Reader's Digest > 27 September - 10 October

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Reader's Digest, 27 September - 10 October 2014

Swiss and Chinese Business Related News in Switzerland and China

BILATERAL RELATIONS

Municipal Party Secretary of Kunming Meets with Zurich Delegation
Published by stadt-zuerich.ch, 3rd October 2014
Municipal Party Secretary of Kunming Gao Jinsong met with Ms. Corine Mauch, mayor of Zurich, and the delegation led by him in Kunming on September 9. Gao represented Kunming municipal party committee and municipal government to welcome the visit of Zurich delegation. He noted that Zurich and Kunming has tied as sister cities with each other for 32 years. The two cities have consistently deepened and widened cooperation in fields, such as cultural exchange, public transportation, urban planning, environmental protection, etc. for years. Fruitful effects have been achieved, which are recognized and praised by residents and governments of both sides. Gao said: “The visit this time will surely establish a solider foundation for the two cities to boost cooperation in future.”
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BUSINESS NEWS

China Country Consulting in Basel
Published by s-ge.com, 3rd October 2014
In collaboration with the China Business Platform, Switzerland Global Enterprise is offering consultancy meetings for SMEs in Basel this November. This is an excellent opportunity to discuss your China-specific business case in an individual one-to-one meeting. You will be joined by Daniel Bont, Senior Consultant for China & Hong Kong and Alain Graf, Trade Officer at the Swiss Business Hub in Beijing. This service is free of charge. Register on S-GEs website to get an appointment for your individual consulting meeting on November 6, 2014.

Basel-Shanghai Business Forum
Published by china-business-platform.ch, 18th September 2014
Based on the successful Basel-Shanghai sister city partnership, the “Basel-Shanghai Business Forum” took place on September 18, 2014. Over 100 business people from Switzerland and China took this opportunity to network and to experience exciting presentations by China experts at this whole day event at the Ramada Plaza Basel. The program was officially opened with a welcome message from Basel State Councillor Christoph Brutschin in the morning. The city of Shanghai was represented by Mr. Douglas Dong, Vice President of the Shanghai Foreign Investment Development Board who gave a presentation about his organization and the economy of Shanghai.

Swiss Business in China Survey 2014
Published by admin.ch, 29th September 2014
In cooperation with the China Europe International Business School (CEIBS), the Swiss Center Shanghai, swissnex China, SwissCham and China Integrated are pleased to bring you the findings of Swiss respondents who participated in the CEIBS Business in China Survey 2014, to analyze them and draw conclusions that we hope will be useful for Swiss companies and their activities in China. Swiss companies in China are particularly successful. In 2014, sales and profits of Swiss companies in China are in continued acceleration. Swiss companies expect a profit increase of 5.6% on average, year-on-year, according to the recent “Business in China 2014 Survey”. China is becoming a venue for SME success: Swiss SMEs achieve better results than larger companies. Swiss companies remain the most confident about their business in China in the next 5 years, and almost two third of Swiss companies plan to increase investments in China. Finding and retaining human resources remains the biggest challenge. Private Chinese companies rise to become the fiercest competitors.
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CULTURE & SOCIETY

Artistic Cow Sculptures Decorate Shanghai
Published by China Daily, 8th October 2014
The world famous Cow Parade public art event came to Shanghai in September and will last until the middle of 2015. The event, since it started in Switzerland in 1999, has been held in over 70 cities around the world. It's the largest and most well-known public art event and also the longest lasting in the world.

The Exhibition of "Family and Love-Photographs by Young Chinese Photographers"
Published by china-un.ch, 25th September 2014
On 17 September, the opening ceremony of the Exhibition of "Family and Love-Photographs by Young Chinese Photographers" was held in Palais des Nations. The Exhibition was co-organized by the Permanent Mission of China, United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG) and the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC). About 200 guests, including Permanent Representatives and diplomats from other missions,   representatives from international organizations, attended the ceremony and voted for "the most favorite five photos".

CBP at the Basel Moon Festival
Published by china-business-platform.ch, 18th September 2014
For the first time the China Business Platform was present at the yearly held Moon Festival on the "Münsterplatz" in Basel. With a dedicated information and "Baozi" stand, the CBP offered both food for thought and food for the stomach. Our freshly made steamed Chinese dumplings (包子 Baozi) turned out to be a big hit with the visitors of the moon festival. We greatly appreciate for all people who stopped by to learn about the CBP activities and to eat our dumplings. We apologize once again for the long queue.
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GENERAL INTEREST

Excellent Swiss Design at the West Bund Art & Design Fair
Published by sinoptic.ch, 2nd October 2014
The West Bund Art & Design is the first showcase event in China that stages contemporary art and design works. By featuring top-tier art galleries, design institutions and luxury brands, the West Bund Art & Design will present a world-class platform of art exchange in Asia for collectors, buyers, connoisseurs and give an impetus to the development of China’s art market. Pro Helvetia and Design Prize Switzerland will jointly present the booth of “Excellent Swiss Design”. The exhibits range from furniture design, interior design to jewelries by Swiss designers: Claudia Caviezel, Création Baumann, Michel Charlot, Moritz Schmid and Florie Dupont. Claudio Colucci, who is a Swiss designer based in Shanghai, will also be present at the fair. In the afternoon of 28 September, three of these Swiss designers will be invited to have speeches at the forum. Chantal Prod’Hom, director of the Musée de design et d’arts appliqués contemporains (MUDAC) in Lausanne will also hold a speech at the forum in the afternoon of 29th September. The exhibition opens to the public from 1 to 26 October.

Research on the Causes of "Airpocalypse"
Published by admin.ch, 26th September 2014
The causes of China’s record level fine particulate pollution in winter 2013. 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.
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INDUSTRIES

Engineering / Manufacturing

Glencore's Rio Plans Hinge on Nod from China
Published by China Daily, 8th October 2014
Ivan Glasenberg, the chief executive of Switzerland-based mining company Glencore Plc, may need approval from Beijing for his ambitious plan to create the world's biggest mining company by merging Glencore with Rio Tinto Group, the Anglo-Australian metals and mining corporation. With London-based Rio rejecting Glasenberg's July approach, Glencore went directly to Rio's biggest shareholder, State-owned Aluminum Corp of China, widely known as Chinalco. While the company's 9.8 percent stake is important in determining Rio's future, the view of its ultimate owner, the Chinese government, is even more crucial. "The Rio Tinto board, after consultation with its financial and legal advisers, concluded unanimously that a combination was not in the best interests of Rio Tinto's shareholders," Rio Tinto said in a statement to the Australian stock exchange.

Clariant to Acquire Chinese VitaPac
Published by kunststoffe.de, 2nd October 2014
Clariant International Ltd., Muttenz, Switzerland, has signed a purchase agreement with VitaPac, a Chinese specialist for healthcare packaging. The owner-led company with 80 employees is based in Hong Kong with a production site in Dongguan, China. It had consolidated sales of about CHF 4. mio in 2013. The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of the fourth quarter of 2014 and subject to regulatory approvals. VitaPac, founded in 1995, develops and manufactures a full range of high quality protective packaging solutions for the pharmaceutical, neutraceutical and food industries, as well as for the logistics and electronics sectors, mainly in the region of Asia-Pacific (APAC). The company focuses on active sorbents and has built up a leading market position for desiccant packets for moisture adsorption. The company maintains a Drug Master File (DMF) with the FDA, and its products comply with all pertinent regulations for use in direct contact with food and drugs.

ABB Produces the 500,000th VD4 Vacuum Circuit Breaker in China
Published by abb.com.cn, 18th September 2014
ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, today celebrated the roll-out of the 500,000th VD4 vacuum circuit breaker produced in China at ABB Xiamen Switchgear Co., Ltd. This milestone comes from customers’ trust in ABB’s reliable power products and technologies, and well illustrates ABB’s development policy of “in China, for China and the world”. As a star product of ABB, the VD4 vacuum circuit breakers is used for control and protection of cables, overhead lines, substations, motors, and transformers. The products have been chosen for use by many key projects, including the substations of the Great Hall of the People, the Beijing Olympic stadiums, and the Three Gorges, as well as projects by China General Nuclear Power Group and Baosteel. Meanwhile, the VD4 has been exported to many countries and regions around the world.
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Bank / Finance / Insurance

China's September Economic Activity to Increase: UBS
Published by xinhuanet.com, 4th October 2014
September data will show an improvement in China's real economic activity, albeit a modest one, Wang Tao, chief China economist with UBS, has forecast. August's unfavorable base effect should have worn off in September, as PMIs for the month suggest stabilization in manufacturing activity, she said in a research note on Friday. Both official and HSBC PMIs were unchanged from August. The manufacturing purchasing manager's index (PMI) remained at 51.1 in September. Along with PMI stabilization, power use picked up in the first 20 days in September, indicating industrial production growth might improve from August's 6.9%, a 5.5 year low, she said.
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Hospitality / Tourism / Retails

Buhler Extends Beyond Milling to Other Products
Published by China Daily, 8th October 2014
Buhler Group's early-mover advantage in China is enabling the production plant manufacturer to go deeper into localization, especially in the grain-milling sector. That not only means mill lines to mill flour but also to produce noodles, chocolate and wastewater-free baijiu (Chinese liquor). The Swiss-based company opened its first representative office in China in Beijing in 1983 and its first joint venture in Shenzhen, Guangdong province in 1993. Today, China accounts for 25% of Buhler's revenue and employees. And two-thirds of what the company sells in China is made in China. "After a few years, we realized this market is rapidly developing," Buhler Group China and Southeast Asia President Dieter Voegtli said.

Swiss Watch Exporters Take Long View of China
Published by James Shotter, swissinfo.ch, 27th September 2014
Last summer, Switzerland became the second European country to sign a free-trade agreement with China, following Iceland’s lead. On July 1, the pact came into force. For Switzerland’s watchmakers, among the drivers of the export industry, the deal is good news. The rapid growth of the Chinese economy and the penchant of its expanding middle class for western luxury goods has helped boost the value of Swiss watch exports to China from CHF 45 million (USD 49 million) in 2000 to CHF 1.45 billion in 2013. That makes China the third-largest market for Swiss timepieces, according to figures from the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry (FH). As far as the industry is concerned, the main advantages of the deal, which took more than three years to negotiate, are a reduction in Chinese import tariffs and greater protection for intellectual property, says Jean-Daniel Pasche, president of the FH. “The deal will give a clear framework for bilateral commercial relations, with concrete improvements, such as the reduction of tariffs, and greater protection of the ‘Swiss-made’ label in China,” he says. “That is very positive.”
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Legal / Trade / Consulting / Services

China Presents Compelling Opportunity for Foreign Insurers
Published by ey.com, 27th September 2014
As the world’s most populous country with a booming middle class and growing interest in attracting foreign investors, mainland China offers a compelling opportunity for foreign insurers, says a new EY report, Future Directions for Foreign Insurance Companies in mainland China 2014. In mainland China, the industry regulator is predicting an average annual growth rate of 17% in premium over the next seven years. Even though mainland China represents a challenging market for foreign insurers, almost 50 companies have entered the market as joint ventures or wholly foreign-owned subsidiaries and a wide variety of international insurers have also set up representative offices.  “They recognize that mainland China continues to develop its insurance market and that, as global insurers, they need to have an expanding presence in this market,” says Shaun Crawford, EY’s Global Insurance Sector Leader.
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Disclaimer: SwissCham's Reader's Digest is a bi-weekly publication. Editorial, advertising and news published in the Reader's Digest are for advertisement and/or information purposes only and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Swiss Chamber of Commerce in China, of its Board, its members or its staff. SwissCham therefore rejects any liability related to the accuracy of and/or views reflected in the newsletters.