Reader's Digest > 10 October - 23 October

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Reader's Digest, 10 - 23 October

Swiss and Chinese Business Related News in Switzerland and China

BILATERAL RELATIONS

Second Session of Sino-Swiss Dialogue on Education
Published by cnedu-ch.org, 16th October 2015
The second session of the Sino-Swiss Dialogue on Education was held in Bern. Mr. Hao Ping, Vice Minister of Education of P.R.C. and Mr. Mauro Dell'Ambrogio, State Secretary for Education, Research and Innovation of Switzerland co-chaired the meeting. The two sides signed a joint declaration on cooperation in the field of education. In June this year, China University of Applied Science and Technology Alliance visited University of Applied Sciences in Switzerland and signed a memorandum of cooperation with the Swiss University Alliance. This is a new field of educational exchanges and cooperation between the two countries. The two sides also collaborate in Swiss vocational education and regularly exchange and share information in the fields of economic and social development.

Biometric Data Required of Visa Applicants to Switzerland
Published by sinoptic.ch, 12th October 2015
The Embassy of Switzerland in China and the Consulate General of Switzerland in Shanghai and Guangzhou would like to draw the attention of visa applicants to the introduction of the Visa Information System (VIS), a system for the exchange of visa data among Schengen Member States. According to the new system, as from 12 October 2015, all applicants applying for a visa to Switzerland and other Schengen Member States are required to provide their biometric data-10 fingerprints and a digital photograph. The VIS is to facilitate visa application procedures and checks at external border of the European Union, as well as enhance security. The recourse to biometric technology will better protect visa applicants against identity theft and prevent false identifications, which in certain cases lead to a refusal of a visa or entry to a person who is en titled to enter. This also allows to establish more easily the lawful use of previous visas and applicants' travel history, for example, when applying for a multiple-entry visa.
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BUSINESS NEWS

China Construction Bank Wins License for Branch in Switzerland
Published by swissinfo.ch, 21st October 2015
China Construction Bank Corp. became the first Chinese bank to receive permission to offer commercial- banking services and clear renminbi transactions in Switzerland. The Swiss financial regulator, Finma, granted the bank permission to open a branch in Zurich, a spokesman said by phone Monday. China Construction Bank applied in April to obtain the license. China’s biggest lenders, including Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd. and Construction Bank, have accelerated overseas expansions in the past three years as the country creates a global network of offshore banks to promote the renminbi as a reserve currency. Construction Bank began operations in Paris, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Milan and Paris earlier this year, offering corporate banking services including deposits, trade finance, international settlement and syndicated loans to major Chinese firms and local companies.

Capital Risk, Innovation and Startup in China
Published by swissnexchinanews.org, 20th October 2015
Olivier Glauser is an investor and entrepreneur in media, internet and new technologies in China. He is the co-founder of Shankai Sports international. He is also part of the board of directors of SwissCham Beijing. He has a 20 years expertise in new technologies and investment in risk capital in US, Asia and Europe. Olivier Glauser wants to fight against the idea that the Chinese are not innovative and he addressed a speech in a conference. During his speech, he emphasized the Chinese consumers’ eager to try out new things and the numerous opportunities in the technology market in China. He explained the lack of new technology startups in China, despite the opportunities, by the important risk level in this sector mainly due to the very competitive environment and the opportunity cost of technology investment. In his conference, he also highlighted the importance of the adaptation of the business model to the Chinese market.

Swiss Startups Ready to Take Over the World
Published by venturelab.ch, 20th October 2015
Following the success of the first edition of venture leaders China, venturelab is happy to announce the second edition of the program in 2015. venture leaders China is a unique 10-day business development program to explore the Chinese market potential for your startup. It is an exclusive opportunity to be part of a top entrepreneurial team, to accelerate your business growth and showcase Switzerland as a leading country for innovation. 10 carefully selected high-tech entrepreneurs will get a unique chance to give their technology and business a commercial boost, thanks to venture leaders. The 10 winners will travel to Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen, where they will attend a unique entrepreneurial and business development program.

Swiss Exports Still Pressured by Franc
Published by marketwatch.com, 20th October 2015
Switzerland's exports fell in September as the strong Swiss franc continued to weigh on demand from the eurozone and as weaker demand in China and Hong Kong triggered a big drop in the shipment of watches. Exports in September dropped 2.9% from a year earlier in real terms to CHF 16.95 billion (USD 17.73 billion), the country's customs office said Tuesday. In nominal terms, exports dropped 3.8%, it said. Imports reached CHF 13.9 billion, a 1.5% fall in real terms and 8.5% dip in nominal terms. As a result, the September trade surplus rose to CHF 3.05 billion from CHF 2.86 billion in August. Swiss watch exports were among the big fallers during the month, with exports dropping 7.9% in nominal terms to CHF 1.81 billion during September, the customs office said. The industry has been hit by a decline in exports to key markets like China and Hong Kong, where demand for Swiss watches has slowed.

China Said to Consider Yuan-Swiss Franc Direct Trading Link
Published by fxstreet.com, 15th October 2015
As reported by Bloomberg, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) is planning to start direct trading between the yuan and the Swiss franc. Thus, the Swiss franc would become the seventh major currency to be exchangeable directly for yuan in Shanghai, joining the US, Australian and New Zealand dollars, the British pound, the Japanese yen and the euro. China is accelerating efforts to bolster global yuan usage before an International Monetary Fund (IMF) review of its reserve- currency basket next month. Earlier this year, the PBOC extended Switzerland a RMB 50 billion (USD 7.9 billion) quota under the Renminbi Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor program, which allows yuan raised offshore to be used to buy securities in China’s domestic markets.

Swiss Business Hub to Woo more Chinese Companies to Switzerland
Published by sinoptic.ch, 9th October 2015
The Swiss Business Hub (SBH) China, which promotes trade and investment between Switzerland and China, recently joined the accounting and consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers in its high potential cities roadshow project, and promoted Switzerland as a business location to a number of interested Chinese companies. The roadshow project, taking place in the second-and third-tier Chinese cities of Xi’an, Shaanxi Province; Chongqing; and Foshan, Guangdong Province from 24 to 26 August and September 9 to 11, attracted about 50 private and state-owned companies. The SBH team introduced the competitive advantages Switzerland has in terms of investment and the Sino-Swiss free trade agreement (FTA), which came into effect in July 2014.
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CULTURE & SOCIETY

Bconnected China Tour
Published by switzerland65china.com, 23rd October 2015
Since jazz band bconnected was founded in 1994 by guitarist Eugene Montenero, it has preserved its creativity and enigmatic identity. On stage, the sextet makes connections with music and the audience; off stage, they seek inspiration from cultures in the various countries they tour. Having performed in China for 16 years, bconnected is particularly fascinated by the diverse music genres and instruments they have encountered in the country. In October, the band will reconnect with its fans during its China tour, which is also the premiere of their ninth album Twenty. For more information, please refer to: http://www.bconnected.ch/.

More Chinese Saying 'Cheese' for Cool-Weather Fondue
Published by China Daily, 13th October 2015
As autumn temperatures drop, the Chinese like to pamper themselves with hotpot to escape the chill. In recent years, cheese fondue, a tradition from Switzerland of dipping bread and other foods in melted cheese, has become popular in Beijing, as more and more Chinese are falling for the delicious dish. "In Switzerland, 'fondue' just means cheese fondue. It is the country's signature dish, like Peking duck (for China)," says Wang Wen'ge, executive chef with Cafe Swiss at Swissotel Beijing. "Cheese fondue now is not so common in Beijing as in Switzerland, but is increasingly loved by Chinese people and expats." Cheese fondue is similar to Chinese hotpot, but with a much simpler set of foods to dip into the pot, including bread and baby potatoes, he says. The chef uses Emmental and Gruyere to make cheese fondue. The cheeses are among Switzerland's most expensive ones. After grating the cheeses, he tosses them into a pot that has been rubbed with garlic, and heats them with white wine and garlic. He stirs until the cheese melts, and then adds powdered red pepper and ground nutmeg, sometimes followed by grappa wine.
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GENERAL INTEREST

Air Pollution: Rule of Law and Innovation as Only Way Out
Published by switzerland65china.com, 16th October 2015
Air quality and legislation was at the centre of the discussions of Workshop on Black Carbon Emission Reduction and DPF (Diesel Retrofit Pilot) on 15 and 16 October 2015 in Beijing. The knowledge-sharing conference co-organised by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), Vehicle Emission Control Centre of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Beijing Environmental Protection Bureau, brought together a group of Swiss experts in environment legislation, clean air technology and health and more than 100 participants from environmental bureaus of a number of Chinese cities, research institutes and international organizations. Rule of law and innovation is how Switzerland has effectively reduced hazardous emissions and improved its air quality for the last 30 years. This is also why in 2010 Switzerland and China co-launched the cooperation in clean air legislation and policy framework, in order to better support the policy making of the revision of Air Protection Law in China and provide scientific tools, instruments and measures to efficiently reduce soot emissions.

Switzerland's Gold Exports to China and Hong Kong Jump
Published by proactiveinvestors.com.au, 16th October 2015
Adding some more interest to the gold sector, Switzerland's gold exports to China and Hong Kong together hit a 18-month high in September. This was offset though with exports to India, which fell by two-thirds. Back to the markets, and overnight in New York gold added 0.3% to USD 1176 an ounce. Helping the yellow metal recently is the increasing likelihood that the Federal Reserve will delay an interest rate rise, possibly even to 2016.

Sino-Swiss Science Forum in Tianjin
Published by swissnexchinanews.org, 30th September 2015
In September 2015, “Sino-Swiss Science Forum in Tianjin” has been successfully taken place in Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TUTCM) in Tianjin, China. This Forum was held by the Research Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine, TUTCM, and assisted by Alumni Association of University of Zurich, while the strong supports were also got from both the Swiss Embassy in Beijing and swissnex China in Shanghai. As one of the oldest traditional Chinese medicine universities in China, it also hosts the Educational Instruction Committee of World Federation of Chinese Medicine Society and it is at the leading position of the research of traditional Chinese medicine. This Forum is significant in deepening the science exchanges and communications between the Chinese and Swiss researchers in the field of natural drug discovery and pharmacology.
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INDUSTRIES

Engineering / Manufacturing

ABB Wins Orders Worth USD 300 Million to Boost Power Capacity and Grid Reliability in China
Published by abb.com.cn, 15th October 2015
ABB has won orders worth over USD 300 million for critical power technologies to enable two new ultra-high-voltage direct current (UHVDC) power transmission links. The two 800 kilovolt (kV) links will each have the capacity to transmit 8,000 megawatts (MW) of wind and thermal power from Shanxi to Nanjing and from Jiuquan to Hunan – enough electricity to meet the needs of 26 million consumers based on average national consumption. The orders were booked in the third quarter of 2015. ABB will supply leading-edge HVDC converters, converter transformers and components, capacitors and filters, and high voltage circuit breakers to facilitate the efficient and reliable long distance transmission of electricity. Converter transformers for the two projects will serve as the vital interface between the AC network and the DC links. By using 800 kV UHVDC links, the transmission losses can be reduced significantly. This application highlights the capability of HVDC technology to reinforce AC grids.

Bobst Group Will Purchase the Remaining Shares from Gary Tseng
Published by bobst.com, 14th October 2015
Bobst Group announces that it will exercise before the end of the year its option to purchase from Gary Tseng the remaining 35% of the Gordon Ltd shares, the Hong Kong based holding company of Shanghai Eternal Machinery Co. Ltd. Gary Tseng will remain Managing Director in charge of the operations as before. Both parties have agreed not to disclose any information concerning the conditions of the transaction. BOBST and Eterna product ranges have a high degree of complementarity, and the two companies will each continue to develop technologically advanced products and services that answer the business needs of their respective customers. The brand identities, management teams, sales and service organizations of both companies will remain separate, thus ensuring continuity in the relationships between customer, BOBST and Eterna.
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Bank / Finance / Insurance

Bank Sees Value in Arts Sponsorship
Published by China Daily, 22nd October 2015
An annual musical event not to be missed took place at Wangfujing Church on Oct 13. Since 2006, the church concert has been a highlight of the Beijing Music Festival and this year's offering did not disappoint. This year's festival, which began its 17-day run on 8 Oct, included activities ranging from symphony concerts to concerts designed for child audiences, solo performances, operas, master classes and salons. UBS, a global financial service provider, has sponsored the church concert for 10 years. Each year, the company, which is also a sponsor of the festival, invites a leading musician to turn the church into a world of music. "Many of our customers and partners worldwide love the church concert and we also consider it a good opportunity to strengthen our friendly relationships," said Eugene Qian, the country head and president of UBS China. This year, the Swiss banking giant invited famed pianist Zhu Xiaomei to give a recital at the church. The 66-year-old played one of Bach's major works, Goldberg Variations, a 60-minute composition named after Johann Gottlieb Goldberg, who is considered to be its first performer.
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Hospitality / Tourism / Retails

China Market a 'Mixed Bag' But Recovering
Published by yahoo.com, 16th October 2015
The Chinese market is a "mixed bag" but recovering, Nestle Chief Executive Paul Bulcke told a news conference on Friday after the world's biggest food company posted nine-month sales that missed market expectations. The head of its health science business gave an upbeat outlook for the division. "I believe the potential of the company is CHF 10 billion" (USD 10.5 billion), division head Greg Behar told reporters. He did not make clear whether he was referring to sales or give a timeframe for the projection. During an ensuing question and answer session, Bulcke called the figure a "mindset." "It's more to give you a feel that we're not thinking small here. We think in quite sizeable dimensions," he added.

Swatch Takes on Apple with Payment Watch in China
Published by marketwatch.com, 14th October 2015
Swatch Group AG, the world's largest watchmaker by revenue, is going head-to-head with Apple Inc. to develop the next generation of watches in China. The Swiss watchmaker launched its answer to the smartwatch in China on Wednesday, with a RMB 580 (USD 91) analog timepiece called the Swatch Bellamy, which will start selling in January next year. While the new watch doesn't connect to the Internet, it includes a built-in chip that allows consumers to pay for purchases while shopping, Swatch Chief Executive Nick Hayek said in a news briefing. Swatch said it has struck deals with state-run China UnionPay Co., which holds a virtual monopoly on bank-card payment processing in China, and state-controlled lender Bank of Communications Co. China is one of the world's largest watch markets by sales. Chinese consumers, at home and abroad, typically buy more than 50% of the world's watches by value, according to Luca Solca, head of luxury goods at investment firm Exane BNP Paribas. While many people around the world use their phones to keep track of time, Chinese consumers still buy traditional watches. "Watches are still absolutely a status symbol in China," said Ben Cavender, a senior analyst at Shanghai-based consultancy China Market Research Group.
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Legal / Trade / Consulting / Services

JSAID / SSZEIP Won “Chinese Promoter” of Sino-Swiss Business Awards 2015
Published by sszeip.com.cn, 30th September 2015
Jiangsu Scitury Allied Investment and Development (JSAID) won the “Chinese Promoter” of Sino-Swiss Business Awards 2015. The Sino-Swiss Business Awards is an event organized by the Swiss Chamber of Commerce in Beijing (SwissCham Beijing) to thank companies for their achievements over the past years and to recognize their contribution to both the Swiss and Chinese business communities. The Sino-Swiss Zhenjiang Ecological Industrial Park (SSZEIP) was launched in July 2012. It is currently run, on the Chinese side, by JSAID. It is based on a bilateral initiative between the Chinese and Swiss governments to promote bilateral cooperation and establish an innovative eco-friendly, low-carbon, intelligent park. The park has become a collaborative innovation platform to bridge China and Switzerland, aiming to “make the SSZEIP a duplicable and referential sample for Chinese urbanization and industrialization”.

CCPIT Guizhou Won Special Recognition for Sino-Swiss Dialogue
Published by gzcom.gov.cn, 30th September 2015
CCPIT Guizhou won the “Special Recognition for Sino-Swiss Dialogue” of Sino-Swiss Business Awards 2015. The Sino-Swiss Business Awards is an event organized by the Swiss Chamber of Commerce in Beijing (SwissCham Beijing) to thank companies for their achievements over the past years and to recognize their contribution to both the Swiss and Chinese business communities. This Special Recognition is for CCPIT Guizhou Branch for the Sino-Swiss Dialogue they established in 2013 in the framework of the Eco Forum Global which aims to notably promote a more sustainable growth model for China. Since then, many high-level Swiss officials such as the Swiss Federal Councillor Ueli Maurer or Mr. Bruno Oberle, Head of the Federal Office for Environment have actively participated at the Eco Forum Global and the Sino-Swiss Dialogue. On the business side, they organized this year the first business matchmaking between Swiss and Chinese companies.
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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.