Reader's Digest > 30 July - 12 August

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Reader's Digest, 30 July- 12 August

Swiss and Chinese Business Related News in Switzerland and China


Learning from each other: China-Switzerland
Published by, 11th August 2016
On an official visit to China, Swiss environment minister, Doris Leuthard, has applauded progress the Chinese are making to reduce air pollution. Her three-day visit included meetings with the Chinese Vice-President Li Yuanchao and several ministers. She made a stop in the south Chinese city of Shenzhen to see seven pilot projects that are part of an emissions trading scheme. A nationwide system is expected to be in place next year. In an address at the Swiss embassy in Beijing, the Swiss minister said China could learn from Switzerland’s experience with sustainable energy, particularly Swiss knowledge of hydroelectricity. She said China was still beset by traffic problems and air pollution, mentioning that the country was the world’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gases. But when questioned by on what changes she had noticed from her previous visits she answered that air quality had improved. Asked what Switzerland could learn from China, she said she was impressed by how quickly decisions are taken compared to the slow pace of change in Switzerland. “But the Chinese also make plans for the long-term, which I think is very good.”
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Swiss Companies in China: "New Normal" Working Well
Published by, 3rd August 2016
Is China still an attractive export destination? Yes, according to most Swiss companies. The slower economic growth in "new normal" mode is practically no problem for them. Euphoria about the Chinese economic wonder has settled down. A certain disillusionment has taken place, but this is still far removed from downheartedness, according to the current "Swiss Business in China" report. More than half of the companies surveyed intend to continue to expand their China exposure. Although the "new normal" this year indicates there will once again be modest growth for the Chinese economy of about 6.5%, most companies assume that they will maintain or even increase turnover and profits. Apart from the "new normality", another phenomenon is drawing attention: the competitive pressure of local companies is growing, although it is not yet critical. Thanks to their good reputation, high quality and the great trust they enjoy, Swiss companies remain well-positioned. This is especially the case since the general conditions continue to represent great challenges, but in the "new normal" mode and a more sober market environment, Swiss providers can bring their advantages and merits even better to bear.

2016 CEIBS China Business Survey
Published by, 30th July 2016
The Swiss Center of Shanghai and China Integrated are pleased to present the 2016 China Business Survey, conducted in partnership with CEIBS business school. The 2016 survey offers unique comparisons between foreign-invested and Chinese enterprises operating in China; this year’s survey also features a new analysis of Swiss and Chinese companies’ respective performances. For the third year in a row, the China Business Survey also includes a section dedicated to analyzing the business challenges and opportunities for small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) in China. The 2016 China Business Survey offers an important perspective on the experiences of managers working within a slow growth period. As the survey results indicate, the slowing growth of the Chinese economy has not hindered the ambitions of businesses, over 50% of all companies surveyed stated an intention to increase investments in China in 2016. Furthermore, sales and profit expectations remain stable across the board despite China’s slowing economic growth.
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I Understand Why China is Banning "Weird" Architecture, Says Jacques Herzog
Published by, 9th August 2016
Swiss architect Jacques Herzog has declared his support for plans by the Chinese government to curb the number of flamboyant and "weird" buildings in the country. Jacques Herzog – co-director of Swiss firm Herzog & de Meuron – said China's construction boom has allowed Western architects to use the country as a testing ground for projects that would not otherwise be built. But the architect behind Beijing's experimental Bird's Nest stadium said that it is time for the practice to stop. He supports plans by the Chinese government to ban "oversized, xenocentric and weird" buildings. "I understand the Chinese government today when they say 'stop weird architecture'," said Herzog, "because many came there and just did things they couldn't do in the west." "The stadium, for instance, we couldn't have done in the west – we always said that – but I think the stadium is a very, very serious attempt to combine contemporary aesthetic with very, very traditional ideas from China," he added. Herzog made the comments during a panel discussion on Chinese architecture hosted by Asia Society Switzerland.

A Taoist Center Prepares to Break Ground
Published by, 2nd August 2016
In recent years, Dr. Fabrice Jordan confesses to having seen many pairs of eyes widen at the mention of his project, unique in Switzerland, the center Taoist Ming Shan which will soon be ready to break ground in Bullet. Built mainly of wood and according to the dictates feng shui, the U-shaped building, close to the mountain and overlooking the lake, will include three practice rooms for body art. It will also be a library, a medical office, a temple, a shop, and dormitory rooms for about thirty people, and an internal restaurant with 60 seats. The center will accommodate anyone Ming Shan caress the desire for a spiritual retreat and will be an important component of the project relates to health prevention. The center Ming Shan is supported by local and regional authorities, but also by the tourism authorities. The opening is planned after 18 months of work for the second half of 2018. Eight working places will be created at first.
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Chinese Tourists Choose New Zealand over Europe amidst Terror Concerns
Published by, 10th August 2016
Recent terror attacks and the unresolved refugee situation have resulted in many European destinations taking a hit as Chinese visitors are being scared away from travelling to the continent. Not only have France and Belgium been experiencing sharp falls in arrivals, but even peaceful Switzerland received almost 20% fewer visitors from China in the second quarter of 2016 compared to 2015. Germany, which even suffered an attack involving Hong Kong tourists, managed a small growth of 4% in the first five months of 2016 compared to the previous year, partly because of the high percentage of Chinese business visitors. However, early market indicators show that, for the summer arrivals, the trend will fall into negative territory. Especially in the case of leisure travellers, Chinese tourists seem to be looking for a “safe bet” and prefer to go to seemingly less dangerous places situated far away from major global events – places such as New Zealand, for example.
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Engineering / Manufacturing

LafargeHolcim to Sell More Chinese Assets as CEO Aims to Boost Margins
Published by, 4th August 2016
LafargeHolcim Ltd., the world’s largest cement maker, agreed to sell some plants to Huaxin Cement Co. for CHF 208 million (USD 215 million), the company’s second asset sale in China this week as Chief Executive Officer Eric Olsen cuts debt and tries to boost profitability. The transaction with Huaxin includes most of the non-listed Chinese cement assets held by LafargeHolcim’s Lafarge China Cement Ltd. unit, the Jona, Switzerland-based company said in a statement Wednesday. Lafarge on Monday also agreed to sell a 56% stake in publicly traded Sichuan Shuangma Cement Co. to Tianjin Circle Enterprise for CHF 507 million. More than a year after the cement maker was forged from France’s Lafarge and Switzerland’s Holcim, Olsen is trying to deliver on profitability that was the underlying rationale for the merger after a global recession curbed demand for building materials. Delays in asset disposals and high-profile executive departures have eroded investor confidence at a time when competitors such as Heidelberg Cement AG are benefiting from improved demand in North America and Europe.

Sulzer to Supply Feedwater Pumps for Nuclear Reactor in China
Published by, 2nd August 2016
Sulzer has been awarded a contract for the delivery of main feedwater pumps and start-up feedwater pumps. The pumps will be installed in two nuclear reactors — Hualong No. 1 reactors — in China, owned by China Nuclear Power Engineering Company, Ltd. (CNPEC). Sulzer received this order in May 2016 and will complete the delivery of the equipment by the end of 2019. Sulzer will deliver six high-efficiency main feedwater pumps (HPTd), six booster pumps (HZB), as well as two start-up feedwater pumps (GSG). Electric motors of 11 600 KW and 1400 KW, respectively, will drive the pumps. Sulzer Suzhou, China, will conduct the manufacturing, testing, packaging, installation supervision, and commissioning. The pumps will be installed in the Fangchenggang power plant, which is located in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in China. CNPEC developed the Hualong No. 1 nuclear technology, which they planned as the main nuclear technology for China to export.
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Bank / Finance / Insurance

Swiss Re Partners with Chinese Government in Reinsurance Scheme
Published by, 4th August 2016
Swiss Re announced a public-private partnership with the government of Heilongjiang Province, China and the Sunlight Agriculture Mutual Insurance Company of China for a reinsurance protection scheme. As communicated by Swiss Re, the scheme – which covers 28 poverty-stricken counties in Northeast China – is the first that the Chinese government establishes using commercial insurance programmes to protect farmers against financial risks from natural catastrophes, and it is also the first anti-poverty insurance deal in the country. The scheme provides financial compensation for harm to lives and property of farming families and covers loss of income after floods, excessive rain, drought and low temperatures for a total of up to USD 348 million. Swiss Re global partnerships Chairman Martyn Parker said: “This is a real innovation and a groundbreaking success in supporting China to protect against fiscal fluctuation caused by natural disasters. It has also set up an excellent example of public private partnership in mitigating natural catastrophe risks with insurance programs.”

Equity Sell-off Next Year as China Starts Printing Money
Published by, 4th August 2016
Global equities were set to enter a difficult period in the second half of 2017 and a confluence of three major factors would see a sell-off in stock markets, according to analysts at Credit Suisse. "(We) anticipate a sell-off in equity markets," an equity research team, led by Andrew Garthwaite, at Credit Suisse said in a note on Friday morning. Credit Suisse suggested that fears over a credit binge in China would have reached a head by mid-2017. It believed that Chinese lenders may have already hit a loan-to-deposit ratio of 100%. This ratio essentially shows a bank's total loans against its total deposits. A high number meant that a bank might not have enough liquidity to cover any unforeseen funding needs. Credit Suisse also believed that equity investors would have at this time discounted any fillip from a trend in fiscal policy over monetary policy. The latter had seen central banks buy up bonds in large quantities which directly benefited the fixed income market.
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Hospitality / Tourism / Retails

Nestlé Sponsored the 19th Beijing Music Festival
Published by, 3rd August 2016
Nestlé (China) Ltd. continued the sponsorship of 19th Beijing Music Festival. The new agreement signed on August 5 2013 to extend by three years Nestlé's sponsorship of this international music festival. Nestlé has been an extended sponsor of the Beijing Music Festival for 17 years since 2000. This year's Beijing Music Festival has around 30 classic operas, symphonies and performances set to take place over the coming 3-weeks. Among the shows will be the opera "A Midsummer Night's Dream" by British composer, conductor and pianist Benjamin Britten. Tu Song, director of the Beijing Music Festival, says they've contracted a big name to help put on that show. "This year we have worked with Festival d'Aix en Provence to stage a Britten version of A Midsummer Night's Dream, and we have invited world famous drama director Robert Carsen to work with us. This year is the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death, and we try to make something new under an old title." Mozart's opera "Giovanni" is also expected to be one of the other major highlights of this year's Beijing Music Festival. Organizers say this year's event is going to be bolstered by more 3D technology to help make the experience more exciting.

DKSH Brings Germany’s No. 1 Male Hair Care Brand Alpecin to China
Published by, 30th July 2016
DKSH Business Unit Healthcare, the leading Market Expansion Services provider for healthcare companies seeking to grow their business in Asia, will provide registration, importation, sales, distribution, logistics and collection services for Dr. Wolff’s products in China. The business relationship will start by launching three Alpecin products, which will be sold at Watsons exclusively. Alpecin is the number one men’s shampoo against hair loss in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Great Britain, Romania and Hong Kong. The foundation of the relationship between DKSH and Dr. Wolff was laid in 2013, when the companies signed an agreement to introduce and market Alpecin in Hong Kong. With a strong sales record, the successful relationship was extended to as well include the Plantur female hair care product range.
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Legal / Trade / Consulting / Services

SSIP Holds Investment Promotion Meeting
Published by, 10th August 2016
August 9th, SSIP Investment Promotion Office held a promotion meeting in Tsuihang New District Planning Center. Mr. He Hui, director of Tsuihang New District Administrative Committee, Mr. Xu Xing, director of SSIP Investment Promotion Office, and related staffs of Tsuihang New District government attended the meeting. The attendance of the other side included RayVio Ltd. from USA, iView Technology Ltd. from Hong Kong, Zhongshan Vatti Electric Appliance Technology Ltd. and Tsing Capital from Beijing. In the meeting, Mr. Xu Xing gave a detailed introduction on the competitive advantages and investment environment of SSIP. Representatives from different companies presented their projects and their investment demands. Mr. He Hui said, Tsuihang New District is aiming to introduce high-tech projects and high-level specialists. We welcome companies that fits Tsuihang’s developing orientation to settle down, and the government will provide with considerate service.

The Chinese Association for Science and Technology in Switzerland Signed an Agreement with Gui’an New District, Guizhou Province
Published by, 5th August 2016
The Chinese Association for Science and Technology in Switzerland signed an agreement with Gui’an New District, Guizhou Province on Sino-Swis innvoation park to establish a stragedy partnership. The Chinese Association for Science and Technology in Switzerland (CASTS) was founded in July 2004 in Bern Switzerland. CASTS is a non-political, non-profit and well recognized organization among Chinese professionals in Switzerland. This comprehensive cooperation agreement is supported by Swiss Embassy, ​​the Ministry of Education and International Exchange Division. Both sides will collaborate in various fields, such as telecommunication, precision manufacturing, biomedicine, financial services and other high-tech industries. They agreed to establish a Sino-Swiss innovation platform for SMEs as well as a platform to sharing high-tech and big data. Guian New Area is located between Guiyang and Anshun, Southwest China's Guizhou province. The planned area of 1,795 square kilometers covers 20 towns or townships of four counties (or county-level cities or districts) in the two cities.
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