Reader's Digest > 2 August - 15 August

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Reader's Digest, 2 - 15 August 2014

Swiss and Chinese Business Related News in Switzerland and China

BILATERAL RELATIONS

Crans-Montana (Switzerland) Signed an Agreement with the Region of Ordos (China)
Published by china-embassy.ch, 6th August 2014
The resort of Crans-Montana signed Switzerland’s first agreement for twin regions with the Inner Mongolian region of Ordos. The agreement to develop ties will eventually lead to agreements in the areas of education, tourism, technology and health, said Jean-Claude Savoy, Board of Directors’ President of the Crans-Montana Region during the signing ceremony on 31 July 2014. China’s Ambassador to Switzerland, Xu Jinghu, took part in the ceremony. Crans-Montana is a resort comprised of six communes. The agreement took effect upon the signature and shall be valid for a period of 5 years, renewable.
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BUSINESS NEWS

Chope Expands in China via New Tie-Up
Published by businesstimes.com.sg, 12th August 2014
Chope, a Singapore-based company that provides restaurant reservation services, is teaming up with Ringier China to increase its presence in mainland China. Ringier China, the China arm of Swiss company Ringier Media, owns City Weekend, an online lifestyle guide. With 5.8 million pageviews per month, it is China's largest English online guide, catering to affluent, English-speaking expatriates. Under the partnership, Chope will provide reservation service to restaurants that are listed on City Weekend, allowing readers to book tables through City Weekend and also Chope's website and mobile applications. The added convenience is especially valuable to City Weekend's readers since they typically do not speak Mandarin, and thus would face difficulty in making reservations by phone.

SCS Machinery, Trading & Business Center
Published by swisscenters.org, 5th August 2014
The Swiss Center Shanghai’s brand new Machinery, Trading and Business Center at Waigaoqiao has started its operation on 11 July 2014. The construction and decoration is now completed, and the first set of companies has moved into their new spaces. The offices and showrooms are taking shape, and the premise is coming to life. The SCS team on site will support the companies to take full advantage of the special policies in the zone. For example, companies can have their machinery exhibited free of tariff in the facility for demonstration, training and application engineering. Besides, with a guarantee letter of the zone, the equipment can be shipped to fairs and exhibition in China without paying deposit or tariff for up to 90 days. For the spare-parts distribution, the custom-supervised warehouse facility can ship the parts out of the zone as fast as within 4 hours.
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CULTURE & SOCIETY

'Panda Painting' Goes to Germany and Switzerland
Published by china.org.cn, 14th August 2014
The "Panda Painting" global tour, part of the 2014 Chengdu Creativity and Design Week, was launched on 6 August 2014. The first leg of the tour, which encourages people around the world to paint the cute giant panda, will take place in Germany and Switzerland. In September, the event will be held in Venice, a famous city of water in Italy, during the Venice International Film Festival.

Decrease in Overnight Stays in June and Stability in the First Half of 2014
Published by admin.ch, 5th August 2014
According to provisional results from the Federal Statistical Office (FSO), the Swiss hotel industry registered 3.2 million overnight stays in June 2014, which corresponds to a decrease of 2.5% (-81,000 overnight stays) compared with June 2013. Foreign demand registered 1.9 million overnight stays, i.e. a decline of 3.6% (-70,000 overnight stays). Domestic visitors generated 1.3 million overnight stays, representing a decline of 0.9% (-12,000 overnight stays). The cumulative number of overnight stays from January to June 2014 was 17.1 million. This represents an almost stable result (-0.1% / -14,000 overnight stays) compared with the first half of 2013. Foreign demand registered 9.5 million overnight stays, i.e. a slight decline of 0.2% (-21,000 overnight stays). Domestic visitors generated 7.6 million overnight stays, which was an almost stable result (+0.1% / +6500 overnight stays). China (excluding Hongkong) generated 61,000 additional overnight stays (+17,6%), representing the largest absolute increase of all countries of origin.
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GENERAL INTEREST

Starbucks Secret Weapon in China is Machine from Sleepy Swiss Village
Published by yahoo.com, 6th August 2014
As Starbucks intensifies its charge on China, one of its little-known weapons is a family-owned company in a sleepy Swiss village. Thermoplan AG, based among cow pastures in Weggis, a town of 4,400 inhabitants near Lucerne, makes the automatic machines for espressos and cappuccinos in each of Starbucks's almost 21,000 shops around the world. "Fully automatic machines are something very German and Swiss," said Chief Executive Officer Adrian Steiner, an electrical engineer who has worked for Thermoplan for 17 years. "It's a product that matches the technology of those countries. It's like the watch industry, where you have everything from education to the people, the quality, value, to reliability."

Three Key Challenges for the Future of China’s Cities
Published by forumblog.org, 31st July 2014
China faces unprecedented economic, social and environmental challenges – and sizeable opportunities – as it manages its transition to an increasingly urbanized economy. China can equip its fast-expanding cities for sustainable growth if city officials, industry and other stakeholders together focus on three key themes: transport planning and management, urban energy management, and sustainable industry development. Our new report, The Future of Urban Development Initiative, comes at a time when around half of China’s population (more than 750 million people) live in cities. The country has six megacities with more than 10 million people and 103 cities with more than one million people. The China State Council estimates that urban populations will continue to grow at the rate of 1% a year.
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INDUSTRIES

Engineering / Manufacturing

TE Connectivity to Acquire the Business of China Xiamen Delixing/Sibas
Published by yahoo.com, 14th August 2014
TE Connectivity Ltd., a world leader in connectivity, today announced the signing of a definitive agreement to acquire the business of Xiamen Delixing Electric Equipment Co., Ltd. and Xiamen SIBAS Connectors Co., Ltd.. Delixing/Sibas is a privately owned manufacturer of heavy duty connectors used in machinery equipment, factory automation, power management and railway applications. Delixing/Sibas, which generated revenues in 2013 of USD 10 million, was established in 1998 and is located in Xiamen City in South Fujian, China. Their heavy duty connectors expand TE's range of solutions for harsh environment applications. When the transaction is completed – which is expected in fiscal year 2015 – the business will report in to TE's Industrial Solutions segment.

LEM Reports Continued Sales Growth and an EBIT Margin of 20.8%
Published by lem.com, 12th August 2014
LEM, the market leader in providing innovative and high quality solutions for measuring electrical parameters, announces sales of CHF 65.0 million, an EBIT of CHF 13.5 million and net profit of CHF 10.7 million for Q1 of 2014/15 (1 April to 30 June 2014). “We recorded an encouraging start into the financial year 2014/15 with continued sales growth in Asia. Performance in Europe and North America remained subdued as a consequence of slowing economies and the ongoing transfer of some of our customers’ operations to China,” said François Gabella, CEO of LEM. Compared to Q4 of 2013/14, sales in the Industry segment increased by 7.1% to CHF 56.5 million in Q1 of 2014/15. Sales growth was driven by continued progress across all businesses in China, export-led growth in Japan and seasonal factors in the renewable energies businesses. Several of the recently launched products supported the sales performance. Compared to Q1 of 2013/14, sales increased by 5.6%; at constant exchange rates sales increased by 9.9%. Sales in China grew by 50% and in Asia excluding China by 17%. Sales in Europe and North America decreased by 7% and 17% respectively. As a consequence, Asia has become the most important sales region for LEM accounting for 46% of sales, followed by Europe with 42% and North America with 10% of sales.

The New Transformers
Published by China Daily, 2nd August 2014
China has surpassed Japan to become the world's biggest, fastest-growing robot market. For 30 years, businesses worldwide have flocked to China, attracted by its cheap labor. Nearly 180,000 industrial robots were sold worldwide last year, a 12 % increase on the previous year. A fifth of those were installed in China, the federation revealed at its annual meeting during the show. With sales of about 37,000 industrial robots last year, China surpassed Japan's 26,000 sales for the first time, to become the world's biggest and fastest growing market. While Western countries started developing and using robots in the 1960s, China was a latecomer, but has caught up fast, meaning more overseas firms are anxious to establish a presence in the country. ABB Group of Switzerland, a major supplier of industrial motors and drives, entered China in 2005 and has already localized its whole robotic industry chain, including research, manufacturing and after sales. "China has a huge number of factories that will need robots, but currently the density of robot use is about a third of the world's average, so we see great potential here," says Daisy Qi, product group head at ABB Engineering (Shanghai) Ltd.
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Bank / Finance / Insurance

New Insurance Solution for Disaster Relief in China
Published by China Daily, 13th August 2014
China Development and Research Foundation (CDRF) on Wednesday launched a research report on parametric insurance solutions for the country's disaster relief system reform. The research, sponsored by the world's largest reinsurer Swiss Re, revealed that parametric insurance solution is a feasible fiscal instrument for disaster relief and post disaster reconstruction in China. As an applicable pilot project of the research program, Swiss Re designed a parametric insurance program against earthquake related fiscal risks for the Tianjin municipal government. Jin Fang, deputy secretary general of CDRF, said that disaster relief has always been a key focus of CDRF. And this research program is part of the continued effort since the earthquake in Sichuan in 2008. Parametric insurance solutions are important supplement to traditional insurance solutions and should be considered as a key instrument in disaster relief, according to Jin.

UBS Family Legacy & Philanthropy Forum 2014
Published by ubs.com, 18th July 2014
The UBS Family Legacy & Philanthropy Forum took place in Shanghai on 10 - 11 July 2014, bringing together more than 100 philanthropists, experts and social entrepreneurs to share their insights and best practices. Business families who want to create a "living" family legacy spanning multiple generations found themselves balancing issues of complexity, transparency and control within the family. Those who achieve this balance often find that one of the greatest tools in building a legacy is philanthropy. Family legacy and "giving back" can help transmit family values from one generation to the next, as well as promote harmony and cohesion.
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Hospitality / Tourism / Retails

Finessa is Proud to Add the LVMH Group to its Client Base
Published by finessa.com.hk, 28th July 2014
Finessa Hong Kong, one of the leading importers of premium European food, beverage and non-food products is extremely proud to announce that it now serves the well known and iconic LVMH Group with selected premium products. It is always a delight to win new clients, to enjoy the loyality of existing patrons and to get positive feedback on products and services. "The essence of business is customer satisfaction and/or to be a top-of-mind name when a client needs to make a choice", says Thomas J. Egloff of Finessa Hong Kong Limited. "It is our pleasure, that LVMH is now part of our esteemed circle of customers and that our recently delivered products were well appreciated!" - Egloff adds. Over the past 4 years, the premium importer and distributor has built up a solid base of various clients and is working effortlessly to keep their loyalty and to continuously delight them with great quality and seamless service, with innovation and regular new product launches.
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Legal / Trade / Consulting / Services

International Strategic Cooperation Upgrades Yili’s Global Quality Management System
Published by chinadaily.com.cn, 13th August 2014
Recently, Yili Group, one of the top 10 global dairy enterprises, has reached strategic cooperations with three global leading companies in the field of quality verification, namely SGS headquartered in Switzerland, LRQA (Lloyd’s Registered Quality Assurance) and Intertek from the UK. The strategic agreement will help upgrade Yili’s global quality management system. Yili is dedicated to meeting consumer requirements on products by utilizing global resources. At present, through cooperation with world leading quality assurance giants, Yili’s upgraded quality management system will better fulfill consumer expectations for food safety, said Zhang Jianqiu, executive president of Yili. SGS, LRQA and Intertek enjoy great popularity in the world’s quality consulting scene. SGS is the top quality verification organization in the world and is globally recognized as a benchmark of quality. LRQA is an international certification organization with 250 years of history. Intertek has been a partner of Yili for over 10 years and has its own advantages with regards to food quality and safety services. Yili’s quality-driven strategy as a core strategy for the enterprise’s sustainable development paves a way for its rapid growth in the next five to 10 years, according to the opinion of Gu Xiaoyu, vice-president of SGS’s Greater China region.

First Case Study Workshop of S2CSC Successfully Held
Published by nbs.edu.cn, 28th July 2014
On July 9, 2014, the first workshop of Swiss Chinese Case Study Center (S2CSC) was successfully held at University of Zurich. Following participants honored the workshop with their presence: Prof. Andrea Schenker-Wicki, Vice President of University of Zurich, Prof. Harald Gall, Dean of Faculty of Economics, University of Zurich, Prof. He Zhiyi, Chairman of Newhuadu Business School, Prof. Lin Hua, Executive Dean of Newhuadu Business School (Switzerland), Dr. Xinhua Wittmann, the first academic managing director of S2CSC, Ms. Yin Hui, the first secretary and Ms. Yao Yao, the attaché of Economic Commercial Department, Chinese Embassy to Switzerland, Department for Economic Affair of the Canton of Zurich; the Swiss Business Association, the media of University of Zurich, the representatives from case study companies, Huawei Switzerland, Mr. Urs Lehner, CEO of Swisspearl, Ms. Susan Horvath, CEO of Swiss Chinese Chamber of Commerce, and the MBA/EMBA professors and students from the University of Zurich. The attendees participated actively.
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