Reader's Digest > 8 November - 21 November

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Reader's Digest, 8 - 21 November 2014

Swiss and Chinese Business Related News in Switzerland and China

BILATERAL RELATIONS

Switzerland Double Taxation Agreements with China Enter Into Force
Published by admin.ch, 14th November 2014
The ratification procedures for the new double taxation agreements (DTAs) with Australia, Hungary and China have been concluded. The new DTAs with Australia and Hungary entered into force on 14 October 2014 and 9 November 2014 respectively while the agreement with China will enter into force on 15 November 2014. The new DTAs contain administrative assistance provisions in accordance with the internationally applicable standard. They also promote the development of bilateral economic relations. The three new DTAs replace the currently applicable agreements between Switzerland and Australia, Hungary and China. The provisions of these agreements will be applicable from 1 January 2015. Parliament approved the three agreements on 20 June 2014. No referendum was called. To date, Switzerland has signed 49 DTAs and 7 tax information exchange agreements (TIEAs) that are in line with the international exchange of information standard, and of these, 41 DTAs and 3 TIEAs are in force.

Chinese Ambassador at Guizhou Commerce, Trade and Tourism Conference
Published by China Embassy in Switzerland, 10th November 2014
On 5 November 2014, the Chinese Ambassador to Switzerland Ms. Xu Jinghu addressed the audience at the Guizhou Commerce, Trade and Tourism Symposium held in Zurich, Switzerland. Ms. Xu warmly welcomed Mr. Chen Miner and his delegation to Switzerland. She introduced the newest developments of the Sino-Swiss relations and pointed that the relations between the two countries are at a historical height while the exchanges will be continuously extended and strengthened. Guizhou and Switzerland share many similarities in terms of natural environment and geographical conditions. Meanwhile, keynote speeches were made by Mr. Andreas Götz, Vice-director of SFOEN (Swiss Federal Office for the Environment) and Mr. Thomas Wagner, President of Swiss-Chinese Association. Representatives from Swiss entrepreneurs also gave speeches during the meeting. More than 200 people attended the conference and multiple cooperative projects between Guizhou and Switzerland were signed.
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BUSINESS NEWS

Hebei Steel Takes 51% Holding in Duferco
Published by China Daily, 17th November 2014
Hebei Iron and Steel Group Co Ltd has taken a controlling stake in Switzerland-based Duferco International Trading Holding, a move that will help China's largest steel producer expand its presence in the global markets. The two companies signed an agreement to the effect on Tuesday whereby HBIS will acquire a 51 % stake in DITH, the biggest steel trader in the world. The two companies, however, did not disclose the total value of the deal. As part of the agreement, HBIS will use DITH's global marketing and distribution presence to further enhance its position as a global steel supplier, said Hebei Steel sources.

We Need to Reserve More Jobs for Local People
Published by China Daily, 11th November 2014
There is much to be said for importing foreign experts to undertake highly skilled jobs for which their specialized overseas training and experience probably give them the edge over local candidates. In many countries, for example, luxury hotels are often run by Swiss hotel general managers who manage their establishments with the precision of a Swiss watch. This is expected of them as they have been trained to the highest levels in those justly famous Swiss hotel management schools. They seldom attract complaints about stealing local jobs because they are good value for money. Admittedly, with a current unemployment rate in Hong Kong of just over 3%, this is not currently a pressing economic problem although the jobless rate for locals in the food and beverage services sector is said to be rising.
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CULTURE & SOCIETY

Erik Steinbrecher’s Work ‘World Ocean’ at the 10th Shanghai Biennale
Published by shanghaibiennale.org, 14th November 2014
The Shanghai Biennale is the highest-profile contemporary art event in Shanghai and the most established art biennale in China. Besides its main museum show, it also includes talks, lectures and installations in various venues throughout the city. The event will be hosted in the Power Station of Art, China’s foremost state-run institution of contemporary art. The theme of this year’s Biennale is ‘Social Factory’ and tries to answer the questions what characterizes the production of ‘the social’, and how ‘social facts’ are constituted. As part of the Shanghai Biennale, Basel born artist Erik Steinbrecher will exhibit his World Ocean installation. The project combines containers holding different kinds of marine salts and thus unites the world oceans in one room. Steinbrecher became known in the art scene through his participation in the Documenta X project.

Moving Through the Cow Parade
Published by China Daily, 13th November 2014
The Cow Parade has traveled around the world and now it is in Shanghai, delighting city residents with its colorful creations. Zhang Kun reports. From Moozart to Moondrian, Picowso to Metallicow, since 1999, Jerry Elbaum has paraded all over the world with 6,000 cows in tow. Elbaum, 75, is the founder of the Cow Parade, an international public art exhibit featuring fiberglass cows decorated by local artists that have toured to city centers and public spaces around the world for 15 years. Elbaum was an attorney on business travel in Zurich, Switzerland, when he came across the first exhibition of cows in a public art show there in 1998.
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GENERAL INTEREST

Faces and TracesArt exhibition at The Swatch Art Peace Hotel
Published by SinOptic, 14th November 2014
Since its opening more than four years ago, 139 artists from more than 30 countries have come to Shanghai to live and ‘make art’ in The Swatch Art Peace Hotel-a unique center for contemporary art in China’s most vibrant and fascinating city. FACES & TRACES is the first -ever exhibition of ‘traces’-art made by current and former artists-in-residence. The exhibition begins on 1 November and ends on 31 December 2014.
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INDUSTRIES

Engineering / Manufacturing

Huishan Heading in the Right Direction
Published by China Daily, 17th November 2014
As a result of scandals over tainted milk in China in recent years, the country's dairy companies are having to be extra vigilant that their products adhere to safety standards. Among them is Huishan, the largest dairy producer in Northeast China. Founded in 1951, it has three infant milk powder factories that can produce 160,000 metric tons of powder a year. The company listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in September last year in a USD 1.3 billion initial public offering. It covers the entire dairy production chain from growing and processing feed for cows to dairy farming and manufacturing and selling dairy products under the Huishan brand. Huishan vaunts its quality and safety controls. Its products are assessed by SGS SA (formerly Societe Generale de Surveillance, a top Switzerland-based inspection company) for its quality. Quarterly testing on somatic cells of Huishan's raw milk is done in accordance with European Union standards.

ABB to Support China's First Large-Scale Shale Gas Project
Published by China Daily, 16th November 2014
ABB, a leading power and automation technology group, will work to support production in the Sinopec Fuling Shale Gas Project, according to an announcement on Thursday. ABB announced a deal with China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation (Sinopec) to provide automation and engineering services for Phase I of Sinopec's Shale Gas Project in Jiaoshiba Block in Fuling, Chongqing, over the next three years. A type of unconventional natural gas trapped in a free or adsorbed state in shale or mud-stone formations, shale gas is mainly composed of methane. It is considered a type of clean and new energy resource.

Merck Wants to Make China Leader in Oncology Treatment
Published by China Daily, 14th November 2014
Belen Garijo, President and CEO of German pharmaceutical company Merck Serono SA, has pledged to build the company's Chinese division into a world leader in oncology treatment, during an interview after a panel discussion at the APEC CEO summit. "We will bring the research to China, develop the compounds, and become a leader in oncology here in the next five to 10 years," she said. "We have a clear vision in China - by 2020, we will achieve USD 1 billion in sales and during this process we will keep bringing new medicines to the country." Established in Darmstadt, Germany in 1668, Merck operates in 66 countries with 38,000 employees. Merck Serono is its bio-pharmaceutical division and specializes in treating prevalent chronic conditions such as cancer and metabolic diseases.
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Bank / Finance / Insurance

Credit Suisse Downgrades Sands China to Neutral
Published by wkrb13.com, 7th November 2014
Credit Suisse downgraded shares of Sands China from an outperform rating to a neutral rating in a report issued on Wednesday, TheFlyOnTheWall.com reports. Credit Suisse has also taken action a number of other stocks recently. The firm reiterated its neutral rating on shares of BP plc. They have a GBX 470 (USD 7.49) price target on that stock. Also, Credit Suisse reiterated its neutral rating on shares of Spectra Energy Partners, LP. They have a USD 61.00 price target on that stock, up previously from USD 59.00. Finally, Credit Suisse reiterated its neutral rating on shares of Oneok Partners LP. They have a USD 61.00 price target on that stock, up previously from USD 60.00. Other equities research analysts have also recently issued reports about the stock.
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Hospitality / Tourism / Retails

Nestlé to Launch New Coffee Product in China
Published by China Daily, 13th November 2014
Global food giant Nestle will launch a new coffee product named for Pu'er, a traditional tea-producing region in southwest China looking to explore coffee cultivation, company sources said. The development of the new coffee product based on locally-produced beans will deepen cooperation between Nestle and the country's largest coffee plantation base in Yunnan province, said Dong Yuguo, vice president of Nestle China. Dong said his company has witnessed and promoted the development of the coffee industry in Pu'er and hopes more people will join efforts to build up the coffee culture in the region. Nestle kicked off its coffee projects in Pu'er and Jinghong, another city in Yunnan, in 1988 and has established technical assistance centers in the region.
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Legal / Trade / Consulting / Services

Visit in Beijing from l’Ordre des Avocats de Genève
Published by odage.ch, 16th November 2014
A delegation of the Bar of Geneva visited Jean-Christophe (John) Liebeskind in Beijing on 13 November 2014. The delegation was led by Jean-Jacques Martin. The purpose of the mission was to exchange views with various representatives of the Chinese bar, including the All-China Lawyers Association. Mr. Liebeskind, who received his lawyer degree in Geneva, is Head of the Chinese Desk at Meyerlustenberger Lachenal and Counsel at Global Law Office, a Chinese law firm with offices in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen.

CLS Communication Becomes Part of Lionbridge Group
Published by CLS, 10th November 2014
Lionbridge Technologies, Inc. today announced a definitive agreement to acquire CLS Communication, a privately-held provider of translation solutions to clients in the financial services, industrial, public sector and life sciences markets. The combination of Lionbridge and CLS will address growing demand for integrated, technology-enabled translation solutions that allow organizations to create, translate and manage digital content worldwide. Lionbridge expects to purchase CLS Communication for approximately CHF 74 million, or approximately USD 77 million in cash, subject to estimated cash and debt adjustments at closing and certain post-closing adjustments.

Applause for the New CIT Accelerated Depreciation Policy for Fixed Assets
Published by pwccn.com, 9th November 2014
In order to upgrade China’s traditional industries and enhance technology innovation, on 24 September 2014, the Executive Committee of the State Council lead by Premier Li Keqiang announced to improve the fixed assets accelerated depreciation policy (New Policy) under the Corporate Income Tax (CIT) Law. Pursuant to this announcement, the Ministry of Finance and the State Administration of Taxation jointly issued Caishui No. 75 (Circular 75) recently, setting out regulations to implement this New Policy. Circular 75 is to have retrospective effect as of 1 January 2014. The New Policy expands the scope of fixed assets (FA) to which the Accelerated Depreciation Methods for CIT deduction purpose under the CIT Law can be applied. It is expected that by doing so, companies’ cash flow will be improved and investments in certain industries will increase.
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