Reader's Digest > 30 August - 12 September

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Reader's Digest, 30 August - 12 September 2014

Swiss and Chinese Business Related News in Switzerland and China


FC Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf meets Wang Baoan, China's Vice Finance Minister
Published by, 11th September 2014
On 10 September 2014, Federal Councillor Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf met China's Vice Finance Minister, Wang Baoan, for a courtesy visit in Bern. Afterwards, State Secretary Jacques de Watteville discussed bilateral financial relations with his Chinese counterpart. Vice Minister Wang Baoan's courtesy visit to Federal Councillor Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf served to acknowledge the good financial and economic relations shared by the two countries. China's Vice Finance Minister took the opportunity to invite Federal Councillor Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf for an official visit to China next year. During the subsequent meeting with State Secretary Jacques de Watteville, the focus was on bilateral financial relations – particularly the significance of the establishment of a renminbi hub in Switzerland – as well as other financial topics such as the development of financial market regulation, budget issues, fiscal equalization and the debt brake. Representatives of the Federal Finance Administration also attended the meeting for these areas.

Premier Li Keqiang to Inaugurate Tianjin Summer Davos
Published by China Daily, 4th September 2014
Now approaching its eighth year, Tianjin will be hosting the 2014 Summer Davos Forum, also known as the Eighth Annual Meeting of the New Champions, from Sept 12 to Sept 14. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang will inaugurate the forum and deliver the opening speech. The three-day forum, with the theme of "Creating Value Through Innovation", aims to address the challenge of how innovation can create new jobs and accelerate economic growth. The World Economic Forum, a Geneva-based nonprofit organization, is dedicated to engaging political, business, academic and other leaders in collaborative efforts to shape global, regional and industry agendas. In addition to the annual winter meeting in Davos, Switzerland, it also organizes the summer Davos in China each year.

Visit from the Chinese Ambassador in Switzerland to Neuchatel
Published by China Embassy in Switzerland, 1st September 2014
The Chinese Ambassador in Switzerland Ms. Xu Jinghu paid a visit to the canton of Neuchatel on 28 August 2014. Ambassador Xu was welcomed by the authorities of the canton. The President of the government indicated that Neuchatel has a long history of bilateral relations with China and Neuchatel regards China as a very important partner. The industry advantages of Neuchatel are high-end watches, solar photovoltaic research and development, precision instrument manufacturing. Ambassador Xu expressed the hope that the FTA will bring more cooperation opportunities in many fields and that the China Embassy in Switzerland will support the canton of Neuchatel to strengthen its ties with China in various fields.

600 Chinese Senior Officials to Join UNIL Continuing Education Program
Published by, 29th August 2014
The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) commissioned the University of Lausanne (UNIL) to organize the only international program for senior officials of the Chinese public sector. The "Sino-Swiss Management Training Program for Sustainable Development" (SSMTP4SD) will be jointly financed by the Swiss and Chinese governments with CHF 15 million, including 7.5 million for UNIL for a period of 4 years. The program includes a multidisciplinary approach to sustainability. More than twenty professors in UNIL will engage in this sustainability program, which will focus on the modernization of the Chinese public sector. The participants of the Chinese public administration are senior administration officials, such as vice ministers of province or mayors of main cities who will represent the next generation of executives in the country. The topic of sustainability will cover different themes such as business ethics, organizational behavior, industrial ecology, water management and sustainability issues in public policy.
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Swiss SME Research Center China 1st Anniversary
Published by, 8th September 2014
On August 28, the Swiss SME Research Center China (SSRCC) in Harbin, Heilongjiang province, celebrated its first anniversary. For this occasion, the Suteria Chocolata AG will open at the end of September its first “chocolate shop". Following the signing of the Free Trade Agreement between Switzerland and China, the Swiss SME Research Center China is a first concrete initiative by the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland, providing Swiss and Chinese SMEs with a viable opportunity to gain a foothold in China respective Switzerland. FHNW staff and Chinese employees will be available as on-site contact partners. The FHNW School of Business was invited by the Party Secretary of the Heilongjiang Province to establish a center for Swiss and Chinese SMEs. The center aims to provide SMEs with an entry-point to the Chinese or Swiss market and the opportunity to make contact with local business partners. The center has the support of the highest authority in the provincial government.

Hong Kong Retains Seventh Global Competitiveness Ranking
Published by China Daily, 4th September 2014
The mainland, which was in 28th ranking, has advanced one place and is holding onto its position as the highest-ranked BRICS country. Hong Kong retained its seventh ranking, scoring 5.5 out of 7, in the latest World Economic Forum's (WEF) global competitiveness report released on Wednesday. For the sixth consecutive year, Switzerland is in first place in the rankings. Singapore remains in second place, while the rise of the US to third place has pushed both Finland (fourth place) and Germany (fifth place) back one place. Japan advanced three places to gain sixth-place.

Switzerland, the Next Investment Hotspot for China
Published by, 29th August 2014
Europe is always more than just a 28-strong EU. Switzerland, nestled between France, Germany and Italy, boasts the highest global rating in terms of innovation, the most liberal investment environment in Europe, unfettered access to the European Single Market and a standard of living that is the envy of the world. At a time when a China-EU Free Trade Agreement is still elusive, Switzerland has become the first major country on continental Europe to sign a FTA with China. The impact of the deal could be enormous. Not only do Chinese investors now find it more convenient and less costly to invest in Switzerland, but for those who wish to march to the EU market, they can also take Switzerland as European headquarters, on the back of several bilateral FTA between Switzerland and the EU. So what sets Switzerland apart from other European locations from an investment perspective? What investment opportunities can Switzerland offer to potential Chinese investors?
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OHNE ROLF China Tour
Published by, 12th September 2014
“Blattrand” is the first play of OHNE ROLF. It is the simple story about two men and a thousand posters! They have no voice, but they try to get one... OHNE ROLF, winner of numerous important theatre-awards, are virtuoses of printed improvisation. With their absurd and ingenious play on words they move somewhere between theatre, comedy and animated comic strip. “Blattrand” became a large success, received diverse awards and was able to be shown regularly in Switzerland and in Germany. Now, OHNE ROLF plays ”Blattrand” the first time in China and in Chinese! OHNE ROLF will perform in Beijing, Hangzhou and Shanghai.
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Joint Efforts Made to Attract More Chinese Travellers
Published by China Daily, 3rd September 2014
Foreign airports and airlines are lining up to cooperate with Beijing Capital International Airport to attract more Chinese travelers, industry leaders said on Tuesday. Robert Deillon, CEO of Geneva International Airport and president of the Swiss International Airports Association, said his airport has been striving to attract more direct flights from Beijing in recent years by working closely with Beijing Capital International Airport. Last year, he helped secure the first direct service from Beijing to Geneva with Air China, the nation's flag-carrier, which is based at Beijing airport. "Beijing airport has helped us promote the direct route and to understand the needs of the Chinese market and Chinese passengers. It also promotes Beijing as a transfer hub for Geneva airport to Shanghai, Hong Kong and other destinations in Asia," he said.

Beijing Offers Free Luggage Storage Service for Visa-Free Visitors
Published by China Daily, 1st September 2014
Transit passengers who make visa-free visits to Beijing will be allowed to deposit a piece of luggage for free with a temporary entry permit seal on their passports at special counters for those visitors. The free luggage storage service was launched by Beijing International Airport on September 1 and it will run through until December 31, 2014. Beijing launched the 72-hour visa-free policy on Jan 1, 2013, allowing travelers from 51 countries who hold onward tickets to visit a third country to stay in Beijing for three days without a visa and to visit anywhere in the city during their stay. These 51 countries are Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malta, Holland, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Russia, United Kingdom, Ireland, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Albania, Brazil, Canada, America, Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Brunei, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates.
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Engineering / Manufacturing

Dr. Chunyuan Gu Receives Shanghai Magnolia Award
Published by, 4th September 2014
The Shanghai Municipal Government today granted the 2014 Shanghai Magnolia Award to Dr. Chunyuan Gu, head of ABB North Asia and Chairman and President of ABB (China) Limited. The award recognizes Dr. Gu’s positive contributions to Shanghai’s economic and social development, including friendly international exchange, advanced technology and management experience, and local philanthropy. Named after the city flower of Shanghai, the Magnolia Award was set up by the Foreign Affairs Office of the Shanghai Municipal Government in 1989. Once a year, it is awarded to foreign individuals who have made outstanding contributions to Shanghai's economic development, social progress and international exchange and cooperation. In the past, several ABB experts have been named as recipients. Dr. Chunyuan Gu said: "Winning the Magnolia Award is not only a great individual honor, but the award itself is recognition of the active participation of ABB employees in the modernization of the city; it also affirms ABB’s long-term localization development strategy. Such a great honor motivates me and all ABB employees to continue contributing to the prosperity and sustainable development of both Shanghai and China.”

University Students and ABB Explore the Smart Future Together
Published by, 29th August 2014
ABB announced the winners of the third ABB university innovation contest (UIC2014) in China. Following fierce competition, three teams University of Science and Technology Beijing, Zhengzhou University of Light Industry and Taiwan’s Tsing Hua University won the first prize respectively. Around the theme “Smart Technology, Intelligent Upgrading", the UIC2014 set up three conceptual topics closely related with smart technology: "smart communities and green power", "intelligent manufacturing", and "smart power equipment". Since its kickoff on May 5 this year, the contest has attracted students from close to 200 universities across 29 mainland China provinces and municipalities, as well as Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.
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Bank / Finance / Insurance

Alibaba Kicks Off Global Roadshow for IPO
Published by, 9th September 2014
China's e-commerce giant Alibaba Groupon Monday kicked off its 10-day international roadshow to pitch investors prior to its expected record-breaking initial public offering (IPO) on the New York Stock Exchange. Alibaba's founder and executive chairman Jack Ma reportedly met with several hundred investors at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York, the roadshow's first stop before the company continues the tour in the US, Europe and Asia, including cities like Boston, Los Angeles, Singapore and London. The company is reported to debut its IPO on Sept 18. E-commerce giant Alibaba - whose IPO experts say could raise up to USD 21.1 billion - is the world's largest online and mobile commerce company with 279 million active shoppers. The value of goods and services generated USD 296 billion in the 12 months leading up to June this year. The company updated its SEC filing on Sept 5, with shares expected to be priced at between USD 60 and 66 - higher than YahooInc, which owns some 22% of Alibaba. At this range, Alibaba is valued at USD 160 billion, making it the largest IPO ever in the US. The NYSE and the Nasdaq have been competing to become the venue for Alibaba's IPO, which is expected to be one of the largest stock listings in the U.S. history. Alibaba filed with the SEC for approval of its IPO in May, naming Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley and Citigroup as its underwriters.

Li: Plan To Be Driving Force of Economy
Published by China Daily, 5th September 2014
Premier Li Keqiang asked his cabinet members to work out a bundle of important engineering projects that could be "driving forces" of economic growth and restructuring when drafting the next five-year plan. He made the remarks at a meeting on Tuesday, setting the tone for the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20), a blueprint expected to lead China's social and economic development for the coming years. Major projects in previous five-year plans included the Three Gorges Dam - one of the world's largest hydropower plants - and the Qinghai-Tibet rail. Wang Tao, head of China economic research at Switzerland's largest bank, UBS, said it is unlikely the government would come up with strong stimulus measures in the 13th Five-Year Plan as in the past. "The official statement revealed that the government will actively take part in some long-term projects to benefit people's livelihood," Wang said, referring to the document released on the government's website after the meeting.
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Hospitality / Tourism / Retails

Nestlé Opens First Nescafé Dolce Gusto Boutique at Haitang Bay Complex
Published by, 9th September 2014
Nestlé International Travel Retail has opened its first premium Nescafé Dolce Gusto boutique at CDF Mall, centrepiece of the newly opened CITS Haitang Bay Duty Free Shopping Complex. As reported through our on-location coverage, China Duty Free last week marked the opening of CDF Mall, part of an extraordinary 70,000 m2 development on Hainan Island that houses over 200 luxury brands. The NITR move is a strategic step that aims to move the company closer to the high-spending Chinese traveller and build a premium brand image in Asia.

Scientists Taking Chinese Medicine West
Published by, 4th September 2014
At Chi-Med's labs in Shanghai, a group of 70 chemists has been working for a decade to try and crack the mysteries of Chinese medicine. The company's scientists are attempting to break 1,300 medicinal herbs into their component parts and then test them for global use against diseases. It's an ambitious effort and one that looks close to paying off. Chi-Med, in partnership with Nestle, has started the first worldwide phase III clinical testing trials -- the final step before approval for sale -- for a botanical drug based on Chinese Traditional Medicine. If Chi-Med and Nestle succeed in winning U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval, the companies will be at the forefront of efforts to export Chinese medicine beyond its loyal following at home.
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Legal / Trade / Consulting / Services

China’s Global Tech IPOS Soar in Q2 2014
Published by, 4th September 2014
The Chinese global technology IPO market continued to rebound in Q2 2014 with 14 IPOs and proceeds of US$3.7 billion, according to PwC’s Global Technology IPO Review Q2 2014. Compared to the previous quarter, this was a 277% increase in terms of proceeds and a 27% increase in number of deals. Total Chinese technology IPOs increased from 11 in Q1 2014 to 14 in Q2 2014. Nine listed in the US, three listed on the Hong Kong Exchange and two listed in China. NYSE and NASDAQ proved popular to Chinese companies looking to take advantage of the strength of the US capital markets. Overall, 30% of global technology IPO activity in Q2 2014 was cross border.
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