Reader's Digest > 21 November - 4 December

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Reader's Digest, 21 November - 4 December

Swiss and Chinese Business Related News in Switzerland and China


Switzerland to Participate in G20 Finance Track in 2016
Published by, 2nd December 2015
After its initial participation in 2013, Switzerland has again received an invitation to participate in the G20 Finance Track under the Chinese presidency. On 2 December, Finance Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf informed the President of the Swiss Confederation Simonetta Sommaruga about the invitation, which she received from her Chinese counterpart, Lou Jiwei. Not only is this a recognition of Switzerland's position in the international financial system, it also reflects the close relations between China and Switzerland, which have been further fostered in recent years, particularly in the financial sphere. The first technical meetings will be held in December 2015 and the first meeting of the finance ministers and central bank governors of the G20 countries will take place in February 2016.

Swiss Abroad Act Sets out the Duties of All Parties Concerned
Published by, 24th November 2015
The Swiss Abroad Act (SAA) entered into force at the beginning of November. This Act is important to Swiss citizens living abroad because it clearly defines federal government’s obligations towards the Swiss Abroad but also their rights and duties. The SAA is not actually a new law but instead the unification of all the provisions concerning the Swiss Abroad which were previously distributed across various laws, ordinances and regulations. These include matters such as political rights, welfare benefits, consular protection as well as information and institutional support for the Swiss Abroad. The Act sets out the rights and obligations as well as services and support in a general overview but does not, however, centralise and unify all aspects. The SAA aims to foster communication between the various authorities as well as between the public and private persons. One example is the Consular Directorate at the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs. Together with the Swiss representations abroad, it will act as a single point of contact for all matters concerning the Swiss Abroad in future.
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The Chinese E-bike AIMA Hi-Tech Launches Business in Switzerland
Published by, 2nd December 2015
On 20 November in Zurich, AIMA Hi-Tech, the No.1 Chinese E-bike brand officially launched business in Switzerland. It’s the first Chinese E-bike flagship in Europe through Sino-Swiss FTA. “From the China No.1 to the World No.1” is the slogan this time. The whole world witnessed the spectacular AIMA Globalization Strategy Press Conference in the AIMA Flagship Opening Ceremony. It marked the official entering of Chinese E-bike into the European market. Plenty of Guests attended the ceremony, including Jin Zhe, the Asia GM of Sloan Assets Management Company; Kirsaman, the Global CEO of Bosch Worldwide; Duan Hua, the CEO of AIMA Hi-tech; Wang Wei, the Vice President of AIMA Hi-tech; Long Ehui, the GM of Southern R & D center in AIMA Hi-tech; Liu Yuanyuan, the director of design department in AIMA Hi-tech; Huang Jinhua, the AIMA brand strategy consultant.

Huapont Life to Buy 70% Stake in Swiss Firm
Published by China Daily, 2nd December 2015
Huapont Life Sciences Co Ltd, a Chongqing-based pharmaceutical maker, said on Tuesday it will buy a 70% stake in Swiss Biological Medicine Group Ltd with no more than RMB 210 million (USD 32.82 million). The Swiss company owns Paracelsus Suisse, a holistic medicine center for tumor treatment, anti-aging therapies and treatment of chronic diseases. Shares in Huapont Life closed 5.97% higher at RMB 14.2 on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange on Tuesday. Huapont Life's strategy is to contribute to the development of the healthcare industry through win-win alliances, the company said in a statement. Healthcare will be the new growth area for the pharmaceutical company, Huapont Life said. It further said it will bring Paracelsus Suisse's technologies to China through training courses, co-research and joint ventures. Huapont Life is making tremendous efforts to grow in the healthcare industry, said Deng Zhouyu, an analyst with Guosen Securities.

China's Slowdown Felt in Sales of Swiss Timepieces
Published by, 1st December 2015
The Swiss watch industry has long enjoyed an overwhelming dominance in the global watch market. But weaker demand in China has begun affecting the exports of Swiss-made watches. Following the debut of the Apple Watch and other smartwatches, traditional watchmakers are now thinking about how they can integrate new technologies into their products. The Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry reported on 19 November that the country's watch exports in October declined 12% from a year earlier, the biggest drop since October 2009. Emilie Gachet, an analyst at Zurich-based Credit Suisse, says sales slumps in Asia and the US, major markets of the watch industry, have pushed down overall sales performance.

SSIP (Zhongshan) Signs Projects in Zurich
Published by, 22nd November 2015
On 18 November, Ms. Mao Jingqiu, Consul General of China in Zurich, was invited to attend a series of economic and trade activities in Zurich which held by Zhongshan Municipal People's Government. Ms. Mao Jingqiu and Mr. Xue Xiaofeng, Secretary of Zhongshan Municipal Committee of the CPC, jointly inaugurated the Zhongshan Economy and Trade Office in Europe. Besides, Ms. Mao also attended the Promotion Meeting of Zongshan Sino-Swiss (European) Industrial Park and delivered a speech, which made her the witness, together with Mr. Xue, Swiss Confederation, Zurich State Government, and other Business representatives, in the projects signing between Zhongshan and Switzerland, Germany. Meanwhile, around 100 business entrepreneurs from Switzerland, Germany, Italy and other European countries attended the above events. Ms. Mao said in her speech, “This year is the 65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between Switzerland and China, and what’s more, Zurich is the economic center and the global financial center. Zhongshan Municipal People's Government is at the right time to choose the appropriate place to establish representative office. Congratulations! And this action will further deepen the bilateral economic and trade relations and create a win-win situation to celebrate the 65th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between the two countries.”
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The Most Beautiful Swiss Books & Swiss Poster Exhibition
Published by, 27th November 2015
From 8 December, “The Most Beautiful Swiss Books & Swiss Poster Exhibition” stops at Shanghai Hengshanfang after its presentation at the Beijing Design Week. The exhibition features the awarded books of the competition’s last editions including jury comments as well as the original exclusively made Swiss design posters. This is the first time the Pro Helvetia supported exposition is shown in China. Swiss design books are recognized to be among the most beautiful worldwide and this exhibition offers the chance to draw attention to the latest trends and influences of Swiss Style in the global design industry.

Swiss Day at Fudan University
Published by, 23rd November 2015
To promote Switzerland as the ideal place for studying and research seems easy: talk about the top rankings of Swiss Universities, the diversity of University cities, study options, student associations and cultures, the high standard of living and the possible leisure time activities and bring along Swiss chocolate – that will make everybody realize that Switzerland is an attractive destination for Chinese students. However, the difficulty lies in representing the diversity of the Swiss education system during a short event and in one go. In order to overcome this problem, swissnex China invited several Chinese and Swiss students who have spent some time of their studies at a Swiss higher education institution to the Swiss Day at Fudan University in Shanghai on 20 November. The rainy Shanghai weather did not stop interested Chinese college and graduate students to first listen attentively to swissnex CEO and Vice Consul General of Switzerland in Shanghai Pascal Marmier, who introduced the benefits and advantages of studying in Switzerland, and second to follow the pitches of ten young representatives of Swiss higher education institutions.
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Sino-Swiss Women's Forum Focuses on Women's Leadership
Published by, 30th November 2015
The first edition of the Sino-Swiss Women's Forum, which focused on the topic of women in leadership and the opportunities arising from intercultural dialogue, kicked off in Geneva, Switzerland recently. Jointly launched by the Swiss-Chinese Association and the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, the forum was held to "promote communication between Chinese and Swiss women, deepen mutual understanding, and enhance mutual friendship in conjunction with the 65th anniversary of bilateral relations between the two countries," according to Xu Jinghu, Ambassador of China in Switzerland, who delivered a keynote speech at the opening ceremony. "We would like to encourage women to pursue the aim of fostering mutual cultural knowledge," said Marie-Gabrielle Ineichen-Fleisch, Swiss State Secretary and director of the Foreign Economic Affairs Directorate, in her speech. "With this forum, we aspire to enable successful cooperation between Swiss and Chinese women leaders."

Successful Inaugural Event of The “Swiss Fujianese” Association
Published by, 24th November 2015
On 25 October, 2015, the Swiss Fujianese Association in Switzerland establishment celebration was held in the afternoon at InterContinental Geneva. Leaders of overseas Chinese groups, friends from all circles and overseas Fujianese, the hundreds of people have joined in this celebration, among whom there are Xiayin, the director and Zhangke, the first secretary of Consulate Department in Chinese Embassy in Switzerland. Chen Feng, the first president of Fujianese Association Association remarked, the main task of Swiss Fujianese  Association in Switzerland is to reinforce the connection between Switzerland and Fujian, to make people from these two places know each other better, and to promote the development of China – Switzerland bilateral relationship. Today’s economical environment has changed a lot. Whether you own a business or you work for others, everyone is faced with different challenges. The original intention of establishing this association is to set up a platform of business cooperation and job opportunity. With this platform, we can arrange study tours, help each other and contribute to the better development of every Fujianese’s career.
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Engineering / Manufacturing

ABB Showcases High Efficient Marine Technologies at Marintec China 2015
Published by, 1st December 2015
ABB today showcased its leading technologies in the marine and port field at the 2015 All China Marine Conference & Exhibition (Marintec China 2015) in Shanghai. A series of high-efficiency and energy-saving power and automation solutions were displayed, such as the marine electric propulsion system, turbocharging system, integrated automation system, marine engine waste heat recovery system, shore-to-ship power supply system, marine power supply and distribution system as well as ABB’s measuring instruments and meters, motors and generators. With these leading technologies and products, ABB has actively supported the development of the Chinese shipbuilding and marine engineering equipment industries. In May 2015, the State Council announced “Made in China 2025”, a strategy to improve the competitiveness of China's manufacturing industry, and listed “marine engineering equipment and high-tech ships” as one of the ten key development sectors to promote China's shipbuilding industry towards a world-leading position.

LafargeHolcim Plans USD 3.5 Billion in Asset Sales
Published by, 25th November 2015
LafargeHolcim Ltd. plans to raise to raise CHF 3.5 billion (USD 3.5 billion) next year from selling off cement assets around the world as the recently merged Franco-Swiss building-materials group adjusts to tough conditions in important markets like China and India. The company announced the portfolio review after missing third-quarter sales and earnings expectations as the stronger Swiss franc and lower prices weighed on its first results since its creation through merger of France's Lafarge with Switzerland's Holcim earlier this year. The Jona, Switzerland-based company has started discussions with interested parties, including private-equity firms and industry rivals about some of the assets, with the proceeds set to be returned to shareholders through dividends or share buybacks, Chief Executive Eric Olsen said.
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Bank / Finance / Insurance

Credit Suisse Names New Private Bank Heads for China and Australia
Published by, 2nd December 2015
Credit Suisse Group AG has named two new private-banking heads for Greater China and Australia as the Swiss firm positions itself to build on Chief Executive Officer’s Tidjane Thiam October pledge to expand in wealth management. From the start of next year, Francois Monnet will be the firm’s head of Greater China private banking, while Alex Wade will lead the business in Australia, according to an internal announcement Tuesday that was confirmed by a spokeswoman. Monnet is currently chief operating officer for Asia-Pacific private banking, while Wade is the regional chief of staff in the division. Thiam, recruited in July to rebuild investor confidence in Switzerland’s second-largest bank, is seeking to improve returns squeezed by tougher capital demands and record-low interest rates. In October, he unveiled a multi-year plan that will expand wealth management, especially in Asia, at the expense of investment banking, which he plans to shrink and place at the service of wealth-management clients.

China Construction Bank Named Zurich’s Yuan Clearing Bank
Published by, 30th November 2015
China on Monday named its yuan clearing bank in Zurich, Switzerland as it intensifies efforts to increase the currency’s global usage, hours ahead of an IMF decision on whether to promote it to a basket of global reserve currencies. China Construction Bank, a leading Chinese state-owned lender, has been authorized to conduct RMB clearing business in Zurich, China’s central bank said on Monday. The authorization came after a cooperation memorandum was reached between the two nations’ central banks, said the People’s Bank of China. Yuan clearing in overseas markets has become a major tool in promoting globalization of the yuan, the Chinese currency. It has been established in China’s Hong Kong and Macao, as well as foreign cities including Singapore, London, Frankfurt, Seoul, Paris, Luxembourg, Doha, Toronto and Sydney.

Credit Suisse Joint Venture Wins Securities Broking Licence in Qianhai
Published by, 26th November 2015
Credit Suisse Group has gained regulatory approval to provide securities brokerage services through a joint venture in Shenzhen’s Qianhai development zone, the first foreign firm in years to get clearance to trade shares on behalf of mainland clients. The announcement comes just weeks after HSBC Holdings said it planned to launch a majority-owned securities house, also in the Qianhai zone. The joint venture with Founder Securities would add securities brokering to the equity deals and corporate bond underwriting it launched after entering the venture in 2007. Credit Suisse owns 33.3% of the company, called Credit Suisse Founder Securities, or CSFS, and Founder owns the remaining stake. The Zurich-based bank said in a statement on Thursday that it was setting up its trading outlet in Qianhai and was expected to launch services early next year. Goldman Sachs Group launched a joint-venture investment bank with a securities broking permit more than a decade ago, the first foreign bank to do so. UBS Group followed suit but new joint ventures were frozen between 2006 and late 2007.
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Hospitality / Tourism / Retails

DeLaval to Train Chinese Dairy Farm Managers
Published by, 25th November 2015
Sister-companies DeLaval and Tetra Pak have signed a five-year agreement with the Dairy Association of China to train Chinese dairy farm managers. Under the agreement, the Swiss-based companies will train 150 managers for large-scale dairy farms in China. The training will be done at the China Agricultural University and DeLaval’s Humra Farm in Sweden. DeLaval and Tetra Pak have been involved in the dairy industry in China since 2003. Their first project was to upgrade the quality of the farms which furnish milk to the Chinese school feeding program. Earlier this year the University of Wisconsin-Madison was selected to develop the curriculum for a new USD 400 million dairy training center being built in northeast China by Nestlé corporation.
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Legal / Trade / Consulting / Services

Switzerland: the Best Place for Young Workers
Published by, 25th November 2015
Published by PricewaterhouseCoopers, the Young Workers Index assesses how well OECD countries are developing the economic potential of their young people. The index is a weighted average of eight indicators that reflect the labor market activity and educational participation of people aged under 25 in 34 OECD countries. The most significant indicator used by the study is the so called Neet rate, which is the proportion of people between 20 and 24 who are not in education, employment or training. But what makes Switzerland so competitive when it comes to young workers? Part of the answer lies in the way the country manages the transition between school and employment. Education and training have been core topics on Switzerland’s agenda for a long time and important investments have been made within that area. The country can count with one of the world’s best vocational training systems, for which several governments have shown interest in the past decades. Furthermore, the level of higher education, both public and private, is also excellent and most programs put an emphasis on professional readiness, via internships for instance. Another important factor is Switzerland’s high level of social inclusion which prevents young people from dropping out of school and falling into crime or drug use.

China Legal Briefing 251
Published by, 25th November 2015
The China Legal Briefing 251 was released in November. In this briefing, you can read “No High-Speed-Trains for Persons Subject to Enforcement”; “The Supreme Court Clarifies the Jurisdiction of CIETAC” and “The Recognition and enforcement of Taiwan Civil Judgments becomes easier”. 

MoneyTree China Renewable and Cleantech Investment Report
Published by, 24th November 2015
PwC’s latest MoneyTree China Renewable and Cleantech Investment Report reveals that there were 37 investments in China’s clean energy industry in Q2 2015 - the strongest quarter since 2014. The number of M&A deals and their total value showed an increase on the previous quarter. The two figures were also up year-on-year. The volume of IPOs and the sums raised increased sharply, indicating extremely buoyant investment activity across the industry. The implementation of new laws and regulations relating to renewable and cleantech over the course of Q2 2015 also encouraged investor interest in the industry’s prospects. The 37 investments made meant that this was the busiest quarter since 2014.
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