Reader's Digest > 7 November - 20 November

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Reader's Digest, 7 - 20 November

Swiss and Chinese Business Related News in Switzerland and China


Direct Trading Between Renminbi and Swiss Franc Launched
Published by, 10th November 2015
The People’s Bank of China (PBC), the Chinese central bank, has authorised direct trading between renminbi and Swiss francs on the China Foreign Exchange Trade System (CFETS) with effect from 10 November 2015. The availability of a direct renminbi/Swiss franc exchange rate will help to reduce currency conversion costs for market participants. This will facilitate and promote the use of renminbi in cross-border transactions between companies and financial institutions. Direct trading between the currencies of China and Switzerland is an important step in strengthening bilateral financial and trading relations, and in establishing a renminbi hub in Switzerland. Prerequisites for the establishment of a renminbi hub in Switzerland are the renminbi swap agreement between the Swiss National Bank and the PBC, signed in July 2014, and the Memorandum of Understanding between the two central banks on further progress in China-Switzerland financial cooperation, signed in January 2015.
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Chinese Airline's Acquisition of Swissport Approved by EU
Published by China Daily, 19th November 2015
China's fourth-largest airline HNA Group's takeover of the airport luggage handler Swissport International got the green light from the antitrust body of the European Union (EU) on Wednesday. "The proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns because the companies' activities do not overlap," the European Commission said in a statement. Swissport is a major provider of airport ground handling, cargo handling and related ground handling services to airlines in Europe and abroad. HNA Group, based on China's southern tropical island, has developed into one of Chinese major airlines since it was established 22 years ago. In July, the company entered the global fortune 500 list with annual revenues of USD 25.6 billion. Given that the HNA Group has a limited share in the demand for services of ground handling, cargo handling or offline cargo handling, the Commission concluded the merged entity "would not be able to shut out suppliers" of such services.

Swiss Center Opens Locations in Beijing and Tianjin
Published by, 17th November 2015
After successfully establishing Asia’s biggest cluster of Swiss enterprises in the Yangtze River delta area in the last 15 years, the management team of the Swiss Center Shanghai is pushing forward with expansion to support Swiss SMEs in the North of China. “Some Swiss Center members are opening their second operations site in the North. The Beijing-Tianjin area is most suitable for SMEs in terms of human resources and market access”, explains Managing Director Nicolas Musy. Next to the booming Shanghai area, the metropolitan area of Tianjin and Beijing is the second Chinese region that is of key interest for Swiss enterprises.  Recently, the Swiss Center Shanghai won the Award for Outstanding Achievements in the SME Category of the Sino-Swiss Business Award 2015 organized by SwissCham Beijing.

Xue Xiaofeng Meets with Guests from Switzerland
Published by, 9th November 2015
On 6 November, Mr. Xue Xiaofeng, Secretary of Zhongshan Municipal Committee of the CPC, met with Mr. Rolf Studer, General Manager of SwissCham Beijing, on consultation about the cooperative construction issues of Zhongshan Sino-Swiss (European) Industrial Park. Mr. Xue Xiaofeng said, “Switzerland has unique advantages in healthcare, precision manufacturing, and financial innovation, which highly corresponds to Zhongshan’s economic and social development concept. Zhongshan picks Swiss companies as the preferred cooperative partners, by hoping to get the assistance of SwissCham to build a further communication and cooperation mechanism to promote the construction of the park positively.” Both parties will prepare a series of activities together for Zhongshan “3.28” Trade Fair of 2016.

Chinese Acquire Private Zurich Business School
Published by, 9th November 2015
One of Asia’s top business schools has acquired a management school in the canton of Zurich and plans to train hundreds of Chinese managers starting later this month. The China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) has established a non-profit organization to acquire the Lorange Institute of Business Zurich for 16.5 million francs (USD 16.5 million) from the institute’s 72-year-old founder Peter Lorange, the Zurichsee Zeitung has reported online. The institute is located in the municipality of Horgen, south of Zurich and overlooking Lake Zurich. CEIBS, which operates two campuses in Beijing and Shanghai, will begin offering courses for Chinese business managers in Horgen, with up to 200 to be trained every month, the daily said. Among other things, the Chinese students will learn the difference between European and Chinese corporate governance.

Basel-Shanghai Business Forum
Published by, 7th November 2015
Based on the successful Basel-Shanghai sister city partnership, the “Basel-Shanghai Business Forum” took place on 5 November 2015 in Basel. The annual business forum attracted around 90 participants, many of them from China. Participants took this opportunity to network and to experience exciting presentations by China experts. "The best is yet to come". With this optimistic statement about the Chinese economy, Nicolas Musy of the Swiss Center Shanghai concluded the Basel-Shanghai Business Forum 2015. The Basel-Shanghai Business Forum is organized by the China Business Platform (Office for Economy and Labour Basel-Stadt) in cooperation with various other partners.
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National Ballet of China Symphony Orchestra perform in Geneva
Published by China Daily, 13th November 2015
Musicians from the National Ballet of China Symphony Orchestra present featured classical music pieces from each of the permanent members of the UN Security Council in Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland on 12 November, 2015 to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the United Nations.

Swiss Company Provides Customized Cruise Experience for Chinese Guests
Published by China Daily, 7th November 2015
Chinese guests boarding the MSC Lirica luxury liner from Europe's leading cruise company will provide a unique experience when the cruise comes to China for the first time in 2016. The Switzerland-based private cruise company will steam into the ports of Shanghai on 1 May, 2016, cooperating with Chinese tourism service provider Caissa Touristic offering a one-of-a-kind cruise travel experience for Chinese travellers. Chinese ports have become popular for cruise companies. The expanding consumption capacity and desire for new ways to travel has given MSC the confidence to test the waters in China. Gianni Onorato, MSC Cruises Chief Executive Officer said MSC Cruises' private ownership gives the company a clear edge in China, as it already does in other global markets. "Everything on an MSC cruise, from the hospitality, cuisine and staffing, to the ship's interiors, is designed and controlled in-house, with meticulous attention to quality and detail, the way only a family-owned company can," Onorato said. "This means we can customize every aspect of our offering right down to a new Cruise Ambassador role we have created just for MSC Lirica to meet the needs of consumers in the markets we serve."
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Swiss Day in Shanghai International Studies University
Published by, 13th November 2015
Lakes, mountains, urban chic… Switzerland is just like a slideshow of epic proportions that everyone yields to step in. Increasingly, however, the world is discovering the country's world class education, innovation and creativity. On 10 November, a chilling early winter afternoon, swissnex China brought the warmest Swiss Red to the campus of Shanghai International Studies University. Pascal Marmier, CEO of swissnex China and Vice Consul General of Switzerland in Shanghai started the event with a speech on the general information of Switzerland. We can observe from the speech that Switzerland boasts more than tremendous wealth, marvelous scenery, but also world-class higher education and accordingly ever-emerging innovations.

A Smashing Success for Venture Leaders China 2015
Published by China Daily, 10th November 2015
Organized by venturelab and swissnex China, ten selected Swiss-made tech startups just finished a 10-day intensive journey to Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen in October this year. For most of them, it’s not only a wonderful study tour as their first time to China, to the Far East , but also a unique opportunity to get first-hand experience and to learn about its culture by interacting with the locals face to face. The three above mentioned cities, from the North China to the South China with 2000 km distance in between, are selected for the fact that each of them symbolizes China’s politics, economy and culture. For each stop, business-oriented activities were intensely organized, with contribution from domestic and expats coaches, speakers who offered valuable comments and advice to each member of the venture leaders China group. Everyone’s schedule was composed of business match-making meetings in the daytime, and then networking events in the evening, aiming to establish more contacts in the Chinese business community.
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Engineering / Manufacturing

ChemChina in Talks to Buy Syngenta
Published by China Daily, 14th November 2015
The State-owned ChemChina offered about CHF 449 (USD 448) a share, which values Syngenta at about CHF 41.7 billion, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. Syngenta, which has a market value of about USD 32 billion, rejected that offer citing regulatory risk, the person said. While a deal is not imminent, the two sides are still talking and an agreement could be reached in the next few weeks, said the person. Syngenta, the world's largest pesticide producer, is also talking with other potential suitors as it explores options, the person said. Talks may fall apart and Syngenta may decide to stay independent or seek acquisitions of its own. ChemChina said it could not immediately comment in an e-mail response to questions. Syngenta representatives did not respond to requests for comment. Syngenta's American Depositary Receipts jumped as much as 16% in after-hours trading in New York. In March, ChemChina agreed to buy a 26.2% stake in Pirelli & C SpA from the Italian tiremaker's largest shareholder in a deal that valued the target at about USD 7.7 billion. ChemChina and other buyers then made a public tender offer for the rest of the company, a deal that closed this month.

Sika China Helps to Create 21 School Libraries and to Repair Classrooms
Published by, 9th November 2015
In 2015, Sika China worked closely with Library Project, a non-profit charity organization. Since starting with the first donated library in March, Sika China has donated a total of 15,950 books to create libraries in 21 schools, benefitting 3,810 children. Sika also helped to repair some classrooms using its construction products. These schools are all located in the mountainous regions of Chongqing and Sichuan province, in the south of China and most do not have a quality school library. To the children, the books are like a magic window, through which they can see a wider outside world. The newly refurbished classrooms provide a nice and comfortable reading environment. Sika has always been committed to social responsibility. Mr. Mike Campion, President of Sika China, when interviewed by China Daily replied, “We do excellent business in China and we feel we should give something back to the community.” Therefore, the library project received great support from top management right from the very beginning. The President continued, “To me, we have opened up the world to these children so that they can see something that maybe they would never have had an opportunity to see.”

ABB Eyes Rapid Expansion as Robotics Grows
Published by China Daily, 7th November 2015
ABB Ltd, the Swiss multinational operating mainly in robotics and the power and automation-technology sectors, said it is planning a rapid expansion in China, following strong growth of the country's robotics market. Ulrich Spiesshofer, its chief executive, predicts China will become the world's largest robotics market, and said he is hoping to position his firm to help with that expansion, especially in the use of robotics to clean up the environment. Spiesshofer was reacting to the latest world robot statistics, released by the International Federation of Robotics, which showed 57,000 industrial robots were sold last year, a 56 percent increase on 2013. The report said the Chinese market will be accounting for more than a third of all industrial robots installed worldwide by 2018. Song Xiaogang, secretary-general of the China Robot Industry Alliance, said the figures underlined just how important robotics will be to the future Chinese economy, especially as other more traditional heavy industries in the country decline.
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Bank / Finance / Insurance

UBS to Swap Hong Kong, Beijing Bankers to Integrate China Teams
Published by, 17th November 2015
UBS Group AG will shift the heads of its onshore China investment-banking unit from Beijing to Hong Kong, while its offshore advisory head for the country Jiang Guorong will move in the opposite direction, as the bank tries to more closely integrate its Chinese businesses. Ding Xiaowen and Bi Xuewen, who oversee corporate client solutions for UBS Securities Co., the firm’s Chinese venture, will join the China investment-banking team in Hong Kong, according to an internal memo. Jiang will shift to Beijing to head corporate client solutions on the mainland once he has the required license, according to the memo, which was confirmed by Rob Stewart, a Hong Kong-based spokesman. The moves will help the Swiss bank strengthen collaboration between the offshore and onshore teams and develop bankers’ capabilities to do international deals, according to the document. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. integrates its China teams by assessing its Beijing-based bankers the same way as its bankers globally and paying all of them from one fee pool.

UBS Sets up USD 100 Million Investment Unit in Shanghai
Published by China Daily, 7th November 2015
UBS Asset Management, the investment arm of Swiss investment bank UBS Group AG, has established a fully owned foreign entity in the Shanghai free trade zone to raise onshore private funds. With an initial quota of USD 100 million, the entity will be officially launched by the end of this year under the Qualified Domestic Limited Partner scheme, the firm said. It is hoping to tap into the growing demand for asset investments from Chinese investors in overseas markets amid the volatile domestic stock market and the fluctuating value of the yuan. The entity will invest mainly in hedge funds in the United States and European markets and pursue a strategy that focuses on stable investment returns, Ling Xinyuan, China chairman of UBS Asset Management, said in Beijing on Thursday. UBS managed to deliver positive investment returns for its clients even when the global markets saw sharp volatilities in August, Ling said, adding that the average investment return of UBS' hedged fund has been about 8% to 9% over the past three years. UBS joined a slew of foreign hedge funds and asset managers including Man Group Plc, Citadel LLC, Oaktree Capital Group LLC, and BlackRock Inc, which have gained the QDLP licenses.
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Hospitality / Tourism / Retails

Tissot Named Official Timekeeper and Watch of the Chinese Basketball Association
Published by, 17th November 2015
The exclusive marketing partner of China’s CBA Professional Basketball League, Infront Sports & Media, has announced that Tissot, the renowned Swiss watch brand, has been chosen as Official Timekeeper of the CBA League. The long-term agreement between CBA and Tissot starts now and will go on for the next five years, covering all games of the CBA League, including the play-offs and the hugely successful annual CBA All-Star Game. Basketball is the most popular televised sport in China, with every CBA League game shown with as many as 417 games from November to April. Tissot’s experience was a valuable asset for obtaining that role. It has a major presence in Basketball, as Official Timekeeper of both the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and more recently of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Partnering with the CBA was the logical next step for the brand. The expertise it gained, timing basketball games over the years, will now benefit the CBA. Tissot will implement a new shot clock, one of the most essential features of the game, and, as Official Watch, will create a collection dedicated to the League and their teams.

DKSH Joins Forces with Galstaff Multi Resine to Promote Products and Innovations at Chinacoat 2015
Published by, 10th November 2015
DKSH Business Unit Performance Materials, a leading Market Expansion Services provider and distributor of specialty chemicals, will exhibit at Chinacoat 2015 on 18-20 November 2015 at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre (SNIEC). DKSH will co-exhibit with key client Galstaff Multi Resine and will promote key clients including Toyobo, DDChem, Aditya Birla, IGM and Labema. DKSH executives will be on hand throughout the show to promote and discuss products and innovations from their extensive coatings portfolio. Chinacoat is the world’s leading coatings show and has been running annually since 1996. Global industry players will gather to promote their businesses, products and solutions at an event that is highly recognized and endorsed by the industry. This year in particular, Chinacoat will focus on products like alkyd resin, polyester resin, polyurethanes, epoxy resin, curing agents and additives.
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Legal / Trade / Consulting / Services

New Draft Regulation on Food Contact Plastic Resins and Articles
Published by, 18th November 2015
On 29 September 2015, the National Health and Family Planning Commission of the People's Republic of China (NHFPC) released draft GB standards for food contact plastic resins and articles. The public consultation lasted 1 month. Now the legislators are making the last round of modifications and the final version is expected early 2016. Compared with the previous Chinese regulation on plastic, overall migration (OM) replaced the evaporation residual but the other parameters are preserved. Except for overall migration, where test condition varies depending on the actual usage of the articles, other parameters have fixed test condition. The limit of OM is the same as European Regulation (EU) No. 10/2011. The limit of other parameters remain the same. SGS technical experts have extensive knowledge and testing experience in materials and articles in contact with food.

Refining the Super-Deduction Policy for Research and Development Expenses
Published by, 18th November 2015
On 21 October 2015, Premier Li Keqiang hosted a State Council executive meeting and made a speech regarding refining the super deduction policy for Research and Development (R&D) expenses, enhancing the undertaking of R&D by enterprises, promoting structural adjustment and driving start-up and innovation. It was announced in the meeting that from 1 January 2016, the scope of R&D activities and R&D expenses eligible for super deduction will be expanded. For enterprises having expenses that satisfy the criteria for super deduction but had not enjoyed such preferential tax treatment in the relevant year, it will be possible to retrospectively apply for the treatment within a window of 3 years. Furthermore, the examination and verification procedure for R&D super deduction shall be simplified and such deduction will be subject to post record-filing administration.
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