Reader's Digest > 5 - 18 March

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Reader's Digest, 5  - 18 March

Swiss and Chinese Business Related News in Switzerland and China

BILATERAL RELATIONS

Sino-Swiss Economic Forum 2016
Published by cn.swisscham.org, 18th March 2016
On the occasion of the State visit of the President of Switzerland Federal Councillor Johann N. Schneider-Ammann, SwissCham Beijing, in association with the Embassy of Switzerland in China, the Swiss Business Hub and swissnex China, is delighted to announce the Sino-Swiss Economic Forum 2016 (SSEF) on 8 April in Beijing. This year and for its 4th edition, the President of Switzerland, Federal Councillor Johann N. Schneider-Ammann, Head of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research, will honour the Forum with his presence at the occasion of his State visit to China. The President will be accompanied by a delegation of business people and representatives from the Swiss science and research field. On the Chinese side, a high level official representative will be present as well. The SSEF takes place every two years in Beijing and is by far the largest economic summit between Switzerland and China. It will feature top speakers from the Swiss and Chinese government and business community. The Forum offers a cocktail, business lunch, keynote speeches and a top level panel discussion.
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BUSINESS NEWS

“Made in China 2025”: China’s Answer to Industry 4.0
Published by s-ge.com, 16th March 2016
China is moving to reestablish its industry’s competitiveness. Main problems are: lack of innovation, weakness in core technologies, excessive energy consumption and severe pollution. The Action Plan “Made in China 2025” is a ten-year action plan which calls for green, innovative and intelligent manufacturing, with a focus on quality and internet integration. This plan will be followed by a further two plans that aim to transform China into a leading manufacturing power by 2049. “The basic idea of this plan is to upgrade the entire Chinese industry. It is in some ways a reaction to the German concept of ‘Industry 4.0’” says Alain Graf, Head of the Swiss Business Hub China. Although it is similar to Industry 4.0, the starting point from an industrial point of view is different. “Chinese industry lags behind in terms of product quality, so the focus is more on improving quality than on quantity”, explains Graf. What does this plan mean for Swiss SMEs? Graf sees challenges and opportunities for Swiss companies: “On the one hand, Chinese companies are getting more and more competitive, not only in their own market but also in foreign markets through investment. However, until China achieves its ambitious plan, Swiss companies could supply Chinese firms with critical components in technology and management.”

China to Play Leading Role for Development of Swiss SMEs
Published by China Daily, 16th March 2016
Swiss Union of Arts and Crafts (USAM) director Hans-Ulrich Bigler told Xinhua recently in an exclusive interview that China is playing an increasingly crucial role for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) based in Switzerland. "We want to build favourable conditions for economic development. For instance, we worked very hard towards establishing the bilateral accord between Switzerland and China," said Bigler, whose union represents 99% of all businesses in the confederation. "Since the free trade agreement came into force, I am pleased to notice that turnover has increased," he added. The Sino-Swiss free trade agreement, considered to be a pivotal asset for Swiss businesses which are otherwise unable to physically access the Chinese market, was implemented in July 2014. "Thanks to the agreement, we have recently opened a new market together with new opportunities which will benefit us in the coming years by creating new dynamics both on the economic and political front," Bigler continued. China set this year's growth target in the range of 6.5 to 7%, following 6.9% economic growth in 2015. Though China's economy is expected to slow down, Bigler said that it is still sufficiently high to cater to Swiss needs.

The Railway Company Stadler Rail Refused a Chinese Bid
Published by rts.ch, 6th March 2016
Chinese investors have had ambitions for Stadler Rail. The manufacturer of railway equipment Thurgau boss refused, arguing that his company is not for sale. "I'm too Swiss", justified the contractor. "If the Chinese want to break our markets, they need a base here to control the national approval procedures," said Peter Spuhler in German-speaking weekly Schweiz am Sonntag. For China, a breakthrough in the Old Continent in the rail vehicle sector proves interesting, because there are only a dozen of European manufacturers. Overall, Switzerland is very popular with Chinese investors. For Peter Spuhler, resisting to Chinese greed is not the main problem. The strong franc worries more. The abandonment of the fixed exchange rate rate in January 2015 cost him 200 million francs in revenue and 4-5% of its operating margin, he assured. In response, Stadler Rail has increased working time.

Swiss National Bank Acquires New Position in Baidu
Published by sleekmoney.com, 4th March 2016
Swiss National Bank bought a new stake in Baidu Inc. during the fourth quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the SEC. The fund bought 243,993 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately USD 46,124,000. Shares of Baidu Inc opened at 177.30 on Friday. The stock has a market cap of USD 61.36 billion and a P/E ratio of 12.15. The company has a 50-day moving average of USD 161.47 and a 200 day moving average of USD 169.25. Baidu Inc has a 52-week low of USD 100.00 and a 52-week high of USD 223.95. Baidu, Inc is a Chinese-language Internet search provider (ISP). Baidu serves three types of online participants, which include users, customers and Baidu Union Members. The Company offers a Chinese-language search platform on its Website, baidu.com.
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CULTURE & SOCIETY

Swiss Watch Brand Pays Tribute to Bruce Lee
Published by marketing-interactive.com, 5th March 2016
In collaboration with the Bruce Lee Foundation, Swiss watch brand HUBLOT holds a special tribute exhibition for the Kung Fu superstar to celebrate the grand opening of its boutique at Beijing’s high-end shopping centre Shin Kong Place. Held from 1 to 6 March at Beijing SKP, the “Be Water, My Friend- Legend of Bruce Lee Memorial Exhibition” under the theme of the actor’s philosophy displays his precious personal items, as well as a variety of HUBLOT limited edition timepieces. Shannon Lee, founder of the foundation and Lee’s daughter, cut the ribbon of the new store along with general manager of HUBLOT Greater China Loic Biver. The brand has also launched the special limited-edition watch, Spirit of Big Bang Bruce Lee Be Water, to pay tribute to the Kung Fu master.

Need to Know More about China when Working on Innovation: EPFL Researcher
Published by eastday.com, 4th March 2016
Dr. Marc Laperrouza is a lecturer and researcher at EPFL (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne), who has been engaged in innovation development with and in China for many years. He studied in Fudan University, Shanghai 20 years ago. Now Dr. Laperrouza is working on the project China Hardware Innovation Camp (CHIC) - designed in Switzerland and manufactured in China. During our visit at EPFL, he introduced this project and provided some views on the innovation development of China. Initiated by Pascal Marmier, Director of Swissnex China, CHIC is basically to go from idea to proptype in 30 days. At the beginning, students are put into a room with a number of tools and pushed to come up with some ideas. And 30 working days afterwards they should have a functional proptype. Teachers help students to develop a connected device with using open source hardware, software and sourcing components from Seedstudio.

Tag Heuer Signs Chinese Super League Deal
Published by sportspromedia.com, 4th March 2016
Swiss watchmaker Tag Heuer has signed a sponsorship deal with the Chinese Super League (CSL). The brand will become the official timekeeper and official watch of the top tier of Chinese soccer. The deal will give Tag Heuer a range of branding rights and was announced in Beijing at Beijing's National Stadium, popularly known as the 'Bird's Nest'. In February, Tag Heuer completed a similar deal with Major League Soccer (MLS) in the US. "Chinese football is a world of endless passion and dream with a potential that knows no boundary," said Leo Poon, the Greater China general manager for Tag Heuer. "With the partnership between Tag Heuer and CSL, we look forward to injecting avant-garde spirit and innovative practices into Chinese football, inspiring the passion for football of the younger generation and power up the future development of Chinese football and education."
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GENERAL INTEREST

Illegal Trafficking of Shawls Made from Tibetan Antelope Wool
Published by blv.admin.ch, 16th March 2016
Since 2013, the Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office (FSVO) has strengthened its controls in cooperation with the Federal Customs Administration (FCA) in order to combat the illegal trade in shawls made from Tibetan antelope wool (shahtoosh). As a result, more of these shawls have been confiscated every year. Moreover, international cooperation and awareness raising among potential shawl buyers are essential in order to counter this illegal trade effectively and to help to safeguard this strictly protected and endangered species. The rise in seizures since 2011 can partially be explained by the increased enforcement effort by the FSVO resulting in several focus inspections and consequently more seizures, as well as the training of customs officials in the identification of Shahtoosh shawls, increasing the number of seizures and detection rate. Therefore, it is not possible to interpret a steady increase but rather the graph shows the effect of intensified inspections and perhaps a trade that was present before but went undetected.

Swiss Expert Andreas Goetz Helps China Drop by Drop
Published by China Daily, 4th March 2016
Andreas Goetz, a Swiss expert on water management, considers his work in China for more than a decade a great success. "We first made a rope of cooperation. Now, it has developed into a net," the-68-year-old says of the roles Chen Lei, China's water resources minister, and he have played on various projects. The two men first met in 2001, when Goetz was deputy director of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation. In its journey to become a developed country, Switzerland has gained much experience in water management and has collected relevant data for years. During their interactions, the two experts found that both countries were pursuing similar goals in water management, and the first joint project began in 2002 after news of a Yangtze River flood drew Goetz's attention. The project, which used technologies developed in Switzerland, proved worthwhile. In the following year, when Chen invited Goetz to personally inspect the project, they decided to collaborate long term. Since then, workshops on technical issues related to water have been held every two years, alternatively in both countries, with Chinese and Swiss officials and experts attending. After a successful workshop in 2008, the two sides signed a Sino-Swiss cooperation agreement that enables not only high-level exchanges but also the joint undertaking of projects.
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INDUSTRIES

Engineering / Manufacturing

Burckhardt Compression to Acquire Majority Stake in Leading Chinese Reciprocating Compressor Manufacturer
Published by burckhardtcompression, 10th March 2016
Burckhardt Compression signed on 10 March 2016, the agreement to acquire a 60% stake in Shenyang Yuanda Compressor Co., Ltd., the leading reciprocating compressor manufacturer in China. Shenyang Yuanda Compressor Co., Ltd. achieved sales of CHF 110 million in 2015 with 650 employees. With this acquisition Burckhardt Compression gains local market reach in additional market segments, expands its product portfolio to cover the diverse market requirements and gets direct access to a well-established local supply chain. Closing is scheduled to take place in April/May 2016. Both parties agreed not to disclose any further terms of the acquisition agreement. Burckhardt Compression is one of the worldwide market leaders in the field of reciprocating compressors and the only manufacturer that covers a complete range of reciprocating compressor technologies. Its customized compressor systems are used in the upstream oil & gas, gas transport and storage, refinery, chemical, petrochemical and industrial gas sectors.

Publication of Swiss Prospectus for ChemChina Cash Offer
Published by yahoo.com, 8th March 2016
On 3 February, Syngenta announced that ChemChina has offered to acquire 100% of the outstanding share capital of Syngenta at a price of USD 465 per ordinary share plus a special dividend of CHF 5 to be paid conditional upon, and prior to, closing. The intended offer values Syngenta's total outstanding share capital at around USD 43 billion. The acquisition is subject to regulatory approvals and other conditions. Today CNAC Saturn (NL) B.V., a subsidiary of ChemChina, has published the Prospectus for the Swiss Public Tender Offer. The report of Syngenta's Board of Directors and the Fairness Opinion issued by N+1 Swiss Capital regarding the Swiss Public Tender Offer are available on the website of Syngenta. The Swiss and US Public Tender Offers are expected to commence on 23 March 2016. The US Offer to Purchase is expected to be published on 23 March 2016 upon commencement of the US Public Tender Offer and will then be available on the website of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

DKSH and Key Clients Showcase Products and Innovations at Food Ingredient China 2016
Published by dksh.com.cn, 7th March 2016
DKSH’s Business Unit Performance Materials, a leading Market Expansion Services provider and distributor of food and beverage ingredients, together with key clients including OmniActive, Wacker, Eurovanille, CEAMSA, Polygal and Horphag, will jointly exhibit at FIC, the largest professional food additives and food ingredients exhibition in China. The event, which showcases the industry’s leading food additives and food ingredients companies, will be held at the National Exhibition and Convention Center in Shanghai on 23-25 March 2016. DKSH will exhibit at stand 61B40/61C41 in hall 6, where senior executives from DKSH and key clients will be present throughout the show to promote and provide detailed introductions on their product concepts. The showcased product portfolios will include free lutein and lutein ester from OmniActive, cyclodextrin, high bioavailable curcumin and L-Cysteine from Wacker, natural vanilla products from Eurovanille, pectin and carrageenan from CEAMSA, locust bean gum (LBG) and tara gum from Polygal and Pycnogenol from Horphag.
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Bank / Finance / Insurance

Looking Forward to a 'Big Year'
Published by China Daily, 4th March 2016
UBS aims to grow its business in China to the next level, says its chief. It was not a free lunch for Sergio Ermotti when the 56-years-old Swiss banker was appointed the chief executive of UBS Group AG five years ago as the bank was struggling in the wake of a trading scandal that caused it a hefty loss of USD 2.3 billion. What came with the promotion was huge pressure and expectation, Ermotti told China Daily in a recent interview. When it comes to China, the Swiss banking chief has embarked a similar strategy with an emphasis on expanding wealth and asset management, while maintaining its leading position in investment banking business, aiming to grow the bank's business in the world's second-largest economy to the next level. UBS has announced a plan to double its headcount in China by adding 600 staff over five years. The staff increases will be across wealth management, investment banking, equities, fixed-income and asset management as well as some back-office operations, according to Ermotti.
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Hospitality / Tourism / Retails

OgilvyOne China and Tmall Nestle pilot Big Data program
Published by digitalmarket.asia, 10th March 2016
OgilvyOne China has helped Nestle pilot a revolutionary new program nicknamed ‘1000 people, 1000 faces’ which uses cutting edge digital marketing technology to get to the core of the individual customer experience, strengthening brand communication and empowering e-commerce efficiency. The program utilises Tmall’s database resources and uses a well-designed algorithm that helps to predict visitor intent when entering Nestle’s official flagship Tmall mobile store, leading them down different routes that are most likely to fill their desires. The test works of this new individualised customer experience was launched on Nestle Tmall on 25 February, 2016. Through the interpretation of tracking consumer purchase history within Tmall, OgilvyOne landed each visitor who entered the Nestle Tmall flagship store on one of three different pages: sweets, coffee or dairy products, based on analysis of their previous purchasing behavior. In initial tests, this led to an average conversion rate (or customers who went from the main page to product pages) that rose 40%. Consumer conversion rate (the final completion of customer purchases) saw a whopping 50% improvement.
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Legal / Trade / Consulting / Services

EY and Guangzhou Local Tax Bureau Co-Publish 2016 Guide
Published by ey.com, 9th March 2016
As a significant growth driver for China’s future economy, the introduction and implementation of the “Belt and Road” initiative have opened a brand new development direction and created a valuable and historic opportunity for enterprises “going global”. In order to help Chinese enterprises and individuals address the risk from overseas taxation and human capital risks, EY and Guangzhou Local Tax Bureau co-published the 2016 edition of the Individual Income Tax Regulations and Risk Management Guide for Outbound Chinese Enterprises (“2016 Guide”). Guangzhou Local Tax Bureau hosted a launch event in the morning of 9 March and also held a presentation on “International Tax Risk Prevention for Individuals Going Global”. Guangzhou-based representatives from more than 150 enterprises pursuing overseas development attended this event. The event was hosted by the Guangzhou Local Tax Bureau, co-hosted by EY and carried out by Tianhe Branch of the Guangzhou Local Tax Bureau.
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