaders of Wenjiang Development and Reform Commission had an in-depth discussion with the experts on the planning of a tramway and low-carbon ecological civilization construction. Tramway could also become a unique feature of Wenjiang in the future.

Third Sino-Swiss Economic Forum Held in Beijing
Published by, 1st July 2014
The 3rd Sino Swiss Economic Forum was successfully held on 1 July 2014 in Beijing in the presence of Swiss State Secretary for Economic Affairs, H.E. Mrs. Marie-Gabrielle Ineichen-Fleisch, and Chinese Vice-Minister of Commerce, H.E. Mr. Zhong Shan. More than 360 guests attended the event, including high-level representatives from the Sino-Swiss business community, Government and Academia to explore the new opportunities the agreement will bring in strengthening bilateral economic exchange. Reports, pictures and videos are now available on our website
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Chinese Shoppers Offered Alipay Tax Refund Option
Published by China Daily, 14th July 2014
About 5,000 shops in the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy and France, such as luxury department store Harrods in the UK and La Rinascente in Italy, will offer Chinese customers the option of receiving tax refunds through online payment method Alipay from today. According to Chinese third-party online payment giant Alipay and Swiss tax-refund company Global Blue, which jointly announced the new option, Chinese tourists can have tax refunds on their shopping paid directly into their Alipay accounts in Chinese yuan. Customers need to provide the mobile phone number linked to their Alipay account on the tax refund form and have the form stamped at customs. After that, they can place the forms in a designated box and will receive the refunds in their Alipay accounts in 10 to 15 days, as an alternative to traditional refund methods of queuing for cash at the airport or waiting several months for credit card refunds.

Swiss Coffee Machine to Robot Makers Buoyed by China Pact
Published by, 10th July 2014
Swiss companies are stealing a march on European and U.S. rivals as a trade pact with China taking effect today slashes import duties on most industrial goods. With the accord, China will cut tariffs on Swiss watches, machinery and chemical imports from companies including Swatch Group AG and robot-maker ABB Ltd.’s Swiss unit. Most tariffs will shrink immediately or within five to 10 years. China will overtake Germany as Switzerland’s biggest export market by 2035, according to a Credit Suisse Group AG survey of small- and medium-sized companies. “It’s a huge advantage for us,” said Emanuel Probst, chief executive officer of Jura Elektroapparate AG, a Swiss maker of luxury coffee machines. Import taxes on Jura’s GIGA 5 household coffee maker, which sells for CHF 4,250 (USD 4,775), will be cut to zero from 32% within five years.

Luxury Watch Brands Get FTA Boost
Published by, 9th July 2014
A free trade pact between China and Switzerland should boost watch brand sales in the world’s fastest growing market. Switzerland is traditionally the home of the high-end watchmaking industry – and the Chinese already cannot buy enough of them. The FTA will see Switzerland remove tariffs on almost all goods imported from China and China removing 84% tariffs on imported Swiss goods. And while luxury tariffs on luxury watches will remain, a special “watch memorandum” added to the agreement stipulates that they will be cut by 60% over the next decade.

Analysts Say Sino-Swiss Free Trade Deal to Foster Trade Ties
Published by China Daily, 5th July 2014
With the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) entered into force on Tuesday, China and Switzerland have established a preferential trade relationship for goods and services. Swiss officials and experts say the FTA will foster the win-win trade and economic exchange within the two sides. The FTA, signed in Beijing on July 6, 2013, after nine rounds of negotiations of more than two years, is the first free trade pact inked between China and a country in continental Europe. According to the FTA, as much as 99.7 percent of Chinese exports to Switzerland will be immediately exempted from tariffs, while 84.2 percent of Swiss exports to China will eventually receive zero tariffs. From a Swiss perspective, the FTA enables a competitive advantage compared to countries which have not a FTA with China.
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Swiss Vocational Training Model Could Work in China, Expert Says
Published by, 9th July 2014
China plans to reform its vocational education system to develop the skilled workers it needs for innovation and upgrading production. But unlike developed countries like Germany and Switzerland, where vocational education has long been seen as an educational opportunity equivalent to an academic education, China has to overcome several institutional and cultural challenges hindering change, says an expert on vocational education in Switzerland. The key to developing quality vocational education is to let the companies play the lead role, not the government or schools, says Uschi Backes-Gellner, a professor at the University of Zurich in Switzerland, who specializes in the economics of education and training policies. In a recent interview with Caixin at the Sino-Swiss Economic Forum 2014 in Beijing, Backes-Gellner talked about Switzerland's unique vocational education system, the challenges facing China and possible way of implementing the model in this country. Excerpts of that interview follow.

The Challenges on Social Business in China, a Club HEC Lausanne Event
Published by, 9th July 2014
Each year, HEC Lausanne organizes a summer school in Shanghai managed by Professor Marc Laperrouza, expert in emerging markets at the University of Lausanne. This year, 22 students took part of the program and will spend 10 days studying some parts of the Chinese economy (distribution, luxury), discover some aspects of Chinese culture (calligraphy, kitchen, etc.) and deepen the concepts of "global mindset."  Within this summer school, one day (8 of July 2014) is dedicated to the relation between Swiss and China in term of business. For this reason, the group has spent the half of the afternoon and the entire evening at swissnex China. The activity of the afternoon was dedicated on the import of Swiss products like cenovis or Alp horn in China. In 20 minutes, the student had to draw up a strategy to sell these products in China and had also invented an advertising slogan. After that, each group showed its results in 5 minutes. The presentations were very interesting and creative.

The Interlaken of China
Published by, 17th July 2014
The Chinese imagine the Swiss as people who like watches, geraniums and bears and enjoy eating chocolate as well as travelling on steam trains. That's the caricature presented by the Bernese Oberland tourist destination of Interlaken. And that destination has been re-created in a section of a Chinese theme park near the booming city of Shenzhen in Guangdong province, which lies just across a river from Hong Kong. The "miniature Interlaken" was opened in 2007 and consists of several streets with stores, a train station and a replica of the Hotel Victoria Jungfrau. The houses are a mix of styles from the Tirol, Engadin and Schwarzwald regions, and watches or bears bearing the Chinese, Swiss or Bernese flags are ubiquitous. Chinese tourists can have their pictures taken on the "Interlaken bridge," a copy of the famous Kappelbrücke in Lucerne. Bagpipers appear, along with a clown that performs to the tunes of Swiss pop star DJ Bobo.
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High-End Brands Dazzle Beijing Luxury Show
Published by China Daily, 7th July 2014
Third Luxury China Show held at Beijing Exhibition Center saw participation of more than 300 high-end brands from over 20 countries and regions, including Italy, Switzerland and France. Co-organized by China Chamber of International Commerce and Zhenwei Exhibition, Luxury China, the most influential promotion platform for world's high-end brands in China, put on display sports cars, private yachts, jewellery, watches, luxury furniture and art. The event ended on July 6, 2014.

Biking Around Qinghai Lake
Published by, 28th June 2014
Away from hustle and bustle of the big cities and temporary forget about their busy work, Mr. Antoine Grellet and six of his CEO friends had an amazing biking tour around the lake of Qinghai during the dragon boat festival. The complete trip was 360km in 4 days at average height of 3100m. The scenery was fantastic as well as the warm welcome from locals and the great food. Four consecutive days make them tired but they really enjoyed blue sky and fresh air there. Further to their trip, they also raised RMB 2275 for philanthropic fund in Shenzhen that helps impoverished children going through school and life.
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Engineering / Manufacturing

ABB Launches First Railway System R&D Center in China
Published by, 9th July 2014
ABB announced that it has recently inaugurated an R&D center for railway systems in Guangzhou. Setting up its first R&D center focusing on the Chinese rail transport market will bring ABB closer to the local market and allow ABB to more quickly respond to customers’ needs for innovative railway traction systems. Along with the rapid development of the rail market, ABB has enhanced its local R&D and production capacity, seeking strategic cooperation with local vehicle manufacturers to boost its China business. At the end of 2010, ABB set up a joint venture, namely ABB Microunion Traction Equipment Ltd. with a local partner to provide traction equipment solutions for mainline railway and urban mass transit networks through a range of business activities including R&D, manufacturing and services. In 2012, ABB established its first integrated Train Control & Monitoring System (TCMS) R&D platform, thereby further building up R&D resources in China.

Swiss Based SSM Displays Six Textile Machines at ITMA Asia
Published by, 8th July 2014
Large interest was generated by SSM’s numerous product launches: DURO, NOVA and TG1-AT. This year’s show attracted around 100’000 visitors from 102 countries, whereas attendance increased by about 7% in comparison to the previous show in 2012. The Swiss based SSM AG, the inventor of the electronic yarn traverse system, showed six machines out of which five of them were shown in Asia for the first time. For the first time in China, SSM presented their TW2plus-W fastflex precision package winder – the economic solution for dye package winding as well as rewinding. From SSM GIUDICI came the TG1 which was exhibited in a special hybrid execution: one side as TG1-FT manual false-twist texturing machine and the other side with the newly introduced TG1-AT manual air texturing machine. The advantage of the TG1-serie is the cost efficient production of high quality yarn.

Bank / Finance / Insurance

Credit Suisse Names Angie Ma Managing Director for Greater China
Published by, 10th July 2014
Financial services firm Credit Suisse AG said it appointed Angie Ma Managing Director, sector Head and Deputy Market Leader for Greater China. Based in Hong Kong, Ma will be responsible for the development of team leaders and relationship managers to drive the Swiss bank's private banking Greater China strategy, Credit Suisse said. She will report to Jimmy Lee, the market leader for Greater China. Ma joins from UBS AG, where she was a Managing Director and Deputy Regional Market Manager for the China market.

JPMorgan Hires UBS's David Li to be New China Head
Published by, 10th July 2014
JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM) said it has hired former UBS AG banker David Li as its new China head, reinforcing its investment banking clout in the world's second-largest economy after the departure of top China banker Fang Fang in March. Li will oversee all of JPMorgan's businesses in China, including the investment banking division that Fang ran. Li will report to Nicolas Aguzin, Chairman and CEO for Asia-Pacific operations, the U.S. bank said on Thursday. Fang, JPMorgan's Chief Executive for China investment banking, left the firm in March, amid a probe of JPMorgan hiring practices in Asia. Li was most recently chairman and country head for China at UBS. He will start at JPMorgan in October, the bank said in a press release.

New Huadu Business School Attended the 2014 Sino-Swiss Economic Forum
Published by, 7th July 2014
In order to celebrate the date which marks the official entry in force of the Sino-Swiss Free Trade Agreement, the 3rd Sino-Swiss Economic Forum was opened in Beijing on Tuesday 1st July 2014. The State Secretary of Switzerland Mrs. Marie-Gabrielle Ineichen-Fleisch, the Chinese Vice-Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan, Swiss Ambassador Jean-Jacques de Dardel and Vice Dean of New Huadu Business School Lin Hua attended the Forum. Vice Dean Mr. Lin Hua participated in the discussion of "Swiss FTA" and its prospects for development, and made a speech in the Panel of "Switzerland –Your Gateway to Europe" as the only representative of educational institutions. In the forum, the Chairman of New Huadu Business School Mr. He Zhiyi hobnobbed with the Swiss Ambassador Jean-Jacques de Dardel. After the Forum, The Chairman of New Huadu Business School Mr. He Zhiyi, Associate Dean Mr. Guo Haihu, the international program department, MBA center and case study center participated in the Gala dinner.

Hospitality / Tourism / Retails

Shanghai Tang's Certain Something
Published by China Daily, 10th July 2014
Sitting in the spacious presidential suite of the Langham Xintiandi Hotel in downtown Shanghai, Raphael le Masne de Chermont, Executive Chairman of the luxury lifestyle brand Shanghai Tang, talks confidently and eloquently about his plans for the brand, which is known for its interpretation of Chinese culture and craftsmanship. Le Masne de Chermont has an independent and energetic disposition, which is very much in line with the spirit of Shanghai Tang, a relatively young brand within the Switzerland-based luxury group Richemont SA. Shanghai Tang has been growing at double-digit figures in recent years, and le Masne de Chermont is confident in the future of the brand, which is evident in his plans for the Chinese and global market. Apart from opening a boutique store in Macao and preparing the renovation of the store in London, Shanghai Tang is putting more emphasis on the Chinese mainland, although the company is based in Hong Kong.

Hublot’s Chinese Flag Watch Commemorates Sino-Swiss Free Trade Agreement
Published by, 8th July 2014
As the provisions of China and Switzerland’s bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) signed last year are set to take effect, Swiss watchmaker Hublot commemorates the milestone with a special-edition watch that was presented to Chinese officials at the 2014 Sino-Swiss Economic Forum in Beijing last Tuesday. The FTA includes the removal of most import tariffs from various groups in both countries. Switzerland is set to remove tariffs on almost all goods imported from China, while China will remove them from 84 percent of imported Swiss goods. While luxury tariffs on luxury watches will remain, a special “watch memorandum” added to the agreement stipulates that they will be cut by 60% over the next decade. The event was jointly organized by Swiss-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and the Swiss Embassy. The press release says that the FTA taking effect will have “unprecedented opportunities in economic and trade cooperation benefitting the watch industry.”

Will Free Trade Help Quench China’s Thirst for Milk?
Published by Veronica DeVore,, 1st July 2014
A Swiss-Chinese free trade agreement is making exporting to China more attractive for Swiss milk producers, but exporters and farmers – one of whom runs two Chinese stores – say it’s harder than it seems to gain a foothold in such a huge market where uncertainty remains. A free trade agreement that goes into effect on July 1 sweetens the pot, as tariffs for most milk products sent to China will completely disappear within a decade. Robert Bischofberger of Swissmooh AG shares his impressions of Chinese customers and culture. Swissmooh AG was born. A sister company of Nordostmilch, the brand was designed to sell the image of Switzerland – and its milk products – to a young, modern Chinese clientele that was prepared to pay for quality. The whole business, from production to final sale, is overseen by farmers.

Legal / Trade / Consulting / Services

Article About the Draft of a New Service Invention Law in China
Published by, 11th July 2014
Dr. Jörg-Michael Scheil has published an article about the draft of a new service invention law in China in the July edition of the magazine “Mitteilungen der deutschen Patentanwälte”. A draft of a new service invention law has been passed into the legislative procedure on April 2014. The article introduces this first systematic regulation of service inventions in China. Partially following foreign regulations it is planned to introduce rules regarding the reporting of inventions and remuneration for inventors. Such remuneration can still be regulated in employment contracts or employee handbooks, but can be invalid under certain conditions. The Chinese IP administration authorities will have extensive rights to monitor and to inspect.

A Global Move to Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information
Published by, 30th June 2014
On February 2014, the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development released a new global standard for automatic exchange of financial account information between governments. The new standard consists of the (1) Common Reporting Standard and (2) Model Competent Authority Agreement. With the global move to automatic exchange of information (AEoI), Hong Kong will need to rethink its current policy of exchanging information upon request only and to consider moving to AEoI in the future. To do so, Hong Kong will need to put in place a legal framework for AEoI and an effective administrative system to implement AEoI in practice. In view of the possible adoption of the CRS in Hong Kong in the future, financial institutions should assess whether their existing compliance and information systems are flexible enough to accommodate the additional reporting and due diligence obligations under the CRS. For taxpayers in general, the boosted international transparency under the CRS will serve as another deterrent to the use of offshore accounts, by both individuals and entities, to avoid domestic tax liabilities.
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