Reader's Digest > 13 September - 26 September

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Reader's Digest, 12 - 26 September 2014

Swiss and Chinese Business Related News in Switzerland and China


Basel and Shanghai: Free Trade Agreement Fuels Thriving City Partnership
Published by, 24th September 2014
The well-established partnership of Basel and Shanghai is fuelled by the new free trade agreement between Switzerland and China. Both cities are prosperous economic metropolises and promising life-science locations. In both cities world-class work in the fields of high-end medicine, research, education and culture is common place. Regular visits and shared projects help both sides develop research and trade relations. For more information, visit:

Visit from the Chinese Ambassador in Switzerland to Lugano
Published by China Embassy in Switzerland, 23rd September 2014
The Chinese Ambassador in Switzerland Ms. Xu Jinghu met Mr. Marco Borradori, the Mayor of Lugano on 22 September 2014. Mr. Borradori stated that Lugano was a center of economics and culture due to its good location. In recent years, Lugano strengthened bilateral tie with China and established a sister-city relationship with Hangzhou, China. The fast development of Sino-Swiss relationship will bring Lugano more opportunities of collaboration in trade, cultures and tourism. Ambassador Xu highly appreciated the contribution that Mr. Borradori had made to the Sino-Swiss relations and she hoped that Lugano could attract more Chinese investment and tourists. The China Embassy in Switzerland will continuously support Lugano to strengthen its ties with China in various fields.
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Hebei Iron and Steel Takes Stake in Duferco
Published by China Daily, 16th September 2014
China's largest steelmaker, Hebei Iron and Steel Group Co Ltd, will take a controlling stake of 51 to 52 % in Swiss-based steel trader Duferco, a move that signals China's determination to offset pressure from domestic overcapacity, experts said. The deal, with an investment of about USD 400 million, is expected to be signed by the end of the year after the Hebei-based steelmaker gets the government's green light, Chinese news website reported. "Duferco has a global network covering the iron and steel market in South Africa, and it can help us expand in the overseas market," Peng Zhaofeng, general manager of HBIS, was quoted by the website as saying at an industry forum over the weekend.

Switzerland: World’s Premiere Wealth Management Center
Published by, 16th September 2014
In the last few years Switzerland has become one of China's most important European business partners and the relationship appears to be looking brighter every month. Last summer the two countries established a bilateral Free Trade Agreement (FTA CH-CN) that will increase trade between the two economies, and Switzerland's government in 2012 made an outline for establishing the country as a European hub for RMB trade and investment. These events are clear signs that Switzerland has opened its doors to Chinese investment and is encouraging the Chinese business community and the government to take Switzerland seriously in considering it as a potential European RMB hub and a center of Chinese business in Europe. Although Switzerland is still in the process of becoming a major RMB hub while a currency swap agreement is negotiated between the two Central Banks and while it competes with other potential RMB centers in Europe, including London, Frankfurt and Luxembourg, Chinese investors can find a plethora of opportunities in Switzerland.

Innovation Drives the Development of FESCO Adecco
Published by China Daily, 12th September 2014
Being a HR management agency for 16,000 employees of the Alibaba Group, FESCO Adecco, a joint venture between the State-owned Foreign Enterprise Human Resources Service Co and the Swiss human resources company Adecco - has always been an innovative pioneer in the industry. Ma Xiya, COO of FESCO Adecco spoke to China Daily on 11 September during the Summer Davos held in Tianjin. Ma expressed his respect for fellow recruiter LinkedIn and its recruitment services. "So far, we haven't seen any competition between our two companies. On the contrary, we have close contact with the high-level leaders of LinkedIn and we've built some cooperation," Ma said.
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Visit Watches & Wonders in Hong Kong
Published by, 25th September 2014
Watches & Wonders, taking place in Hong Kong from September 30 to October 2, is a private event, entirely dedicated to the culture, expertise and heritage of fine watch making. 13 watch makers set out to engage with their audience on Asian soil. Clients, journalists, collectors and admirers of beautifully crafted mechanical watches and magnificent jewellery gain insight into the uniqueness of the brands, their savoir-faire and technical expertise, and their unwavering dedication to the metiers d’art. For invitations, please contact us.

East Meets West - Making Bridges Swiss Tradition & Folklore China 2014
Published by, 20th September 2014
The Nanpi County is 250 kilometers away from Beijing and is one of the 500 national poorest counties. Obsolete philosophy and an overall lack of education in this area have restricted local educational development. In collaboration with partner organizations and individuals, various supports have been offered to the Rothlin Primary School and the local community. Four years ago the school was rebuilt and got new equipments like a library, a cantine, water filter station, music room, laboratory. Recently, several performances of Traditional Swiss Folklore with the 3 innovative Swiss artists Sonja Rösli, drEidgenoss and Superhorn were held in Zhenjiang, Guiyang, Beijing, Yongzhou, Lincang and Shanghai. Further visits to primary schools and children dance schools in Nanpi/Hebei and Yongzhou/Hunan are scheduled in the next months. The aim is to teach teach Swiss culture, as well as daily general life caring in a Swiss style at the Primary School, which will definitely open a new horizon of local pupils.
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“Airpocalypse” - The Causes of China’s Record Level Fine Particulate Pollution in 2013
Published by, 17th September 2014
At the beginning of 2013 a greyish-brown blanket of smog lay over large areas of China for several months. The fine particle pollution was higher by 1 to 2 orders of magnitude than the levels normally measured in Western Europe and the United States. An international team of researchers under the lead of the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI and the Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of the Sciences revealed the causes of the “airpocalypse”. The study published in the journal Nature also describes what steps are to be taken to prevent an environmental crisis of this kind in the future. In the social media Chinese people quickly came up with dramatic names for this really serious phenomenon which started at the beginning of 2013 and lasted several months. The government was swift to act: in an ambitious plan of action to prevent and monitor air pollution it set itself the goal of reducing fine particle pollution by up to 25% by 2017 compared with the 2012 levels. Effective medium-term and long-term measures to reduce pollution caused by fine particle are hampered by one basic shortcoming in China: a lack of knowledge about where the fine dust comes from. International co-operation under the lead of the researchers from the PSI Laboratory of Atmospheric Chemistry and CAS Institute of Earth Environment has now presented a study which is unique in terms of the scale of detail in China. It identifies the sources and chemical composition of fine particles (PM2.5) during the record level pollution period. The authors outline what fine particle reduction measures would be beneficial in the future.
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Engineering / Manufacturing

Novartis to Tackle Climate Change with Sichuan Tree Planting Project
Published by China Daily, 17th September 2014
Markus Lehni travels at least once a year from Switzerland to Southwest China's Sichuan province to check on the millions of trees his company planted in remote mountain regions as part of reforestation projects that started four years ago. As the global head of environment and energy for Swiss pharmaceutical maker Novartis International AG, Lehni believes that addressing climate change requires sustained corporate action. The company started the Sichuan project in 2010, its third carbon-offset project worldwide. Two similar projects are located in the South American country of Argentina and in the Republic of Mali in West Africa.

ABB and China’s BYD form Global Alliance in Energy Storage Solutions
Published by, 15th September 2014
ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, and BYD Co., Ltd., announced a strategic collaboration to jointly develop new solutions for energy storage building on their complementary strengths. ABB’s leading products and technology for grid storage, electric vehicle charging and integrated marine systems, combined with BYD’s knowledge in battery technology, can broadly address worldwide energy storage requirements. This collaboration will accelerate the introduction of new solutions for electric vehicle charging, the fast ramp up of renewable combined with energy storage in off-grid and on-grid solutions as well as battery and energy storage solutions for the fast growing marine segment. ABB and BYD share a common vision of sustainable power supply and industry as well as transport solutions stimulated the initiative of forming a unique global partnership aimed at creating sustainable value for the customers all around the world.

Swiss Industrial Giant Opens O2O Center in Nantong
Published by China Daily, 9th September 2014
ABB Group, a Swiss Fortune 500 enterprise and major supplier of industrial motors and drives, opened its first O2O electric engineering product experience center in China Nantong Industrial Exposition City, Jiangsu province, on 4 September. The group is expected to open about 500 O2O centers in the country in the next five years. O2O business, or online-to-offline business, combines offline trade opportunities with the Internet and makes the Internet a front desk of offline transaction. The consumers can trial ABB products at the center and buy them through e-commerce platforms. The business model can provide comprehensive and instant product and service information to consumers, and help them quickly screen and select appropriate products and services, which have a lower price.
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Bank / Finance / Insurance

China Remains Magnet for Foreign Investment
Published by, 23rd September 2014
While some analysts said China is losing its glamour as a major investment destination, business insiders believe the world's second largest economy is no less enticing. "We are going to open up 110 stores across China in the next three years," said Ray Bracy, senior vice president of Walmart China at the four-day China International Fair for Investment and Trade (CIFIT) that concluded in the southeastern coastal city of Xiamen on Thursday. Bracy said he was optimistic about China's market potentials, particularly in second and third-tier cities where a middle-class customer base is rapidly growing. Schneider Electric attaches significance to the China market, the company's second largest market globally. Wang Jie, Vice President of Schneider Electric China, said one of the company's strategies is "go west" for "gold mining" in inland regions.

Shadow Banking Manageable in China
Published by China Daily, 13th September 2014
China Daily interviewed Lutfey Siddiqi, Managing Director of UBS, at the 2014 World Economic Forum - Annual Meeting of New Champions in Tianjin, also known as Summer Davos, on 12 September 2014. He said shadow banking in China could be concern, but not crisis, and still manageable. Click on the link for the video interview.
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Hospitality / Tourism / Retails

Jesper Vilsoe Named General Manager at Swissotel Kunshan
Published by, 24th September 2014
Jesper Vilsoe has been promoted to General Manager of Swissôtel Kunshan. Previously the executive assistant manager of the property, he will now be responsible for the overall operations, performance and strategic direction of the hotel. Vilsoe embarked on his food & beverage career after graduation in 1995, where he has held progressive positions in locations such as Romania, Vietnam, London, Jakarta, Warsaw and Kuwait. His philosophy in life is to live like there is no tomorrow and to give 100% of himself every single day to guests, staff and owners.

Richemont Sales Growth Hit by Weak Asia-Pacific Demand
Published by, 17th September 2014
Cartier owner Richemont said that weakness in Asia-Pacific, its biggest market, weighed on sales growth in the five months to August. Luxury watch makers are grappling with political instability in Hong Kong, the leading market for Swiss watches, and weak demand in China, where the government's fight against illegitimate gifting has hurt sales of expensive timepieces. "In the Asia-Pacific region, sales were lower in Hong Kong, Macau and mainland China, offsetting positive developments in other markets," the Geneva-based maker of luxury watches and jewellery said on Wednesday ahead of its annual general meeting.
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Legal / Trade / Consulting / Services

Trade Secret Protection in China
Published by, 16th September 2014
As the development of the economy progresses further in China, trade secret misappropriation has become a severe issue, especially in the manufacturing and technology sector. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (“OECD”) recently issued a report related to the level of protection of trade secrets in numerous countries. Each country was rated on 5 different aspects, namely: definition and coverage; duties and misappropriation; remedies and restrictions on liability; enforcement, investigation, discovery and data exclusivity; and system functioning and related regulation. These are recognized as the main factors of an effective protection of trade secrets. The table below compares the level of trade secret protection in different countries in 2010. China ranks at the very bottom of the whole list.
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