Reader's Digest > 2 - 15 April

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Reader's Digest, 2  - 15 April

Swiss and Chinese Business Related News in Switzerland and China

BILATERAL RELATIONS

China, Switzerland Sign Cooperation Agreements
Published by chinatopix.com, 10th April 2016
China and Switzerland signed a number of cooperation agreements covering various sectors on Friday which include science and technology, innovation, work safety, education, trade, and environment. Reports said President Xi Jinping and Swiss President Johann Schneider-Ammann presided the signing ceremony of two memorandums of understanding (MOU) between Guangzhou and Chengdu and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation that will implement the two sides' low-carbon city construction projects. President Xi has tagged Ammann as "an old friend of the Chinese people" as he recalled his meeting with his him in June last year when the latter visited Beijing for the signing of the China-backed Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)

China, Switzerland Forge Innovative Strategic Partnership
Published by eda.admin.ch, 9th April 2016
China and Switzerland will establish an innovative strategic partnership to promote common development and prosperity, a joint statement issued on Friday said. The statement was released after the talks between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Swiss President Johann Schneider-Ammann, who is paying a state visit to China from Thursday to Saturday. During the talks, Xi said Switzerland is one of the earliest Western countries establishing diplomatic ties with New China, praising the sound development of China-Switzerland relations in recent years. The two countries have jointly cultivated a cooperative spirit featuring equality, innovation and win-win, the Chinese president said. He said the political foundation of the two countries' innovative strategic partnership lies in adherence to equality, mutual respect, exchanges and mutual learning. He suggested the two sides enhance strategic consultations, increase mutual understanding and trust, and outline major cooperative areas, so as to effectively implement the new partnership.

Ambassador Ma Zhaoxu Presented Credentials
Published by china-un.ch, 6th April 2016
On 6 April 2016, Ambassador Ma Zhaoxu, the newly appointed Permanent Representative of the People's Republic of China to the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG) and Other International Organizations in Switzerland, presented his credentials to Mr Michael Møller, the Director-General of the UNOG. Ambassador Ma said that Geneva earns its name as one of the most dynamic centers of multilateral diplomacy by providing an important platform for the international community to discuss and resolve multilateral issues in the political, economic, social and other areas as well. China has been consistently upholding the UN Charter and principles, and supporting the UN's central and authoritative role in multilateral affairs. The Chinese Mission will continue to support the work of the UNOG and its Director-General, further strengthening the cooperation with the UN and UNOG.
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BUSINESS NEWS

2016 Sino-Swiss Economic Forum Held in Beijing
Published by ce.cn, 11th April 2016
The 4th Sino-Swiss Economic Forum (SSEF) was successfully held on 8 April 2016 at the Rosewood Hotel in Beijing with the exceptional presence of the President of the Swiss Confederation, H.E. Federal Councillor Johann N. Schneider-Ammann at the occasion of his State visit to China and the China International Trade Representative and Vice Minister of Commerce of P.R. China, H.E. Zhong Shan. More than 380 guests attended the event, including top leaders from Swiss and Chinese companies as well as high level representatives from both countries. The Forum explored a very hot topic: Connectivity for innovation: the Sino-Swiss dimension and examined the unique partnership between Switzerland and China, looking into how the two countries could create value for those relying on innovation like investors, entrepreneurs or large companies. The SSEF takes place every two years in Beijing and is by far the largest economic summit between Switzerland and China. The 4th edition of the Forum was jointly organized by the Economic Section of the Swiss Embassy and the Swiss-Chinese Chamber of Commerce in Beijing, in partnership with Switzerland Global Enterprise and swissnex China.

Grand Opening: Schneider-Ammann Highlights Competitiveness of Swiss Companies in China
Published by swisscenters.org, 10th April 2016
President Johann Schneider-Ammann cut the ribbon on Saturday, 9 April, at the official inauguration ceremony of Swiss Center’s “Machinery, Trade and Business Center” in Shanghai. In his speech at the non-profit Swiss Center, the largest cluster of Swiss companies in Asia, Schneider-Ammann stressed the importance of the Swiss core values innovation, specialization and precision. Besides the newly opened facility in Shanghai, the Swiss Center also expands in the North of China, offering Swiss companies first-class workshop and office space in the Tianjin and Beijing area. After the ribbon cutting, the delegation headed into the building and visited the 18 participating companies showcasing their activities in China. The delegation had vivid exchanges with the representing CEOs and executives who shared their experiences of doing business in China. These include Microdia, Sonceboz, Migros, M-Industry, Alpvision, Dec, Frewitt, WDT Tooltech, Haug, Integra Biosciences, LX Precision, Rahn, Inter, KUK electronics and Leister.

Come Together: China and Switzerland Forge New Opportunities for Innovation along the One Belt One Road
Published by linkedin.com, 10th April 2016
Switzerland has an outsized impact on global affairs and possesses one of the most competitive and innovative economies in the world. It was also one of the first countries to align with China’s One Belt One Road initiatives. The recent 4th Sino Swiss Economic Forum helps cement and signal the important role Switzerland will play in China’s drive for innovation-based growth and Eurasian connectivity. The Sino Swiss Economic Forum is a bi-annual event that is the largest bi-lateral economic summit between these two countries. The 4th edition of this high level event, held at the Rosewood Hotel in Beijing on Friday, 8 April, welcomed a delegation led by Johann Schneider-Ammann, Swiss Federation President, with high level discussions focused on innovation-driven growth through connectivity with an emphasis on infrastructure, finance and technology.

China's HNA Extends M&A Spree with USD 1.5 Billion Purchase of Swiss Gategroup
Published by co.uk, 10th April 2016
China's HNA Group Co Ltd has agreed to buy Swiss airline catering firm Gategroup Holdings for USD 1.5 billion in cash, as the aviation and shipping conglomerate steps up its global expansion. The deal adds to a string of overseas acquisitions for privately owned HNA, which include plans announced in February to buy U.S-listed electronics distributor Ingram Micro for USD 6 billion and the USD 2.5 billion purchase of Irish aircraft lessor Avolon Holdings Ltd last year. HNA, which operates more than a dozen airlines including its flagship carrier Hainan Airlines Co Ltd, is offering CHF 1.4 billion or CHF 53 per share for all of Gategroup's outstanding shares, a 17% premium to the catering firm's last trading price. Gategroup's board has recommended the offer, the companies said in a joint statement. HNA plans to delist Gategroup from the Swiss stock exchange. Gategroup will remain headquartered in Switzerland under the leadership of the current management team. Spurred on by slowing economic growth at home, Chinese companies have been highly acquisitive this year, with announced deal values topping USD 87.5 billion so far, compared to a record USD 103 billion launched last year.

China's TusHoldings Partners with Switzerland Government
Published by cri.cn, 8th April 2016
Chinese tech service provider Tus-Holdings has reached a new deal with Switzerland government to build projects in Switzerland. The deal has been signed this afternoon as part of Swiss President Johann Schneider-Ammann's three-day visit to China. Tus-Holdings Chair Mei Meng said "Now we are building a network of science parks, and I call it "Science Park Plus". In terms of the technological innovation, the support from each science park is very limited, but when they become a network which is able to share information, resources, services etc., the support will be stronger." Tus-Holdings has built around 100 different projects in China, including science parks and projects to support the creation of hi-tech cities. The company's projects are home to around 2-thousand different startup businesses.

New Customs Declaration Form in China: Swiss Companies Required to be Prepared!
Published by custom-ised.com, 8th April 2016
China Customs announced on 24 March 2016 that additional information of import transactions will be collected. These changes will be effective from 30 March, 2016. When submitting an import permit the following information has to be provided: Existence of special relationships (between the seller and the buyer)? Does the special relationship impair the import price? Confirmation on royalty payments. Almost all over the world customs duties are levied based on the transaction value (often the sales price) according to the legal principles stated in the WTO Customs Valuation Agreement (Agreement on Implementation of Article VII of the GATT 1994). Switzerland is one of the big exceptions, as for most of the products customs duties are levied based on weight and not on value. As a consequence, many Swiss companies might be a bit uncertain when topics such as Customs Valuation are raised. Swiss companies are well advised to implement a customs valuation documentation that does support the transactions. A review of license agreements is also recommended. A transfer pricing documentation may be taken into consideration but is not sufficient.

Free Trade with China: What Benefits for the Watch Industry?
Published by s-ge.com, 5th April 2016
As part of a master’s thesis, students at the ZHAW explored how the free trade agreement between Switzerland and China has benefited the domestic watch industry during its first year. When it comes to imports, the FTA is mainly used to bring primary materials and watch components into Switzerland, while the export side mainly deals with complete watches. The FTA utilization rate has been calculated at 76.5% for imports, i.e. more than three-quarters of all watchmakers are now exempt from customs duties thanks to the FTA. As a result, Swiss companies managed to save CHF 3.6 million in the first year alone. However, figures also show that around CHF 684,000 in customs duties was still paid for watchmaking goods, for whatever reason. CHF 2.8 million in savings came from just two categories: watch cases and wristbands, both in base metals. Significant savings were also made on imports of case backs and quartz watches originating in China.
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CULTURE & SOCIETY

Students from China, Switzerland Practice Calligraphy in Shaoxing
Published by ce.cn, 6th April 2016
Chinese and Swiss students practice the Thousand Character Classic at the Shaoxing College of Art and Science Lanting Calligraphy Art Academy in Shaoxing, east China's Zhejiang Province, 5 April, 2016. Nearly 100 students from the college and University of Geneva on Tuesday together practised the classic Chinese artwork during an activity to exchange their learning experience.

The Grand Théâtre de Genève Ballet Company - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Published by sinoptic.ch, 30th March 2016
The Grand Théâtre de Genève Ballet Company invites you to an evening of enchantment in a place where dreams rule over (and overrule) everything. One thing is certain, “Le songe d’une nuit d’été” is full of surprises. With French choreographer Michel Kelemenis, the audience is lead into a world where the marvellous and the mysterious rub elbows with the grotesque. William Shakespeare wrote his comedy A Midsummer Night's Dream sometime between 1594 and 1595 as a satire of Elizabethan society. In 1826, the young Felix Mendelssohn composed a first overture to the Play and by 1876, it had become part of the classical ballet repertoire in a version of the Russian choreographer Marius Petipa. With this new setting under Michel Kelemenis, the Grand Théâtre de  Genève  Ballet Company reaffirms  once  more  its  commitment  to  a  form  of  dance  that interprets the great works of the ballet repertoire in a new and exciting present tense.
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GENERAL INTEREST

Chinese Sailors Employed on Lake Lucerne
Published by swissinfo.ch, 11th April 2016
Two Chinese students have been hired by the Lake Lucerne ship company to help with the booming number of Chinese tourists to the scenic region, in another example of growing Swiss efforts to pivot towards the increasingly important Asian economy. The two men in their early twenties started their training on 4 April, the company said in a statement on Monday. They had both lived in China until 18 months ago, when they came to Switzerland to study. Neither had any previous experience in tourism. However, with international tourism growing among the Chinese in the past decade, in part owing to their increasing prosperity and fewer Communist government travel restrictions, Swiss businesses are reaching out to accommodate these travellers.

Chinese Qihoo 360's Third Generation of Child Tracking Watch Uses U-Blox GNSS Technology
Published by wirelessdevnet.com, 5th April 2016
Qihoo 360, Chinese leader in mobile security solutions, has launched a third generation of child-tracking watches, developed again in collaboration with u-blox, a global leader in wireless and positioning modules and chips. Kids Guard 3S, a personal tracker in a tiny and colourful watch format, is designed to monitor the whereabouts of children. "We wanted to offer a high performance tracking solution, accurate enough to reassure parents worried of their child’s whereabouts, as child abduction is a serious concern in China. u-blox has already demonstrated with leading brands of children watches in China its unique combination of wireless communication and GNSS positioning technologies. Considering the quality and robustness of its products, u-blox has become our strategic partner," explains You Wenxuan, Manager of Hardware Center at Qihoo 360. Swiss u-blox is a global leader in wireless and positioning semiconductors and modules for the automotive, industrial and consumer markets. u-blox solutions enable people, vehicles and machines to locate their exact position and communicate wirelessly over cellular and short range networks. With a broad portfolio of chips, modules and software solutions, u-blox is uniquely positioned to empower OEMs to develop innovative solutions for the Internet of Things, quickly and cost-effectively. With headquarters in Thalwil, Switzerland, u-blox is globally present with offices in Europe, Asia and the USA.
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INDUSTRIES

Engineering / Manufacturing

ABB Chairman Hosts Swiss President During ABB Factory Tour in Beijing
Published by abb.com.cn, 7th April 2016
Swiss President Johann Schneider-Ammann visited ABB’s electrification products factory in Beijing during his state visit to China, accompanied by a delegation of business people and representatives from the Swiss science and research field. ABB Chairman Peter Voser and Chunyuan Gu, President of ABB China Ltd., welcomed the delegation and presented an overview of ABB’s operations in China during the tour of ABB LV Installation Materials Co., Ltd. “This year ABB celebrates its 125th anniversary in Switzerland, while its excellent relationship to China dates back to 1907 when it delivered the first steam boiler to the country. China and Switzerland have a lot to offer each other to continue to drive innovation,” Voser said. “In this way our countries have a good opportunity to accelerate productivity growth and offset some of the longer-term trends that threaten growth and prosperity. ABB’s smart technologies and solutions fit perfectly with the development of the 10 key areas listed in the ‘Made in China 2025’ plan.” “Furthermore, we see education and training as one of the most important areas in which China and Switzerland can work together. Switzerland and ABB have a long-standing experience and knowledge of vocational training. The Swiss apprenticeship system is one of the reasons for the success of Swiss economy,” Voser added.
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Bank / Finance / Insurance

UBS Sees Reduced Depreciation Pressure on Yuan
Published by ce.cn, 10th April 2016
A weaker U.S. dollar, less negative economic numbers and improved market sentiment in China would reduce depreciation pressure on yuan in the next few months compared with the beginning of the year, a UBS report noted. After depreciating 1.3% in January, the RMB stabilized in February before appreciating 1.6% against the U.S. dollar in March. Meanwhile, the RMB offshore forward premium against the U.S. dollar also showed much improved sentiment. UBS chief China economist Wang Tao identified three factors that have been pivotal in reducing depreciation pressures: the U.S. Fed's more dovish stance and associated weakening of the U.S. dollar, improvement in recent economic indicators, and tightened control on cross-border capital flows. However, in the longer term, the UBS expects underlying outflow pressures to persist as the U.S. economy improves and inflation picks up, market sentiment on Fed intentions and actions may change again.

Credit Suisse CEO Thiam Targets Bigger China Presence
Published by yahoo.com, 5th April 2016
Credit Suisse Chief Executive Officer Tidjane Thiam said on Tuesday the Swiss bank has been "underweight" in China and would look to build its wealth management capabilities in the world's second-biggest economy, despite slowing growth. Thiam told a media briefing on the sidelines of the annual Credit Suisse Asian Investment Conference in Hong Kong that he was not concerned by the slower economic growth in China. The CEO said he saw this as a natural development as the country transforms itself into a consumption-driven economy rather than one led by investment. "We have been underweight (in) China and will continue to invest," said Thiam, 53, who joined the Zurich-based bank in July 2015. The banker said he would be spending five days in China as part of his current Asia trip, meeting clients and seeking to develop his understanding of their needs. Thiam's focus on China comes at a time when Credit Suisse has made wealth management a key plank for its future growth. The bank is also shifting its focus to the Asia-Pacific region, where it already has an important presence in Southeast Asia: Thiam aims to more than double Asia-Pacific pre-tax income to CHF 2.1 billion (USD 2.19 billion) by 2018.
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Hospitality / Tourism / Retails

Nestlé Begins mHealth Trial
Published by pmlive.com, 12th April 2016
Nestlé has launched a two-year clinical trial in China to evaluate the impact of nutrition and physical activity on mobility in healthy ageing adults with joint discomfort. The firm has joined with Medidata for the study, which combines cloud technology and mobile health solutions. The research programme would go “beyond traditional clinical trials”, Medidata said. Nestlé's head of clinical operations Stephane Collet added: “We are collecting more data from study participants than ever before and achieving more insight into the impact our nutritional products can have on improving people's quality of life.”

Initial Success for China KitKat Launch in Walmart, Says Nestlé
Published by confectionerynews.com, 8th April 2016
Nestlé is positioning KitKat as a big brand in China after launching its top confection into the market last December. Nancy He, corporate affairs at Nestlé China, told ConfectioneryNews the brand had already proved popular among Chinese consumers. KitKat made its debut in hundreds of Walmart stores nationwide in December last year. The Chinese KitKat was co-designed by Nestlé York-based Products Technology Centre and Donguan R&D center, and it was manufactured in a Nestlé factory in Tianjin.

New Chef is a Game Changer at Swiss Taste
Published by China Daily, 8th April 2016
A new chef shakes up the formula at Swiss Taste, bringing more of that country's varied European influences to the table. Mike Peters steps in for a tasting. Alfred Krasser is chatting about the new spring menu at Swiss Taste when a waiter appears at his elbow. There is a problem at a nearby table, where four men are debating about ordering lasagna. The big Austrian chef is at their table in a flash. Turns out that under the baked pasta, besides beef there will be pork-and that's a dietary taboo for two of the diners. Can they have the lasagna with only beef? Krasser explains that the lasagna is not made to order, but baked early and allowed to set, so the herbs, meat and tomato sauce flavors can meld. Making a beef-only version while they wait isn't really practical.
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Legal / Trade / Consulting / Services

China Legal Report
Published by wenfei.com, 4th April 2016
Wenfei Attorneys-at-Law Ltd released new China Legal Report in April on the topic of 13th Five-Year Plan. The report explains what the 13th Five-Year Plan is. Currently, foreign investments are restricted in some industries in different way and market access to financial industries will be expanded. Foreign investments are encouraged to industries such as advanced manufacture, high technology, energy-saving and environment-protection, modern service industry, etc. The Free-Trade-Zone will still play an important role in the next five years. The fundamental foreign investment law will be formulated. It also provides some advice for China’s investment abroad, such as key industries for investment abroad, expanding export trade and improving the simplified procedure for foreign investment administration system and encouraging personal investment abroad.
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