Reader's Digest > 19 March - 1 April

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Reader's Digest, 19 March  - 1 April

Swiss and Chinese Business Related News in Switzerland and China

BILATERAL RELATIONS

Swiss President to Visit China
Published by china.org.cn, 31st March 2016
Swiss President Johann Schneider-Ammann will pay a state visit to China from 7 to 9 April at the invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping, Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang announced on Thursday. MHH let’s see if we keep this

Sino-Swiss Low Carbon Cities Project Launched, Yantai becomes First City to Sign MoU
Published by sinoptic.ch, 17th March 2016A
Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) under the Sino-Swiss Low Carbon Cities (SSLCC) Project was signed between Swiss Development Agency (SDC) and Yantai Municipal People’s Government on 17 March 2016, making Yantai the first Chinese city to sign a MoU with Switzerland under the program. An important component of SDC’s program on climate change, the ultimate goal of the SSLCC project is to contribute to the mitigation of climate change by reducing the emissions of greenhouse gases in Chinese urban areas. It aims to combine positive results made in different pilot projects with Chinese cities. The Mayor of Yantai Ms. Zhang Yongxia and the Ambassador of Switzerland to China Dr. Jean-Jacques de Dardel signed the MoU. Mayor Zhang, accompanied by Mr. Zhang Junhui, counsellor of the European Department of China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Mr. Zhang Yongsen, deputy director general of the Foreign Affairs Office of Shandong Province, also held talks with the Swiss Embassy delegation.
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BUSINESS NEWS

Sino-Swiss Economic Forum 2016
Published by cn.swisscham.org, 31st 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, Minister of Commerce of PRC, H.E. GAO Hucheng will be present as well. It is still time to register or book a corporate table (click HERE) to attend the most important economic event between Switzerland and China.

Jiangsu South-North Charter Flight to Open
Published by China Daily, 31st March 2016
Direct charter flights between south and north Jiangsu are to begin by the end of the year, according to Wuxi Sunan Shuofang International Airport. The chartered flights will use PC-12 corporate aircraft from Switzerland Pilatus Aircraft Co, a world-class manufacturer for turbo-prop aircraft and an investor in Asia Express. Costing CNY 39 million (USD 6 million) after tax, the aircraft was introduced by Wuxi-based Asian Express Aviation Co. Equipped with leather seats, folding desks and reading lights, the craft can accommodate a maximum of eight passengers, who will be able to use electronic equipment to connect to the airplane’s entertainment system, check its altitude, speed and location. Asian Express Aviation is scheduled to launch charter flights from Wuxi to Yancheng and Lianyungang, Jiangsu province by the end of the year. The company will also launch an aeromedical business using a German-made aviation medical transport system equipped with an hyperbaric oxygen and breathing machine, in order to transfer patients.

Zhongshan's Tech Expertise Draws Global Investments
Published by China Daily, 25th March 2016
Zhongshan is the birthplace of China's revolutionary leader Sun Yat-sen (1866-1925). It neighbors the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions and has a permanent resident population of 3.21 million. "We have 27 Global Fortune 500 companies, 35 State-level industrial bases and 18 technological innovation towns specializing in such fields as lighting and household appliances," Xue said at the Zhongshan Trade, Investment and Top Talent Fair, which ends on Friday. Xue introduced the city's many investment opportunities to businesspeople from around the world during the fair. He also spoke of the Tsuihang New Area, proposed by Guangdong Party chief Hu Chunhua in 2015, which is planned to become Zhongshan's industrial and innovation center. The Sino-Swiss (European) Industrial Park, part of the new area, is an "important platform for international investment and technology and cultural cooptation", Xue said. The park had attracted 18 projects as of February and is negotiating on another 14 projects, covering new energy, advanced equipment manufacturing, electronic information and modern services. Zhongshan is now home to 83 European companies and eight Swiss companies, and has lower labor costs than Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen, according to Xue.

Swiss Watch Exports to Hong Kong Continue to Decline but Rise Elsewhere
Published by lenews.ch, 22nd March 2016
Swiss watch exports fell for an eighth consecutive month as shipments to Hong Kong extended a one-year rut caused by rich Chinese traveling to cheaper locations to buy expensive timepieces. Shipments slid 3.3% to CHF 1.65 billion (USD 1.7 billion) in February, or by 7.9% adjusted for the number of working days in the month, according to data from Switzerland’s customs office. Exports to Hong Kong fell 25%, declining for a 13th month, the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry said in a separate statement. Swiss watchmakers have been grappling with waning demand in China amid a crackdown on bribery and extravagant spending among government officials. They also are suffering from a drop in tourists to Europe after the November terrorist attacks in Paris, a falloff likely to be exacerbated by reports of explosions at Brussels Airport Tuesday.
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CULTURE & SOCIETY

Art Basel in Hong Kong Takes Audiences on a Visual Journey
Published by China Daily, 25th March 2016
Art Basel's Hong Kong show, a major event in the art world, opens Thursday at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. Paintings, sculptures, installations, photographs, videos and prints from 239 art galleries in 35 countries and regions will be on display through Saturday. Dialogues will draw artists, collectors, curators and art gallery owners to discuss art-related topics. Art Basel, one of world's top art fairs, was initiated in Basel, Switzerland in 1970 and concentrates on contemporary arts. The fair first came to Hong Kong in 2013.

Differences in Office Culture and Time Zones Trigger Burnout among Foreigners Working in China
Published by globaltimes.cn, 24th March 2016
Jobs that involve international communication and multicultural work environments often pose greater challenges as well as more time spent on the clock. It's 2 am and Priscilla Martin (pseudonym), a designer from Switzerland, is hunched over her desk, downing cup after cup of black coffee and pulling at her hair as she struggles to stay awake. She's working on a big project for which her company, a Hong Kong design firm with a branch in Beijing, is currently in the running, and this is her fourth night working late this week. Though Martin says she doesn't mind occasional overtime, days like this are enough to push her to her breaking point. "What am I doing in here?" she finds herself mumbling. "I should go back to Switzerland. This kind of overtime would never happen in Switzerland." While such long hours might be unthinkable in Martin's home country, they're commonplace in China, which - in keeping with the trends of other developing countries as well as the larger east Asian region - boasts some of the longest working hours in the world. According to a 2014 study by Beijing Normal University, the average Chinese worker puts in 2,000-2,200 hours each year. Compare that to the UK (a country solidly in the middle of the pack in terms of EU working hours), where the average worker puts in 1,677 hours per year.

“East meets West - Brugge baue” April/May Asia Tour
Published by bruggebaue.com, 24th March 2016
"East meets West – Brugge baue“ continues to open up new regions, after exploring Japan and South Korea last year with the first class Swiss piano duo “arte animi”, it’s Hong Kong’s turns this year. The well-established formation with “Superhorn Walti Sigrist” and “dr Eidgenoss” will be expanded by the newest member of the culture exchange association: Taio Rösli. They will arrive on April 28 in Hong Kong and if you are quick, you can catch the last free dates for a private or official event before their 3-day-workshop at the German Swiss International School from May 2 until May 5.
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GENERAL INTEREST

A Residence for Young Professional in the Field of Engraving
Published by sinoptic.ch, 25th March 2016
The project of residence will be organized for the fourth time in 2016 with the Francophone young professionals engaged in engraving as the highlights. Eight young artists from Belgium, France, Quebec and Switzerland will be involved in a two-week workshop in Beijing with four young Chinese homologues, to create some art works together. The works will be displayed on 26 March at 2pm at Xu Yuan Engraving Center. This project of residence is launched as a platform for the young artists from Francophone countries to gain international experience in the field of engraving and to build up networks with other artists. It also helps to showcase the creativity of artists from Francophone countries in China. Young people, the changing force and peace messenger, is targeted as the priority in Francophone cultures and also the core asset of the project.

Swiss Man Wins Running Wireman Challenge
Published by China Daily, 25th March 2016
Swiss man Freddy Nock, 51, has won a competition of walking on steel wires above a giant sinkhole in Southwest China's Chongqing municipality on Wednesday. Alfred finished the 100 meter walk within 42.04 seconds on the 300-meter-high steel wire in the challenge "Running Wireman" above the world natural heritage site in Wulong county of Chongqing. The other two competitors were Shaffer Benjamin Deane from Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region and Zavatta Mauritio from Italy. When the challenge was held in the morning, it started to drizzle, which made the steel wire slippery.
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INDUSTRIES

Engineering / Manufacturing

USDA Review of Syngenta Deal Sought
Published by China Daily, 25th March 2016
Political headwinds in Washington may be circling China National Chemical Corp's proposed USD 43 billion acquisition of Swiss agriculture company Syngenta AG after a US senator from a major farm state suggested the US examine any potential food safety concerns from the transaction. Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa, a Republican member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, said a bipartisan group of senators would seek a formal role for the US Agriculture Department as the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) carries out a national security review of the China National (ChemChina)-Syngenta deal. Lawmakers want food security and safety implications analyzed, Grassley said in a Wall Street Journal story published on Thursday. Grassley said he was concerned about the increasing consolidation in the seed industry and what that meant for Iowa farmers. But a ChemChina acquisition of Syngenta would also give China even more control over the global market for genetically modified corn, soybean and other seeds than it already has, he said.
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Bank / Finance / Insurance

Insurance Claims from China’s Tianjin Port Blasts Rise to USD 3.5 Billion
Published by insurancejournal.com, 30th March 2016
Insurance payouts from the chemical blasts at the Chinese Port of Tianjin last year could total up to USD 3.5 billion, reinsurer Swiss Re said on Wednesday, in what would be the largest ever man-made loss in Asia. The estimate of USD 2.5-3.5 billion in insured losses exceeds a previous estimate of at least USD 2 billion made in December, the reinsurer said in its latest “sigma” study of global disasters, adding the latest estimate was also subject to revision. Reinsurance broker Guy Carpenter has also said insurance losses from Tianjin, which killed around 170 people and destroyed more than 300 buildings and around 20,000 vehicles and containers, could be as high as USD 3.3 billion.

UBS Opens Shanghai Branch, Eyeing the Super-Rich
Published by China Daily, 18th March 2016
UBS (China) Ltd, UBS AG's locally incorporated and wholly foreign-owned bank, has announced the opening of its Shanghai branch, which will focus on wealth preservation and succession planning services. The branch is located in the Xintiandi neighborhood, home to a community of high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth individuals. Amy Lo, head of UBS wealth management for China, said there has been a shift in customer demand in the past few years, with more focus now on family needs. She said in the past, most UBS clients had been concentrating on growing their wealth, and preferred high-risk, high-yield wealth management products. Nowadays, they have realized the importance of risk management and wealth preservation, she said. So, products and services that help them diversify their investments and safely pass wealth to the next generation are under the spotlight, Lo added.
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Hospitality / Tourism / Retails

Nestlé Opens Nescafé Coffee Centre in Yunnan, China
Published by foodbev.com, 24th March 2016
Nestlé has opened a new Nescafé Coffee Centre for research and development in the city of Pu’er, Yunnan, China. Working with the College of Tropical Crops at Yunnan Agricultural University, the centre will provide training opportunities to farmers, agronomists and industry professionals. It will also be home to a green coffee bean laboratory, and provide coffee processing facilities. NCC, which covers an area of 30,000 square meters, will also be home to a quality control lab and warehousing facility. With continuously growing coffee output, NCC will provide processing facilities to ensure coffee bean purchasing, and set purchasing and testing criteria based on international standard. “Nestlé is committed to developing coffee farming in Puer, Yunnan, and has reached remarkable achievements and created shared value by working with local government and farmers over the past three decades,” said John Cheung, chairman and CEO of Nestlé China. “NCC integrates training, technical support, lab and modern warehousing, and thus promotes the effort for win-win result to a higher level. It builds us a larger platform for cooperation, exchange and sharing with research institutions and the whole industry.”
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Legal / Trade / Consulting / Services

WEF Names China's Yao Chen as a 'Young Global Leader' in 2016
Published by China Daily, 18th March 2016
Chinese actress and UN Refugee Agency Goodwill Ambassador Yao Chen was selected as one of the "Young Global Leaders" in 2016 by the World Economic Forum. 13 other Chinese were also on the list. The World Economic Forum selects the most "innovative, enterprising and socially minded men and women under the age of 40 who are pushing boundaries and rethinking the world around them" each year. World Economic Forum is hoping that this year's Young Global Leaders can tackle the world's most complex and pressing challenges. Furthermore, those on the list are invited to join a community and a five-year leadership journey to "break down silos, bridge cultures and use their collective skills to get things done for positive impact across private, public and civil society organizations."
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