Reader's Digest > 2 July - 15 July

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Reader's Digest, 2 - 15 July

Swiss and Chinese Business Related News in Switzerland and China

BILATERAL RELATIONS

Meeting between Swiss Head of FOAG and Chinese Vice Minister of Agriculture
Published by news.admin.ch, 2nd July 2016
Head of Federal Office for Agriculture (FOAG), Mr. Bernard Lehmann, met in Bern with Vice Minister of Agriculture of P.R. China, Mr. Chen Xiaohua. This meeting was not only an opportunity of various exchanges on issues related to agricultural policies, but also resulted in the signing of a common declaration of intention to strengthen cooperation in the agricultural sector. The Vice Minister, Mr. Chen Xiaohua, paid a visit to the Federal Office for Agriculture (FOAG) at the invitation of Switzerland. He discussed with Head of FOAG, Mr. Bernard Lehmann, about the evolution of Swiss and Chinese agricultural policies. This meeting also focused on opportunities to develop agricultural trade in the field of Sino-Swiss FTA, as well as on prospects of organic farming in the world. The two parties reaffirmed their intention to intensify dialogue and exchanges in the agricultural sector and strengthen cooperation in areas of mutual interest, such as stock farming or sustainable agriculture. It was also decided to promote dialogue in the field of agronomic research, which is the reason why the head of Agroscope, Michael Gysi, also attended this meeting.

Sino-Swiss Dialogue Commits to Innovative Cooperation, Ecological Development
Published by eda.admin.ch, 2nd July 2016
The Sino-Swiss Dialogue, a key sub-forum of the Eco Forum Global (EFG) Annual Conference, is poised to further strengthen prospective collaborations between Switzerland and Guizhou Province in advancing ecological development. The fourth Sino-Swiss dialogue, was held in Guiyang on July 8,  attended by Ms. Christa Markwalder, President of the National Council of Switzerland, accompanied by a Swiss delegation consisting of diplomats, educators, social and economic experts in environment, sustainability and green economy. This year’s dialogue, on the theme of “Mountainous Economy and Green Development”, explored innovative cooperation opportunities, in particular in the field of green development. Keynote speakers included Ms. Christa Markwalder, President of the National Council of Switzerland, Mr. Jean-Jacques de Dardel, Swiss Ambassador to China and Mr. Chen Min’er, Party Secretary of Guizhou Province.
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BUSINESS NEWS

SME Export Outlook Q3 2016: SMEs Striking Out for China
Published by s-ge.com, 12th July 2016
According to a survey carried out by Switzerland Global Enterprise (S-GE) among around 200 small and medium-sized exporting companies, Swiss SMEs see major potential in the Chinese market. Exports to China are accordingly set to gain importance in the next five years. Companies from the MEM industry are particularly active. Credit Suisse sees good sales prospects for Swiss SMEs in China. Chinese growth and the Chinese currency are set to develop in favor of Swiss exporters in the next six months. Export sentiment among Swiss SMEs has improved further and is more positive than at any time since the abandonment of the minimum euro exchange rate by the SNB in January 2015. As Bettina Rutschi, Senior Economist at Credit Suisse, explains: “The most important driver of Chinese economic growth at present is consumer spending. Although we expect this to rise less sharply in the second half of 2016 due to the slight deterioration of the labor market situation, altogether economic growth in China is also set to remain high in 2016 at 6.5% so that there are good export prospects for Swiss SMEs particularly since according to our forecasts the Swiss franc should depreciate against the Chinese yuan by 1.5% in the next six months.

Top 10 Luxury Goods Companies in the World
Published by China Daily, 5th July 2016
Average sales among the world's top 100 luxury goods companies reached USD 2.2 billion in 2015, according to a Deloitte Global report. The company released its Global Powers of Luxury Goods report last month. It reveals LVMH, which accounts for more than 10% of total luxury goods sales among the top 100 companies, recorded a very strong performance: it was No 1 in luxury goods sales revenue, and also No 1 among the top 10 companies for luxury goods sales growth rate and net profit margin. Chow Tai Fook – sometimes called "Asia's Tiffany & Co" – dropped three places to No 7 in the rankings, after a 17% decline in sales. Let's take a look at the world's top 10 luxury goods companies: No 10 PVH Corp; No 9 Ralph Lauren Corporation; No 8 L'Oréal Luxe; No 7 Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group Ltd; No 6 Kering SA; No 5 The Swatch Group Ltd; No 4 Luxottica Group SpA; No 3 The Estée Lauder Companies Inc; No 2 Compagnie Financiere Richemont SA; No 1 LVMH Moët Hennessy-Louis Vuitton SA.
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CULTURE & SOCIETY

Yodeling Duet Rohrer Sisters Introduce Traditional Swiss Singing to China
Published by China Daily, 7th July 2016
Although Beijing doesn't lack live music scenes, one rarely heard is the traditional singing of the Central Alps, originally used by herders to call their stock or communicate between Alpine villages. During a recent special dinner by SwissTaste, Swiss yodelers the Rohrer Sisters offered Beijingers a taste of their traditional music. Yodeling is a time-honored traditional Swiss way of singing that originates in the mountain areas. It involves repeated and rapid changes of pitch between the low-pitch chest register. The two sisters, Petra and Andrea Rohrer, 47 and 43, respectively, were invited to China to perform at the upcoming Sino-Swiss Dialogue in Guiyang, Guizhou province. They grew up in Flueli Ranft in the Canton of Obwalden, in the real heart of Switzerland, where yodeling is an important part of traditional culture. Their passion for yodeling started in their early childhood, when they were greatly encouraged by their father to both take up the traditional way of yodeling. This trip marks the first time the Rohrer sisters have left Europe to visit China.

World Tourist Summit Opens in Jilin
Published by China Daily, 2nd July 2016
On 27 June, China‘s Jilin province is hosting its first Changbai Mountain Summit for the establishment of the "World Top Tourist Town Alliance" to explore the idea of harmonious development between livelihood and tourism. The first summit will establish T20, "World Top Tourist Town Alliance", sponsored by twenty tourist towns from home and abroad, including Davos, Switzerland; Giethoorn, Netherlands; Lake Como, Italy; Wuzhen, China, and also the host city, Erdao River.
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GENERAL INTEREST

1st Swiss-Chinese Career Symposium
Published by suisse-chine.ch, 13th July 2016
Currently there are approximately 4,000 Chinese in Switzerland who have higher education background. Since many years, the Swiss-Chinese Association (SCA), together with CASTS (Chinese Association of Science and Technology, Switzerland) and Chinese student unions, has been organizing company visits (esp. at large international Swiss enterprises) for Chinese students and scholars in Switzerland. However, there have been no follow-up events arranged so far with job and apprenticeship information for such highly qualified attendees. On the other hand, many large, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which aim at expanding their business in China, have limited experience and access to the Chinese job market. Therefore, the idea was brought up by SCA and CASTS to organize a Swiss-Chinese Job Fair (or Swiss-Chinese Career Symposium) for those highly qualified experts with promising performance potential, because they have experience in both Chinese and Swiss cultures. The SCJF will create a direct exchange platform for the Human Resource departments (HR) of Swiss companies and those talents. The event will take place in Basel, Switzerland on 20 October 2016.

Joint Efforts to Combat the Illegal Trade in Shahtoosh Shawls
Published by admin.ch, 4th July 2016
In 2015, 70 shawls made from the wool of the protected Tibetan antelope (shahtoosh shawls) were seized in Switzerland. Trade in these luxury products is prohibited. To combat this illegal trade, INTERPOL and Switzerland invited countries to a workshop to define measures for a coordinated international approach. In the workshop, held in Lyon in early July 2016, Switzerland and INTERPOL created an international network to strengthen the fight against the poaching of the Tibetan antelope as well as the smuggling of and trade in shahtoosh shawls. Representatives from ten countries of origin as well as transit, processing and consumer countries discussed causes and enforcement strategies. Among them were India, Kuwait, Nepal, China, Pakistan, Italy, the UK, Spain and Germany. Representatives from the CITES Secretariat (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) as well as from INTERPOL also participated. Specialists in the identification of these shawls coming from forensic institutes in India and the USA also attended the workshop. By exchanging relevant information, next steps were identified and country-specific objectives defined. In the future, the network will enable a coordinated international approach to this illegal trade.
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INDUSTRIES

Engineering / Manufacturing

ChemChina Pushes Syngenta’s Acquisition Deadline to 13 September
Published by chinatopix.com, 13th July 2016
China National Chemical Corp, better known as ChemChina, has once again extended the deadline of its USD 43 billion acquisition of Swiss seed and pesticide company Syngenta Inc. ChemChina has now set a new deadline of 13 September to acquire the giant Swiss agricultural company, South China Morning Post reported. The latest extension in the deadline is reportedly due to non-fulfillment of many important conditions that are part of the acquisition deal, including regulatory approvals. The Syngenta deal, touted as largest foreign acquisition by a Chinese company, has already been extended twice. The first deadline was set on 23 May, and it was later extended to 18 July. The deal can be "extended at any time and from time to time ... until such time all conditions to the offers are satisfied," the offer's shareholders prospectus said, adding that any extension beyond 23 November would require Swiss regulator's approval.

Sonova Run Highlights Plight of Those Suffering Hearing Loss
Published by China Daily, 7th July 2016
Switzerland-based Sonova Group, the manufacturer of innovative hearing care solutions, has raised and donated more than RMB 1 million (USD 149,000) to the China Foundation for Disabled Persons through its recent charity run event in Shanghai. The charity run was organized by Sonova to advocate more social attention and care for people with hearing disabilities and to improve the lives of those with hearing loss through the use of advanced hearing technology. The group said the money collected through the charity run will be used for the China Foundation for Disabled Persons' support programs for hearing loss sufferers.
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Bank / Finance / Insurance

Swiss Re Corporate Solutions Appoints Jingwei Jia as CEO of its China Operations
Published by yahoo.com, 7th July 2016
Swiss Re Corporate Solutions appoints Jingwei Jia as Chief Executive Officer China effective immediately. Mr. Jia will be based in Shanghai and drive Swiss Re Corporate Solutions' strategy of building its China operations into a leading commercial insurer. Mr. Jia comments: "Our financial strength, underwriting expertise and claims commitment will enable us to deliver value and innovative solutions for our clients. Our focus will be on building our reputation for helping Chinese corporations cover risks, especially those associated with climate change, construction, manufacturing and renewable energy." Since joining Swiss Re in 2003, Mr. Jia has held senior business development and underwriting roles in China, Singapore, UK and the US. Mr. Jia succeeds Andreas Hillebrand, who has successfully led Corporate Solutions China since the acquisition of Sun Alliance, and will return to his post in Zurich as global head of credit and surety.

Postal Savings Bank of China Files Prelisting Documents
Published by China Daily, 6th July 2016
Postal Savings Bank of China Co Ltd, gearing up for an USD 8 billion initial public offering in Hong Kong in the second half of this year, on Monday published its IPO prelisting application on the website of the city's stock and futures market operator-Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd. The IPO is set to be the biggest since e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd raised a record USD 25 billion in New York in September 2014. UBS AG Hong Kong Branch is the sole financial advisor, according to the prelisting documents filed to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. In December 2015, the bank issued a total of 11,604 million new shares to 10 strategic investors who made investments of RMB 45.14 billion and hold a total of 16.92% of the bank's stake. Among the 10 investors is UBS, which holds 4.99% of the shares. The Swiss group is followed by China Life Insurance (Group) Co at 4.87%, China Telecommunications Corp (1.66%) and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (1.2%).
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Hospitality / Tourism / Retails

HNA Declares Offer to Buy Gategroup Successful
Published by China Daily, 8th July 2016
China's HNA Group said on Thursday the 63.6% of the voting rights and shares in Gategroup it now owns are sufficient for its takeover bid for the Swiss airline catering firm to succeed, waiving the minimum acceptance level it had set previously. "HNA is pleased about this interim result and remains confident that more shareholders of Gategroup will recognize the benefits of accepting the offer and therefore tender their shares into the offer during the additional acceptance period," the Chinese aviation and shipping conglomerate said in a statement. HNA stepped up its global expansion in April by agreeing an all-cash deal to buy Gategroup for USD 1.5 billion, a price some shareholders and analysts criticized at the time as too low. HNA said the additional acceptance period of ten trading days for the subsequent acceptance of the offer will start on 8 July and prospectively run until 21 July. The settlement of the offer is expected to occur toward the end of the third quarter or beginning of the fourth quarter 2016.

Shangri-La Hotel, Fuzhou Welcomes Jonas Amstad as GM
Published by China Daily, 2nd July 2016
Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts announces the appointment of Mr. Jonas Amstad as general manager of Shangri-La Hotel, Fuzhou in the capital city of Fujian province in the southeast of China. In this role, he will oversee hotel operations and lead the team in delivering quality and exceptional guest experiences at this property. Mr. Amstad, a Swiss national is fluent in German, French, English and Russian. Prior to this appointment, his 25-year experience spans several five-star international city hotels and resorts, including Sheraton Warsaw and Sheraton Oman, Park Hyatt & Hyatt Regency, Baku, Shangri-La Hotel and Resort, Fiji, Donbass Palace Hotel, Donetsk, Radisson Resort & SPA, Alushta, as well the Radisson Belorusskaya in Moscow.
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Legal / Trade / Consulting / Services

Project of Building Objective System for SSZEIP Officially Launch
Published by sszeip.com, 2nd July 2016
Industrial Investment Hotspots Briefing & International Cooperation Networking has been held in Pudong New Area Shanghai on 20 June. At the event, the Strategic Cooperation Agreement on Building Objective System for SSZEIP has been signed between Mr. An Jiang, Member of the CPC Zhenjiang New Area Working Committee, Director of SSZEIP Administrative Committee, and Thomas Holenstein, Chairman of the board and the founder of Swiss Generis AG. ZETDZ joins forces with Generis AG and EcoTEDA to research and construct Objective System for SSZEIP in the five years that involves in multi-dimensional indices of economic development, resource & energy, habitat and ecological environments. Combining with green development standard in Switzerland and European energy city, the system also aims to enhance green development and ecological civilization in ZETDZ, moreover to explore Zhenjiang Mode of international cooperative ecological park.

Swissnex China's Delegation Visits SSIP
Published by weixin.qq, 1st July 2016
On 23 June, Mr. Pascal Marmier, the Vice Consul General of Consulate General of Switzerland in Shanghai and the CEO of SWISSNEX China, led a delegation to Zhongshan, visited Tsuihang New District Planning Exhibition Center, Sino-Swiss (European) Industrial Park Innovation Center, SSIP International Apartments and related enterprises, and discussed innovation cooperation opportunites between Switzerland and Zhongshan. Mr. Hou Yibin, member of municipal party committee, Secretary of Torch Hi-tech Industrial Development Zone Party Committee, secretary of Tsuihang New District party committee, attended the symposium with representatives from Zhongshan Foreign and Overseas Chinese Affairs Bureau and Tsuihang New District government. Mr. Pascal Marmier highly appreciated for the construction of SSIP, living environment, innovation, entrepreneurial atmosphere in Zhonghsan and the strong service awareness of Zhongshan government, and would consider more exchanges and cooperation in Zhongshan in the near future.

“Resource Efficient and Cleaner Production” Global Pilot Project was launched in SSZEIP
Published by sszeip.com, 30th June 2016
After long-term and several rounds of investigations and negotiations, the Untied Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) has finally signed the contract with Jiangsu Scitury Allied Investment and Development Co., Ltd. (JSAID) in this March, initiating the project in Zhenjiang Economic and Technological Development Zone, while at the same time hiring Chinese Research Academy of Environment Science/Cleaner Production Center of Ministry of Environmental Protection (CRAES/China NCPC) for professional technical support. During the implementation, by co-establishing the “RECP (Zhenjiang) Hub”, featuring the upcoming RECP assessments, training, and thematic workshops for local enterprises, and the EIP-Industrial Synergies Sustainability Training for the government and industrial parks, UNIDO and JSAID will work together to improve the resource yields as well as environmental performance, and to optimize the habitat environment, towards the realization of Industrial and Ecological Synergies in ZETDZ, thus to become a demonstration for other economic and technological development zones in China as well as a “duplicable and referential sample for Chinese urbanization and industrialization”.
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