Reader's Digest > 20 February - 4 March

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Reader's Digest, 20 February  - 4 March

Swiss and Chinese Business Related News in Switzerland and China

BILATERAL RELATIONS

Mr. GENG Wenbing Became the New Ambassador to Switzerland
Published by chinese-embassy.org, 1st March 2016
Mr. GENG Wenbing was appointed Ambassador to Switzerland, replacing Ms. XU Jinghu. On 29 February, Ambassador GENG Wenbing presented his credentials to the deputy head of the Protocol Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland. The deputy head warmly welcomed Ambassador GENG on his assumption of office in Switzerland and she stated that she would offer the support and assistance to his work and promote the bilateral relations. Ambassador GENG greatly appreciated the arrangement of presentation of credentials on his first day in Switzerland. He wished to establish good working relationship and strengthen the cooperation, deepen the mutual understanding and friendship between two countries and further expand pragmatic cooperation in various areas. Mr. GENG Wenbing was born in August 1957 and married with a son. He worked in China Foreign Affairs University in 1980 and served hereafter as Third Secretary, Second Secretary, Deputy Director, First Secretary and Director at the Department of West Asian and North African Affairs of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of PRC. He was assigned as Counsellor to The Syrian Arab Republic from 2000 to 2005, the Ambassador to Republic of Seychelles from 2005-2007 and the Ambassador to The Republic of Benin.

Federal Councillor Ueli Maurer at the Meeting of the G20 Finance Ministers in Shanghai
Published by efd.admin.ch, 27th February 2016
Federal Councillor Ueli Maurer took part in the first meeting of G20 finance ministers and central bank governors under the Chinese G20 Presidency in Shanghai on 26 and 27 February 2016. He was accompanied by Thomas Jordan, Chairman of the Governing Board of the Swiss National Bank. The topics discussed at the meeting included in particular the sluggish economic recovery, the uncertainty in the financial markets and the need for structural reforms which are essential to boost growth. The Head of the Federal Department of Finance also conducted various bilateral talks on the fringes of the meeting. The first meeting of G20 finance ministers and central bank governors under the Chinese presidency was marked by the sluggish state of the world economy, the uncertainty in the financial markets and the drop in oil prices. The issue of strengthening the global financial safety net was addressed against this backdrop. Switzerland argued that the role of the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) financing should be redefined first of all before discussions on tapping additional resources to prevent financial crises can be held.
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BUSINESS NEWS

China Pioneer Pharma Extended the Rights to Market, Promote and Sell Polimod in China
Published by ssuchronicle.com, 25th February 2016
China Pioneer Pharma Holdings Limited ("China Pioneer Pharma" or the "Company" or the "Group"), is pleased to announce that today, the Group, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Naqu Area Pioneer Pharma Co., Ltd., entered into a supplemental agreement with Switzerland-based pharmaceutical company Polichem, pursuant to which the Group's rights to market, promote and sell Polimod shall be extended from eight provinces in the People's Republic of China to the whole territory of China with effect from 7 March 2016. In 2011, China Pioneer Pharma was first authorized to market, promote and sell Polimod in eight provinces in China and it has become one of the most important products of the Group. The revenue generated from Polimod separately represents approximately 5% and 9% of the total revenue of the Group for the year ended 31 December 2014 and for the six months ended 30 June 2015. With the extension of the Group's rights to market, promote and sell Polimod to the whole territory of China, it is expected to further increase its contribution to the Group's revenue. Polimod is the fourth product that the Group is granted the rights to market, promote and sell in whole China following Macmiror Complex, Macmiror and Cripar. The terms of the Agreement will last until the end of 2019 and shall be automatically renewed for successive three years period.

BGG Opens Swiss Office to Serve Growing European Market
Published by nutraingredients.com, 23rd February 2016
Beijing Gingko Group (BGG) has opened an office in Switzerland and taken on ex-Indena global marketing chief Christian Artaria to run the operation. The Chinese firm has been growing its European business and employed local partners as its European revenue accounts for 15% of its turnover. The 20-year old firm has grown in US and Asian markets and has a base in California and Tokyo. Artaria, BBG Europe CEO and global chief marketing executive said he was “extremely excited and honored to be given the opportunity to lead the European business of BGG”. BGG supplies botanical extracts, algae extracts, vitamins, sweeteners and flavours across the food and nutrition, cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries.
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CULTURE & SOCIETY

The 2016 Francophonie Festival in China
Published by eda.admin.ch, 1st March 2016
On the occasion of the 21st edition of "the Francophonie Festival" in China, Switzerland will present  cultural events in March in several Chinese cities: musicians, singers, writers, sculptors, painters, engravers, academics, filmmakers, photographers and architects, the Swiss Francophone will be on the go throughout China. During the whole month of March, Switzerland offers a wide programme of activities allowing the Chinese audience to discover the richness and the diversity of its contemporary cultural scene. Various events are organized by the Embassy of Switzerland in Beijing or by the Consulates General in Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hong Kong. In this rich program, one of the flagship event is Mars en Folie, the unique French speaking contemporary music festival in China, organized in collaboration with the Alliances Françaises network, the Embassies of Canada Switzerland and Belgium, the Wallonia-Brussels Delegation, as well as the Quebec Government Offices in China. For the edition 2016 the Swiss Embassy has invited the singer Fabian Tharin, who will bewitch the Chinese audience with his incantatory rhythms.

Piano Tour by Chantal Largier in Jiangsu Province
Published by sinoptic.ch, 1st March 2016
A piano tour by Chantal Largier will take place on 10 March at Lianyungang Culture & Art Theatre in Jiangsu Province. The Swiss pianist Chantal Largier was born and grew up in Zurich. At the age of 8 she was accepted by the Conservatory in Zurich as the pupil of Evangelos Sarafianos, and was promoted by him. In the year 1997 she moved to Japan with her family, where she was instructed by the concert pianist Tomoko Uchida. Chantal was prize-winner at the “14th Youth Music Harmony Competition” in Tokyo. In the year 2002 she started her degree studies at the Music Academy in Basle under Laszló Gymesi, gaining the pianoforte Teaching Diploma in 2008. In the period from 2008–2010 she studied Music Education and gained the Bachelor of Arts in Music and Movement at the Music Academy in Basel. In July 2013 she completed the Master of Arts in Music Performance with high distinction at the Zurich University of the Arts under Eckart Heiligers.

World's Top Three High-Wire Walkers to Compete in Chongqing
Published by China Daily, 23rd February 2016
The three top high-wire walkers in the world may perform at Wulong Tiankeng from 26 March to the day of the competition, and visitors are welcome to witness the shows, said Ma Qike, director of the local propaganda department said. An international high-wire walking competition will be held at Wulong World Natural Heritage in southwest China's Chongqing municipality on 30 March, in which the world's top three exponents will compete. Esqer, the initiator of the competition, has invited Freddy Nock from Switzerland and Maurizio Zavatta from Italy to take part, using wires above a Tiankeng, a naturally formed pit. Performing blindfolded backward walking and the splits, together with steel ring walking with a bottle of water on the head, Esqer is confident in his technique and ability to win the competition. "I'm now in good form and have been actively preparing for the competition," said Esqer. The event will be held above Wulong Tiankeng, the core scenic spot of the Wulong Karst World Natural Heritage site in the northeast of Wulong county in Chongqing.
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GENERAL INTEREST

China Becomes 4th Most Important Foreign Source Market for Swiss Tourism
Published by ecns.cn, 24th February 2016
Overnight hotel stays of Chinese tourists in Switzerland increased by 33.3% year-on-year in 2015, making China the fourth most important foreign source market for Swiss tourism, according to statistics released by Swiss Federal Statistical Office on Tuesday. In 2015, the hotel sector registered 19.6 million overnight stays by foreign tourists in Switzerland, a decline of 1.7% compared to 2014. Due to factors such as the strong Swiss franc, European overnight stays declined by 1.2 million. With a total of 11.8 million overnight stays in 2015, Switzerland witnessed the lowest number of overnight stays by European customers since 1958. By contrast, Asian countries registered record growth in 2015 with an additional 744,000 overnight stays (18.6 percent increase), and exceeding the four-million mark for the first time. The greatest absolute increase in overnight stays came from Chinese visitors with an additional 344,000 overnight stays.
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INDUSTRIES

Engineering / Manufacturing

ChemChina Seeks USD 35 Billion in Loans for Syngenta Takeover Deal
Published by agweb.com, 23rd February 2016
China National Chemical Corp. is seeking to borrow a total of USD 35 billion to help fund the purchase of Syngenta AG, in a potential record financing for a Chinese acquisition. The Beijing-based company hired China Citic Bank International Ltd. to arrange a USD 15 billion loan facility, which will be fully guaranteed by ChemChina, people familiar with the matter said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. ChemChina is scheduled to meet lenders this week about a separate USD 20 billion syndicated loan, according to an earlier e-mailed statement. ChemChina agreed to buy Syngenta for USD 43 billion earlier this month in deal that will transform it into the world’s largest supplier of pesticides and agrochemicals. The planned loan dwarfs Chinese companies’ previous overseas acquisition financing and may stoke concerns about the nation’s businesses piling up debt in a push to buy foreign technology.

Top US Agriculture Official Queries Chinese Syngenta Bid
Published by ft.com, 23rd February 2016
The US’s top agriculture official has raised concerns over a USD 44 billion Chinese bid for Swiss seeds and chemicals group Syngenta, saying he is worried about the impact it may have on how Beijing approves US-made genetically modified organisms and on global food security. The bid unveiled this month by state-owned conglomerate ChemChina for the Swiss group is set to be the largest overseas investment made by a Chinese company and is seen as a strategic play by Beijing to shore up its food security and bolster its access to leading agricultural technology. Because of Syngenta’s large presence in the US market for seeds and fertiliser it is also being scrutinised heavily by Washington and subjected to a voluntary national security review.
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Bank / Finance / Insurance

China Life Insurance Company Downgraded to “Neutral” at Credit Suisse
Published by financial-market-news.com, 2nd March 2016
Credit Suisse cut shares of China Life Insurance Company Ltd. from an outperform rating to a neutral rating in a research report released on Tuesday, The Fly reports. China Life Insurance Company traded up 0.9892% on Tuesday, reaching USD 11.2401. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 467,133 shares. China Life Insurance Company has a 52 week low of USD 10.18 and a 52 week high of USD 26.29. The firm has a market capitalization of USD 58.65 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 10.7049. The company has a 50 day moving average of USD 11.70 and a 200 day moving average of USD 15.98. Separately, Zacks Investment Research upgraded China Life Insurance Company from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note on Friday, 19 February. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of USD 23.00.
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Hospitality / Tourism / Retails

Anniversary Logo and VI Design, Swisscham
Published by 5starplusdesign.com, 29th February 2016
Celebrating 20 years of existence in China, the Swisscham required the design of an anniversary logo that would represent elements of both the Chinese and the Swiss culture. The logo further had to match Swisscham's modern, simple and dynamic identity and suit the tastes of the Swiss, Chinese, and international business community. Key inspirations for the logo design were Chinese and Swiss elements that would be considered "typical" for these two countries: elements from art and culture, and especially calligraphy.The color scheme is kept simple in black and white with some touches of red as a reference to the red color in the Swiss and Chinese flags. Most importantly, the logo can be used for various marketing applications and occasions whilst maintaining its subtle and elegant look.

Swiss Tourism’s “Final Sprint” to Save the Winter Season
Published by rts.ch, 28th February 2016
Switzerland Tourism wants to save the winter season "with a good final sprint" and launched an advertising campaign that aims to attract Chinese winter sports enthusiasts in Switzerland. "December and January were two bad months for ski resorts and mountain railways in Switzerland," said the director of Switzerland Tourism Jürg Schmid in an interview with the Zentralschweiz am Sonntag. Through a period of Easter coming early this year, it hopes, however, a "good final sprint." "Some mountain areas, however, enjoy the crazy Asian boom," like the Engelberg-Titlis in central Switzerland, which particularly benefits from its proximity to Zurich airport. But 96% of other alpine resorts cannot benefit from this wave. Switzerland Tourism wants to bring the Swiss winter to the Chinese markets. Jürg Schmid was confident of continued growth of visitors from the Middle Kingdom in the coming years.

Nestlé Regards China as its Important Growth Driver
Published by China Daily, 19th February 2016
Paul Bulcke, CEO of the Swiss food and beverage giant Nestlé, said on Thursday that China has been and remains its important growth driver. "Nestlé has never stopped growing in China, even in the last few years of slow growth," said Bulcke during a press conference held at the company's headquarters in Vevey. Nestlé announced on Thursday a full-year organic growth of 4.2% in 2015, falling short of its long-term target of 5-6% growth. Its performance in the Asian market was seriously impacted by the Maggi noodles issue in India. However, the annual report noted that China has shown increased momentum towards the end of last year. "China's GDP remains robust. And it's moving from investment-driven expansions towards private consumption," said Bulcke, adding that "we are confident in our ability to accelerate our growth progressively with sustainability" in Chinese market. Meanwhile, Bulcke noted that Chinese consumer expectations have been changing very fast, especially with the development of e-business. In 2015, half of Nestle's sales was accomplished by e-commerce in China.
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Legal / Trade / Consulting / Services

Mr. XUE's Visit to Embassy of Switzerland
Published by weixin.qq.com, 3rd March 2016
On 1 March, Mr. XUE Xiaofeng, Secretary of Zhongshan Municipal Committee of the CPC and Chairman of The Standing Committee of Zhongshan Provincial People’s Congress, visited the Embassy of Switzerland in Beijing to seek for other ways to further cooperation between Switzerland and Zhongshan, which would help with the promotion of Zhongshan Sino-Swiss (European) Industrial Park’s development. Mr. Graf, Counselor and Head of Swiss Business Hub China, met with the delegation. Mr. XUE invited the people in charge of Embassy of Switzerland to the 2016 Zhongshan Trade and Investment Fair on 23 March this year. Under the support of the Embassy of Switzerland, hopefully more representatives from Swiss Federal Agencies, enterprises and associations would visit Zhongshan for cooperation on the aspect of park construction, trade and investment, higher education, and collaborative innovation and so on. Mr. Graf expressed the willingness to transfer Zhongshan’s development and cooperative sincerity to all walks of life in Switzerland which would introduce more Swiss enterprises investing in Zhongshan. At the same time, the Embassy would like to establish a cooperation mechanism with Zhongshan for a further cooperation between the two parties.

Banking and Capital Markets in Switzerland – New Laws as of 2016 and an Outlook
Published by wenfei.com, 19th February 2016
The Swiss Investment Report is especially designed for Chinese Investors, who are intending to extend their business to Switzerland or Europe or are already doing business in Switzerland. The Swiss Investment Report provides background information on the Swiss investment-related legal framework as well as information on current developments in the Swiss legislation from a foreign investor’s perspective.
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