Reader's Digest > 22 November - 5 December

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Reader's Digest, 22 November - 5 December 2014

Swiss and Chinese Business Related News in Switzerland and China


Education and Research Delegation from Switzerland in Beijing
Published by, 1st December 2014
A delegation led by Ambassador Mauro Moruzzi, Head of International Relations Department of the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation, along with representatives of different Swiss higher education and research institutions embarked on a 4-day tour to attend meetings with the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Science and Technology and others from 18 to 21 November. Their trip was organized by the Swiss Embassy Science and Education Section, part of swissnex China. The focus of the first two days was vocational and professional education as well as applied research. The delegation was invited by the Ministry of Education to a visit at the Beijing City University and the Beijing Information Management School, both models of promising Chinese schools. A first milestone took place at the Ministry of Education in the morning of the Wednesday 19 November with the 1st Joint Working Group on vocational education and professional training. The objective was to facilitate the partnership between Chinese and Swiss schools and universities of applied sciences.
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New Trade Promotion Director SBH China / Head of Shanghai Office
Published by, 2nd December 2014
Fabio Müller was born in Bern and grew up in Neuhausen am Rheinfall in the canton of Schaffhausen. After graduating from high school, Fabio decided to move to the western part of Switzerland to pursue a M.A. in Chinese Studies at the University of Geneva. During this time, he spent two years in Beijing as an exchange student. After his graduation, Fabio gained first work experience in China at the China headquarter of Rieter in Shanghai. He then decided to go back to Switzerland to earn a second Master’s Degree in Marketing, Communication and Services Management from the University of St. Gallen. Making use of his newly acquired business knowledge, he first worked as Project Manager in a start-up private bank in Zurich before he headed back to China as General Manager of the Swiss Chinese Chamber of Commerce (SwissCham) in Beijing.

Establishment of a Swissnex-TusPark Platform for Sino-Swiss Startup Entrepreneurs
Published by, 29th November 2014
TusPark is located at the core area of Zhongguancun Science Park in Beijing, where there are a great number of reputable institutions of higher learning and academies. The project of building TusPark, put forward by Tsinghua University in 1993, was confirmed and approved by the Ministry of Education and Beijing government in the same year. During Venture Leaders trip in Beijing, swissnex China has set up liaison with TusPark and discuss the collaborative opportunities in between. On 20 November 2014, under the witness of Mr. Mauro Moruzzi‎, from SERI, Dr. Martin Muller from CTI and other senior experts and officials from two sides, swissnex and TusPark signed the Memorandum of Understanding to set up the collaboration platform at TusPark incubator and provide soft-landing services for start-up entrepreneurs, for example TusPark will help connect with local community for incoming Swiss visitors, arrange temporary desk or space for Swiss entrepreneurs who want to explore Chinese tech market, more importantly is that TusPark will serve as a bridge for Swiss and Chinese tech people ( entrepreneurs and academics) who are interested in business match making.

Managing Your Day-to-Day Business in China: First-hand Experiences of a Swiss SME & Negotiating in China
Published by, 27th November 2014
About 50 participants took part in our seminar in November on dealing with day-to-day issues in China. We had the honour to be joined by several excellent speakers including Thomas Oertli and Sharon Luo of Wizlynx Group, a small IT services company based in Basel. Sharon Luo who is heading Wizlynx's China Branch talked about some of the main administrative issues they have been facing as a foreign company in China, including financial problems, staff recruiting and management as well as legal issues. In a second part of the seminar Prof. Michael Jeive of the University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland and Monika Naef, a lawyer and Certified Global Negotiator shared their experience and knowledge about negotiating in China. The discussion became very interactive especially during the end of the seminar with many questions being raised by the audience. The seminar was followed by a Chinese dinner and continued discussions.

From a Logistical Point of View, Basel Plays an Important Role When it Comes to Exporting or Importing Cargo from and to Switzerland
Published by, 26th November 2014
China Business Platform interviewed with Gian-Carlo Alessi, Head of the EuroAirport’s Cargo Department, on plans for a direct cargo flight between Basel and Shanghai. He believes that from a logistical point of view, Basel plays an important role when it comes to exporting or importing cargo from and to Switzerland, no matter if by air or sea. There were several drivers influencing the decision, for sure the Free Trade Agreement was one of those. It's part of the strategy to connect directly the EuroAirport to the most important markets, of which China is one of the major ones. There are several meetings and exchanges with the Shanghai Airport Authority in Shanghai and Basel. Since April 2014, there is a Chinese EuroAirport representative in Shanghai, who on one side is meeting the stake holders of the supply chain, on the other side is in regular contact with the SAA. One of the next steps is the signature of an LOI between both Airports and continuing of approaching potential Airlines to operate this route.
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Swiss Action-Art at the Rockbund Art Museum in Shanghai
Published by SinOptic, 27th November 2014
Pro Helvetia invited the two Swiss ‘action artists’ Anne Rochat and Nino Baumgartner to Shanghai to perform at the Rockbund Art Museum. Action-art is a non-choreographed art form that can only be experienced once, in the here and now. Before coming to Shanghai, they will perform at the 5th International Action-Art Festival in Guangzhou. The event will take place at Rockbund Art Museum on 10 December.
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First China Memory Clinic Guidebook Released
Published by, 2nd December 2014
Seven professors from China, Switzerland, Spain and the US are releasing a guidebook to aid the 128 memory clinics in China in taking care of patients with Alzheimer's disease. Statistics show only 19.79% of Chinese people can correctly recognize initial symptoms of Alzheimer's disease, said Zhang Zhenxing, a neurology professor at Peking Union Medical College at the China Memory Clinic Guidebook's launch in November. Zhang said more than 90% of those with Alzheimer's disease are not properly diagnosed, and clinics are not equipped with sufficient resources. The book will have information for relatives of those with the disease on how to care for their loved ones in addition to advice for medical workers.

FTSE Weighed Down by China Slowdown, Swiss Gold Vote and Oil
Published by, 1st December 2014
Overnight weakness in Asia spilled over to London this morning as global markets responded to data showing factory activity in China slowed down by more than expected in November. Official government figures showed the purchasing managers index for China fell to 50.3 last month – an eight-month low and below the consensus forecast of 50.6. Reuters points out that the weakness in London this morning is also partly due to early indications of disappointing sales at the start of the US holiday shopping season and Swiss voters overwhelmingly rejecting a proposal to boost central bank gold reserves, providing a new trigger for sell-offs in an already nervous market. Marketwatch reports that gold early this morning was down USD 26, or 2.2%, at USD 1,149.20/oz. Silver was hit even harder, down 69 cents, or 4.5%, to USD 14.80 an ounce.
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Engineering / Manufacturing

9 ABB Companies Listed Among China’s Top 100 Electric Companies for 2014
Published by, 27th November 2014
ABB was recognized with awards for 9 local companies ranked among the “2014 China Top 100 Electric Companies” announced today. In terms of the number of subsidiaries on the list, ABB is a forerunner among electric companies in China. ABB also won two other prestigious awards: “China’s Top 10 Electric Companies by Competitiveness” and “China’s Top 10 Electric Companies by Innovation Capability”, fully demonstrating ABB’s leadership in the electric industry. "China Top 100 Electric Companies" is an annual award hosted by Electric Age magazine, a leading trade magazine sponsored by the China Machinery Industry Information Institute. It has been successfully held 15 times. The list is a barometer of China’s electric industry, fully reflecting the current development of China's electric companies. It has become the annual focus of the Chinese electric industry.

Huawei Invites Swiss Delegation to China
Published by, 20th November 2014
Huawei has invited a high-profile delegation from Switzerland to its headquarters in Shenzhen in China, Handelszeitung reports. The delegation consists of ICT president and FDP deputy to the National Assembly Ruedi Noser, head of IT association Swico Jean-Marc Hensch as well as SVP and FDP deputies to the National Assembly Thomas Aeschi and Christian Wasserfallen, Tom Kleiber from Microsoft Switzerland and Bakom boss Philipp Metzger. In February, nine employees of Huawei were detained during a police raid at the Swiss site of the Chinese telecoms equipment manufacturer. Investigations were conducted on suspicion that third-country nationals with no valid visas and presumably without required permits were working at the Huawei branch in Duebendorf. The case was later dropped and the worker restrictions lifted.
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Bank / Finance / Insurance

Swiss Re Reports Strong Net Income of USD 3.3 Billion for the First 9 Months of 2014
Published by, 20th November 2014
Swiss Re reports a strong net income of USD 3.3 billion for the first nine months of 2014, USD 1.2 billion of which was earned in the third quarter alone. All Business Units contributed to the result, as well as a 13.3% return on equity during the first nine months. Swiss Re remains on track to meet its stated 2011–2015 financial targets. The strong performance demonstrates the importance of close client relationships and differentiated services in a more difficult market environment, according to the Swiss Re Group, one of leading wholesale providers of reinsurance, insurance and other insurance-based forms of risk transfer. Corporate Solutions reported net income in the first nine months of 2014 of USD 249 million (vs. USD 227 million in 9M 2013). Net premiums earned of USD 2.6 billion were 23% higher than in the prior year, including the expiry of a major quota share agreement in 2012. The announced acquisition of insurer Sun Alliance (China), which is pending regulatory approval, will enable Corporate Solutions to offer corporate insurance directly from mainland China, according to Swiss Re.
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Hospitality / Tourism / Retails

Alipay Rolls out Overseas Card Service
Published by China Daily, 1st December 2014
Alipay, China's largest online payment solution provider, launched on Monday 1 December an overseas transportation card service to make it easy for Chinese to travel abroad. With the new service, Chinese travellers can purchase transportation cards in Singapore, Thailand and Macao via the mobile application Alipay Wallet in Chinese yuan. The service marks Alipay's latest move in overseas expansion. Earlier this year, it teamed up with Swiss tax-refund company Global Blue launching a service to enable Chinese tourists to have tax refunds on their shopping paid directly into their Alipay accounts in Chinese yuan.
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Legal / Trade / Consulting / Services

Visit in Beijing from l’Ordre des Avocats de Genève
Published by, 20th 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.

Cost Awareness - A Big Risk for Chinese Overseas M&A
Published by, 20th November 2014
In the past few years Switzerland, located in the heart of Western Europe and economically integrated with the surrounding EU markets, has become increasingly attractive to Chinese investors thanks to its leading industries, excellent research and development environment, highly educated and trained workforce, leading financial centres, liberal labour laws, low taxes, low national debt and political stability. We have had several opportunities in the past few years to provide legal services to Chinese companies bidding for Swiss companies, or parts thereof, and to Swiss groups selling companies or licensing technology to Chinese companies. In this Newsletter, we would like to feature three obstacles that we have seen typically arise in M&A transactions involving Chinese bidders.
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