Reader's Digest > 30 May - 12 June

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Reader's Digest, 30 May - 12 June

Swiss and Chinese Business Related News in Switzerland and China

BILATERAL RELATIONS

Chinese VP to visit Switzerland, Finland and the Czech Republic
Published by china.org.cn, 5th June 2015
Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong will go to Lausanne, southwest city of Switzerland to attend a communication meeting, held by the candidate cities of the 2022 winter Olympics and the international Olympic committee, from 7 to 10 June. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei made the announcement at the daily press briefing on Friday. Hong said Liu then will pay a visit to Finland from 11 to 14 June at the invitation of its government. From 15 to 18 June, Liu will visit the Czech Republic to attend Sino-Central and Eastern Europe Health Minister Forum, at the invitation of Bohuslav Sobotka, prime minister of The Czech Republic, Hong added.

Swiss Army Received Deputy Chief of the General Staff of People's Liberation Army
Published by vbs.admin.ch, 2nd June 2015
The Lieutenant General, Mr. Wang Guanzhong, Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the People's Liberation Army of China, was received from 1 to 3 June 2015 by members of the Swiss army on the occasion of his trip to Europe. The visit marked the long friendship between China and Switzerland. On 2 June, Lieutenant General Wang was welcomed by the divisional leader, Mr. Daniel Baumgartner, head of the logistics base for the army. Besides discussions and visits on the themes of the mobilization and logistics, a visit to the troupe to the battalion 34 of disaster aid was also on the agenda. Lieutenant General Wang also had a working lunch with the corps commander, Mr. André Blattmann, Chief of the Armed Forces.

Celebrating Swiss-Chinese Friendship in Fuzhou
Published by switzerland65china.com, 30th May 2015
Year 2015 sees the 65th anniversary of the establishment of our diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China. As part of the celebration, the Consulate General of Switzerland in Guangzhou, together with Swissnex China, Switzerland Global Enterprise Beijing, Switzerland Tourism Beijing / Hong Kong, Fuzhou Foreign Affairs Office, Fujian Foreign Affairs Office and other provincial authorities, organized the Swiss-Chinese Friendship Day in Fuzhou on 29 May.  Vice Governor of Fujian province Zheng Shanjie, Mayor of Fuzhou Yang Yimin , Swiss Ambassador to China Jean-Jacques de Dardel, Consul General of Switzerland in Guangzhou Didier Boschung attended the Swiss-Chinese Friendship Day events. The friendship between Switzerland and China has a long history. Switzerland was one of the first Western countries to recognize the newly founded PRC on 17 January 1950 and to establish diplomatic relations on 14 September 1950. Along the way, the first Sino-Foreign Joint Venture was with the Swiss company with Schindler in 1980. Moreover, Switzerland was among the first to recognize China as a full market economy in 2007.

Swiss Offer to Mediate in South China Sea Dispute
Published by swissinfo.ch, 30th May 2015
Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter has said Switzerland is prepared to act as an intermediary in the South China Sea, where territory disputes are increasing tensions. “Switzerland is not exactly what you would call a maritime power. This is true despite the fact that the Swiss Alinghi sailing boat won the America’s Cup twice!” Burkhalter joked on Saturday in Singapore. “But while Switzerland is not a maritime power, it is a mediation power. As an impartial and credible actor, Switzerland facilitates dialogue and builds bridges in many conflicts. It is home to Geneva, Europe’s hub for peace where numerous international talks to resolve differences and prevent or resolve conflict have taken place,” he said. “Moreover, Switzerland is an economic power. We have a strong interest in regional stability and safe shipping routes in the Asia Pacific. While Asia’s security challenges are for Asians to resolve, Switzerland stands ready to facilitate whenever its assistance should be requested.” Burkhalter was speaking at a round table at the Shangri-La Dialogue security forum in Singapore, addressing the issue of how to avoid an arms race in Asia.
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BUSINESS NEWS

Swiss Customs Sees a Drop in Gold Exports to China By 67% in April 2015
Published by customstoday.com.pk, 2nd June 2015
According to figures published this morning by the Swiss Federal Customs Administration showed that the Swiss exports of gold to China dropped by around 67% in April to just 15.1 tons. The country’s overall exports of 143.9 tons of gold in April were down 36% on the March total, which UBS said in a note is in line with the recent slump in physical demand across the Asian markets in particular. “The more subdued export number might suggest demand in key physical markets is tapering off for now. Indeed, this coincides with other indications of more muted activity in China and India: volumes on the Shanghai Gold Exchange in May are about 19% below the average over the previous two months, and premium in India has fallen off of late,” it said. Exports to India from Switzerland of 51.8 tonnes were down 28% month-on-month. The discount on gold in Mumbai recently widened to its lowest this year, sources told FastMarkets last week, which is reflective of the downturn in demand after Akshaya Tritiya in April.

Suspicious Youth Therapies in Switzerland: the Offer does not Dry Up in China
Published by rts.ch, 2nd June 2015
Last March, Swissmedic, the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health (OFSP) and the cantons have jointly launched lawsuits against several entities suspected to propose anti-aging therapies based on animal cells subjected to very strict permissions. They have never been approved, yet each year attract many Chinese tourists on the shores of Lake Leman. However, despite the call to order of the Swiss authorities, their promotion continues on the Chinese web. Indeed, there has still dozens of websites and dozens of agencies that offer the "Yang Tai Su" - a cure based on fetal sheep cells. It is for this particular treatment that Swiss clinics are renowned in China and it is a big market. Dr. Li Jun, Chief Physician at the Department cosmetic surgery of the Hospital of Nanjing, is convinced that these agencies will continue offering these suspicious therapies. "They expect that this period of turmoil going on, and they will continue as before. The market is huge," he says. Besides, on its website, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce warns the population against these treatments using sheep cells available in Switzerland.

HK is Second Most Competitive Economy
Published by China Daily, 30th May 2015
Hong Kong has moved up from fourth to second place - after the US - in the widely-followed global competitiveness survey by the Switzerland-based International Institute for Management Development (IMD). The institution cited, in particular, Hong Kong’s strength in business efficiency and financial acumen in addition to its traditional advantages, including the rule of law and a low and simple tax regime. The SAR fell to fourth place in last year's survey, but jumped two slots this year, putting it ahead of perennial rivals Switzerland and Singapore. Best ranking economies, according to the report, share the commonality of high business efficiency. Nine countries and regions from the top 10 are cited for their excellence in this particular criterion. “Simply put, business efficiency requires greater productivity and the competitiveness of countries (and regions) is greatly linked to the ability of enterprises to remain profitable over time,” said Arturo Bris, director of the institution's World Competitiveness Center.

Sino-Swiss Business Awards 2015
Published by swisscham.org, 30th May 2015
After a first successful edition in 2013 which was attended by more than 300 guests, including top economic and political leaders from both Switzerland and China and the exceptional presence of Federal Councillor J. Schneider-Ammann, SwissCham Beijing is delighted to invite you to enter the second edition of the Sino-Swiss Business Awards 2015. During this exclusive Gala Evening, which will be held with the exceptional presence of a Swiss Federal Councillor on 28 September at Rosewood Beijing, SwissCham will honour companies and individuals who have achieved distinct results and demonstrated the highest level of commitment to the Swiss-Chinese community, Swiss foreign trade and the promotion of Switzerland in China and vice-versa. Visit our website for the application form and exposure opportunities.

Sino-Swiss Dialogue 2015 - B2B Meeting in Guiyang
Published by swisscham.org, 30th May 2015
SwissCham Beijing is glad to invite you to join the B2B Meeting - Sino-Swiss Dialogue 2015, a sub-forum of Eco Forum Global Annual Conference Guiyang 2015, as a chief guest in the morning of June 26th in Guiyang, the capital city of Guizhou Province, China. The B2B meeting will provide a platform for companies who are interested in investing or exploring market opportunities in Guizhou in IT industry, Pharmaceutical & Health Care Industry, Modern Mountainous Agriculture Industry, Culture & Tourism Industry, Building Materials Industry, etc. The aim of the B2B Meetings is to facilitate business development between Swiss and Chinese companies, initiating projects by meeting potential cooperation partners. Visit our website for the application form.
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CULTURE & SOCIETY

12th Dance on Islands in Hongkong
Published by 2dancelu.ch, 10th June 2015
Sonja Rösli and Tobias Schmidt are invited as honorable guests to the 12th Dance on Islands in Hongkong on July 5. Sonja will perform a traditional Chinese Dance and will represent with Tobias the culture of Switzerland with traditional folklore cloth. It is the first meeting between the organizers, who are partly represented in the local Swiss chamber in Hongkong, and Sonja Rösli and Tobias Schmidt to lay a foundation for further culture exchanges. The aim is to do workshops and exchanges about Swiss folk dance in Hongkong and China in the future. The motivation is a bilateral one as Sonjas performance with Chinese dances at the national assembly of the Swiss folklore cloth and tradition associations on June 6 shows. The organisation committee of this important event in Switzerland is looking forward to the results of our meetings in Hongkong.

The Agreement between the Foundation of Alps Ink and the Palace Museum in Beijing
Published by sinoptic.ch, 4th June 2015
On the occasion of the 65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Swiss Confederation and the People's Republic of China, in collaboration with the Embassy of Switzerland in Beijing, an official delegation from the Palace Museum of the Forbidden City in Beijing visited Switzerland from 20 to 24 May 2015. As a part of the mission, the Museum and Foundation of Alps ink signed an agreement of collaboration on 22 May in Montreux, which is aimed at contributing to the preservation of cultural heritage and raising the awareness. In this perspective, the Foundation will coordinate the collaborations between the Palace Museum and relevant organizations in Switzerland. It would also explore the possibility of organizing an exhibition devoted to the cultural heritage of the Forbidden City in Switzerland.
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GENERAL INTEREST

A Survey Shows Why Apple and Switzerland are on a Collision Course
Published by qz.com, 5th June 2015
China’s rising shopping class has been a huge growth driver for both Apple and the Swiss watch industry. Greater China generated almost 20% of Apple’s revenue last year and more than a third of its growth. Meanwhile, China and Hong Kong accounted for 25% of global Swiss watch exports last year, despite a continued decline in luxury gifting to government officials, according to a research report from RBC Capital Markets. So it’s no surprise that a survey of wealthy Chinese, commissioned by RBC, would return seemingly good news for both. About 60% of respondents said they were interested in buying a watch that costs more than USD 800 over the next year. Classic mechanical watches were the most popular type, with a pricing “sweet spot” between USD 1,600 and USD 4,000. The brands Chinese buyers want: Omega, Rolex, Longines, Cartier, and Tissot. Not included in the poll: Apple, which just launched its new Apple Watch in nine countries, including China and Hong Kong. The survey did ask, however, if the shoppers wanted to buy a smart watch, a market where Apple stands to play a large role. The majority said yes.

Open Day for Schaffhausen High School at the Chinese Consulate General in Zurich
Published by chineseconsulate.org, 2nd June 2015
On 1 June 2015, the Chinese Consulate General in Zurich held open day activities for more than 30 students and teachers from Schaffhausen Canton high school. The Consul General Ms. MAO Jingqiu welcomed the teachers and students and addressed a speech on Sino-Swiss relations and political, economic and social development of China. She warmly invited students to visit China and to learn more about the current situation of China, and she also wished that the students could get good results in the upcoming graduation examination. The teachers and students from Schaffhausen Canton high school paid a visit to the consular and the foreign ministry office, watched a movie of Chinese development and calligraphy art. They also got useful information about Chinese visa, population as well as the Chinese policy of attracting high-quality personnel. Students also practiced Chinese calligraphy and tasted Chinese food. Schaffhausen Canton High School opened "Chinese Classes" and provided classes in Chinese language learning, Chinese history, culture and the development of China for students.
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INDUSTRIES

Engineering / Manufacturing

Uster Appoints Walter Kiechl as COO in China
Published by fibre2fashion.com, 4th June 2015
Uster Technologies AG has appointed Walter Kiechl as chief operating officer (COO) for China, as a member of the executive management team of Uster, reporting directly to CEO Geoffrey Scott, effective from May 1 2015. Kiechl has previously served as managing director of the former Jossi Systems when it was acquired by Uster Technologies in 2013. Subsequently, he took charge of the Uster Fiber Cleaning activity which incorporated the Jossi equipment range. With his strong engineering and business management background and wide-ranging experience, Kiechl is regarded as the ideal leader for Uster’s Chinese operations. His responsibilities will include finalizing the integration of Jossi into Uster China, as well as continuing to foster Uster’s success in this market generally.

China's Agriculture Sector Going for Bigger Harvest
Published by China Daily, 30th May 2015
China has long controlled its staple grain import quota to ensure food security. But the nation’s agriculture sector is welcoming high-end farming products from Europe. Syngenta AG, the largest European producer of hybrid seeds and crop protection products, is just one of the foreign companies contributing to China's agricultural development. Christoph Maeder, member of the executive board of Syngenta AG, says: “We are developing new technology which should enable farmers, together with the right agronomic knowledge, to really improve the farmers’ productivity, and thereby also producing more sustainable farming methods.” China's food security needs an integrated and comprehensive approach that includes international cooperation, infrastructure investment and education, as well as science and technology, Maeder says. He was speaking at the Swiss pavilion at Milan Expo 2015, which has food security and renewable energy as its themes.

ABB Named one of Randstad’s “2015 Most Attractive Employers In China”
Published by abb.com.cn, 25th May 2015
At the recently held “China Randstad Awards”, the world's leading power and automation technology group, ABB, was named one of the “2015 Most Attractive Employers in China” alongside Alibaba, IBM, Apple, Intel and other well-known Chinese and foreign enterprises. ABB was also ranked fourth in the “Top 10 Most Attractive Foreign Enterprises” list. Founded in 1999, the Randstad Award survey is the world's largest independent employer branding research event. The study is based on a representative sample of people between the ages of 18 and 65. In 2015, the Randstad Award was held in China for the third time. The largest 150 Chinese and foreign companies received its survey this year that covered Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and other first-tier and second-tier cities.
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Bank / Finance / Insurance

SIX Swiss Exchange Strengthens Collaboration with Shanghai
Published by greaterzuricharea.com, 9th June 2015
SIX Swiss Exchange in Zurich and Shanghai Stock Exchange have agreed in a memorandum of understanding to step up their collaboration. The Swiss financial market will benefit from a regular exchange of information and joint projects. China is one of Switzerland’s main economic partners as well as a key partner for the Swiss stock exchange, according to a SIX Swiss Exchange news release. The memorandum of understanding underscores the free trade agreement between the two countries and the currency agreement between the Swiss National Bank and the People’s Bank of China. The memorandum of understanding with Shanghai Stock Exchange envisages regular, institutionalized exchange of information. The aim is to develop service offerings to the benefit of investors in both financial centers and create attractive conditions for mutual admission of financial products.
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Hospitality / Tourism / Retails

Swatch Plans to Launch Smartwatch in Switzerland and “One Big Country” in August
Published by nycity.today, 31th May 2015
During the course of a recent shareholder meeting, Swatch CEO Nick Hayek said that the company is apparently set to foray into the smartwatch arena. According to Hayek, the Swatch smartwatch will be an Internet-enabled device, boasting remote-payment functionality. Hayek said that the Swatch smartwatch will be launched in Switzerland and “one big country.” It remains to be known which large market Swatch is looking forward to establish its foothold into. According to the WSJ reports, a payment deal has already reached between Swatch and China UnionPay. China also serves as the largest market for Swatch. Popularity of the Apple Watch has started threatening the business of the world's largest watchmaking group, which produces timepieces for Swatch, Tissot, Longines and Omega watches.
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Legal / Trade / Consulting / Services

PRC Legislation Newsletter
Published by linkedin.com, 30th May 201
Global Law Office released a new PRC Legislation Newsletter in May. The newsletter contains a summary of important legal developments, such as Special Administrative Measures for Foreign Investment Access in Pilot Free Trade Zones and Administrative Measures for the Record-filing of Foreign Investment in Free Trade Zones (for Trial Implementation). It also contains a list of new regulations regarding Securities and Capital Markets, Foreign Investment, Foreign Exchange and Taxation.
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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.