Reader's Digest > 18 July - 31 July

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Reader's Digest, 18 - 31 July

Swiss and Chinese Business Related News in Switzerland and China

BILATERAL RELATIONS

The Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of China Attended Swiss National Day Reception at Embassy of Switzerland in China
Published by swisscenters.org, 27th July2015Invited by Embassy of Switzerland in China, the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of China Mr. WANG Chao attended Swiss National Day reception at the Embassy of Switzerland in China and exchanged points of views with Ambassador, H.E. Jean-Jacques de Dardel on Sino-Swiss bilateral relations and high-level exchange of visits. Within the framework of the 65th Anniversary of the establishment of bilateral relations between Switzerland and the People’s Republic of China, China and Switzerland have many high-level bilateral meetings, regular dialogues, intensive economic and scientific cooperation and a rich cultural program and will further deepen exchanges and cooperation in every field.
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BUSINESS NEWS

Swiss Companies in China to Boost Investment
Published by swisscenters.org, 27th July2015
Despite the strong Swiss franc and weak Swiss exports to China, the majority of Swiss companies based there plan to increase their investments.According to the 2015 Swiss Business in China survey, 72% of Swiss firms will boost their local investment. Moreover, 78% expect “higher” or “substantially higher” sales in China this year, compared with just 1% expecting lower sales.The survey, compiled by the China Europe International Business School, the Swiss Center Shanghai, the Swiss Embassy in China, Swissnex, SwissCham and China Integrated, comprises responses of 62 Swiss companies out of the total 368 foreign-owned enterprises. All together, some 254 Swiss companies are registered with SwissCham China.The first half of 2015 saw a decline in Swiss exports to most major markets, including a 6.6% drop in exports to China and Hong Kong. Yet the take-in is still significant.

Swiss Aviation Firm to Operate Large-Cabin Business Aircraft for Point-to-Point Services in China
Published by China Daily, 22nd July2015
Switzerland-based VistaJet, a company specializing in premium long-range private jet travel, and its Chinese partner will start offering point-to-point services in China by the third quarter of this year, making it the first global private aviation company to operate large-cabin business aircraft in China, sources said. On Tuesday, VistaJet said that Apex Air, a business jet operator authorized by the Civil Aviation Administration of China, will manage and operate its China-based fleet of aircraft, and Chinese customers will have access to VistaJet's large-cabin, long-range Bombardier Challenger 850, their first China-registered aircraft. According to Thomas Flohr, VistaJet founder and chairman, more than 15,000 flights have been operated by VistaJet so far this year, and the Zurich-headquartered company is looking to achieve double-digit growth in its China business in the coming 12 months.

Swiss Startups Ready to Conquer China
Published by venturelab.ch, 17th July2015After a very successful first edition of the venture leaders China program in Shanghai and Beijing in 2014, the Swiss national startup team of 2015 is once again ready to conquer the Chinese market. The 10 startups are active in multiple high-tech domains and have been chosen among more than 50 high profile applications. The October business development trip, co-organized with swissnex China, will enable the finalists to learn about the three economic hubs Peking, Shanghai and Shenzhen, in order to better understand the Chinese market and to seize business opportunities. For Swiss startups, China is a key market to explore. With growing opportunities and market prospects, as well as the necessity to increase the visibility of Swiss high-tech innovation in China, venturelab launched the first edition of venture leaders China in 2014, inspired by the model of the venture leaders USA program. The prize offered to 10 carefully selected high potential Swiss entrepreneurs is a 10-day market exploration and business development journey in rising entrepreneurial and economical metropolis: Shanghai, Beijing, and for the first time this year, Shenzhen.
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CULTURE & SOCIETY

Small Land, Big Taste
Published by China Daily, 21st July2015
Justly famous for cheese and chocolate, the Swiss table celebrates three neighboring cultures-Germany, France and Italy-while delivering flavors entirely its own, Mike Peters finds in Zurich and Geneva. The blade sweeps merrily across the top of a big round of cheese, and the resulting shavings pile up like a translucent yellow ribbon. When the carving stops, we reach in eagerly to taste the Tete de Moine, a proudly Swiss cheese that literally translates as "monk's head". The semi-hard cheese was first made more than 800 years ago by French-speaking monks of the abbey of Bellelay, and the careful scraping with a knife's edge, allowing oxygen to reach more of the surface, opens up its nutty aroma and flavor. Our hungry group nibbles and nods appreciatively, lingering a little longer here to study the girolle, the tool Swiss chefs use to carve pretty rosettes of the cheese we're eating. The 12th-century monks who invented this whole-milk cheese would have been equally intrigued: the girolle was only invented in 1982 for its flowery effect. Before that, centuries of cheese-makers used simple kitchen knives to harvest the savory goodness. Today the top-cutting blade is popular with professional chefs and home cooks alike, and supermarkets have them on offer for tourists seeking a cool souvenir of their visit to Switzerland.

Eos Guitar Quartet on Tour in China
Published by sinoptic.ch, 17th July2015Eos Guitar Quartet stands for thirty years of outstanding guitar music covering a broad range of music styles. In the second half of July 2015, David Sautter, Michael Winkler, Julio Azcano and Marcel Ege now come to China to present their skills on the strings in Beijing, Xi’an, Chongqing, Nanjing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. Founded in 1985 and named after their Greek word for dawn, Eos has undoubtedly reached the heaven of guitar music with reviews describing them as one of the “few outstanding formations of their kind” (Basler Zeitung). Eos feels at ease playing a repertoire covering a broad range of music styles, including classic, jazz, rock, modern avant-garde and flamenco. While they present commissioned works and classics, they also compose their own pieces.
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GENERAL INTEREST

A Race against Plastic Waste – Race for Water Odyssey Comes to Shanghai
Published by sinoptic.ch, 17th July2015
The “Race for Water Odyssey” is an initiative of the “Race for Water” foundation, based in Lausanne: a crew of six people is sailing around the world aboard a trimaran to raise awareness of plastic waste in the world’s oceans and its consequences on the environment and the population. 260 million tons of plastic particles currently floating in the oceans constitute a serious threat to the marine ecosystem as well as, by contaminating the food chain, to human beings. In a world where 3.5 billion people depend on oceans for sustenance, a considerable amount of the yearly produced 250 million tons of plastic still ends up at one time or another in the sea. Along its journey, “Race for Water Odyssey” will do a first global scientific assessment of the scale and consequences of plastic waste. Led by the Swiss initiator Marco Simeoni and skipper Stève Ravussin, the racing trimaran, designed by a company in Switzerland, left Bordeaux mid-March 2015, crossed the Atlantic Ocean and after stops at some islands in the Pacific located in the heart of plastic trash vortexes, the boat will reach Shanghai on 4 August.
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INDUSTRIES

Engineering / Manufacturing

SSM Promotes Steven Lin as Sales Director China
Published by fibre2fashion.com, 22nd July2015
Switzerland-based textile machinery manufacturer SSM Schärer Schweiter Mettler AG has promoted its longstanding sales representative in China, Steven Lin, as sales director China.Lin will lead a newly formed sales team with the existing and new sales managers, effective this month, SSM said in a statement. SSM is modifying its sales structure, in order to strengthen its position in the market share in China by getting closer to customers without any agency or intermediary.SSM has been able to maintain its market leadership in China and excel within the holding company Schweiter Technologies despite the competitive situation in the textile machinery business.The company said it will continue to strengthen its personnel, and continue to retain strong market position.

Oerlikon Metco Strengthens Logistics in China with New Manufacturing Capabilities
Published by thomasnet.com, 21st July2015
Oerlikon Metco enhances their 'close to customer' strategy with thermal spray carbides manufactured in China.To serve the growing local demand, Oerlikon Metco is now able to offer high quality, thermal spray carbide powders that are produced in and distributed solely to customers within mainland China.The new products target industrial customers that require consistent and reliable materials for their applications. While the products are identical to those Oerlikon Metco produces in Barchfeld, Germany and offers on a worldwide basis, manufacture of these materials in China allows the company to serve the Chinese market more efficiently."The demand for such products is evident and allows us to meet the needs of our Chinese customers in every respect," states Stefan Zimmerman, Oerlikon Metco Product Line Manager for Carbide Materials. "While our current portfolio of these products is currently limited to a selection of our most popular materials, we anticipate future expansion of this portfolio and the robust sales growth in the Chinese market that would come with it."

Swiss Company to Establish Manufacturing Base in Zhangjiagang
Published by China Daily, 21st July2015
Firmenich, a Switzerland-based company, has reached an agreement with Zhangjiagang city in Jiangsu province on 9 July. Based on the agreement, Firmenich will have a manufacturing plant in Zhangjiagang. Zhangjiagang is an emerging port city in the Yangtze River Economic Belt, playing an important role in the transportation and industrial fields. After over 20 years' development, Zhangjiagang's free bonded zone has been transformed into a cluster area for high-end industries as well as a center of modern logistics. Thanks to the city's sound investment environment, the zone has attracted more than 30 Fortune-500 enterprises to set their units here. Firmenich is the world's largest privately-owned company in the fragrance and flavor business. Founded in 1895 in Geneva, Switzerland, this multinational corporation is mainly engaged in the production and sales of natural aromatic essential oils and aromatic chemicals, edible flavor, Tobacco flavor, accounting for 14% of the global market.
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Bank / Finance / Insurance

Aon Appoints Senior Swiss Re Head for China Roles
Published by postonline.co.uk, 27th July2015
Qin Lu is moving from Swiss Re to take on the roles of CEO of Aon Benfield Greater China and CEO of Aon Risk Solutions, China.Lu will start at Aon later this year and be based in Hong Kong. Aon has a 50% joint venture in China - Aon Cofco which employs 300 people across seven locations in China. CEO of Aon Cofco Clare Wu will report to Lu.Lu will be also be responsible for Aon Benfield in both China and Hong Kong.Qin Lu has held a number of senior roles at Swiss Re including client manager of its Singapore property and casualty business, general manager of its Malaysia branch and head of property and casualty in China. His most recent role was president of Swiss Re China and a member of the Swiss Re management team.

Postal Savings Bank Seeks More Investment
Published by China Daily, 24th July2015
Postal Savings Bank of China Co Ltd is accelerating the process of introducing strategic investors to the bank, its vice-president Xu Xueming said on Thursday.Wholly owned by China Post Group Corp, the State-owned postal service, the bank is preparing for an initial public offering in 2016, aiming to raise up to USD 25 billion, people with knowledge of the matter said in February."Introducing strategic investors will help introduce capital, management mechanism and intellectual support to our bank. This way, we'll improve our corporate governance structure, level of management and ability to serve the real economy. We could also build a long-term mechanism to replenish the capital after our bank is floated on the stock market," Xu said at a media conference in Beijing.Swiss financial firm UBS AG, Singapore's Temasek Holdings Pte and French bank BNP Paribas were among six preliminary bidders to buy up to a 10 percent stake in PSBC for at least USD 3 billion, Reuters reported in April.
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Hospitality / Tourism / Retails

Expat Brings Bites of Switzerland to Beijing
Published by China Daily, 21st July2015
In the cultural melting pot of Beijing, Swiss-born restaurateur Peter Troesch is eager to deliver something he's found lacking in the Chinese capital: an authentic taste of Switzerland. Troesch, owner and manager of the recently opened Swiss Taste restaurant, came to Beijing 10 years ago and immediately felt the absence of his homeland in the food scene. After having spent most of his career in the hospitality business in various countries, he eventually decided to start his own brand here.Located in the busy Central Park area, Swiss Taste is a combination restaurant, cocktail bar and deli, the last a recent addition since the business launched in April. Inside, black-and-white chairs accent wooden tables, and images of Swiss wintertime sports hang on the walls. Fine-dining is not the game, Troesch says: Salt and pepper shakers shaped like cows give the tables a playful look. In true European style, cozy outdoor seating is available as well. The extensive menu features the signature classics of Swiss cuisine, including a variety of dishes adopted by Switzerland from its neighboring countries-Germany, France and Italy-but all with a "Swiss taste".

Nestlé Skin Health Launches SHIELD Center in Shanghai to Enable and Advance Healthy and Active Ageing
Published by nestleskinhealth.com, 21st July2015
Nestlé Skin Health, global leader focused on enhancing the quality of life by delivering science-based solutions for the health of the skin, today launched its new Skin Health Investigation, Education and Longevity Development (SHIELD) Center in Shanghai.  The Shanghai SHIELD center will establish China as one of the anchors in Nestlé Skin Health’s global innovation network and is built to foster breakthroughs and collaboration in skin health through medical investigation, education and applications related to the convergence of technologies and bio-informatics. This global initiative is driven by the growing, changing and still underappreciated needs of an increasingly ageing population and the need for a life course of healthy skin to enhance well-being.

Unprecedented Price Changes in the Global Luxury Goods Market
Published by 5starplusdesign.com, 12th July 2015
There is a notable development in the luxury goods market – the adjustment of global price differences. Since premium positioned companies usually do not adjust their prices downward, the latest changes are big news in the industry. For instance Swiss luxury watch brand Patek Philippe announced a significant markdown in prices by 15% in hopes of stimulating demand as well as increasing sales globally. How are other international luxury brands taking action in China, what are the reasons for such actions and what are the possible outcomes for such significant price changes? Here is everything you need to know about the global price adjustments of luxury goods.
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Legal / Trade / Consulting / Services

PwC Admits 53 New Partners across Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore
Published by pwccn.com, 27th July2015
PwC is pleased to announce the admission of 53 new partners across its firms in mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore during the past year.PwC China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore work together on a collaborative basis. With the addition of 53 new partners, the strength of that collaboration is now about 760 partners.Of the 53 new partners, 29 are based in mainland China, 16 in Hong Kong, 3 in Taiwan and 5 in Singapore. Seventeen new partners are with the Assurance practice, 18 in Tax, 17 in Advisory and 1 in Human Capital. In terms of gender, 18 of the new partners are female.The new admissions further enhance PwC’s ability to continue to provide a wide range of professional services to meet the growing needs of clients and build on the firm’s leading position in the region.
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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.