Reader's Digest > 23 December 2016 - 13 January 2017

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Reader's Digest, 22 December 2016 - 13 January 2017

Swiss and Chinese Business Related News in Switzerland and China

BILATERAL RELATIONS

China’s Head of State Xi Jinping to Make State Visit Next Week
Published by admin.ch, 6th January 2017
As a sign of the ever closer political and economic ties between Switzerland and China, the Federal Council led by President Doris Leuthard will receive the Chinese President, XI Jinping, for a state visit to Switzerland next week. The program for the visit begins on Sunday, 15 January, with the official speeches and a gala dinner, which President Xi Jinping will attend with his wife Peng Liyuan. Talks between the Swiss and Chinese delegations are scheduled for Monday. It is planned that the official talks will involve an exchange on world trade, the global financial system, the environment and climate protection and the situation in and around Syria. On bilateral issues, the focus will be on cooperation on economic and scientific matters, cooperation in the financial sector and on cultural matters, on human rights and in the context of the UN and on environment, climate and energy. In addition to President Leuthard and President Xi Jinping, members of both governments will take part in the talks. As part of the program for the visit, a round table is scheduled to take place on Monday with representatives of the Swiss business community.

Xi Jinping to Make First World Economic Forum Appearance in Davos
Published by todayonline.com, 5th January 2017
Chinese President Xi Jinping plans to attend the World Economic Forum in Davos later this month, in what will be the first time a Chinese president takes part in the annual gathering of global leaders in the Swiss resort town, a source involved in arrangements said on 4 January. The 17-20 January meeting’s theme is “Responsive and Responsible Leadership” and discussions are expected to focus on issues such as the incoming US presidency of Mr. Donald Trump. Mr. Trump, whose inauguration will be on 20 January, is likely to miss the forum making Mr. Xi’s attendance the event’s highlight. Planning is underway for Mr. Xi to attend the Davos meeting during his visit to Switzerland in mid-January, the source said. The World Economic Forum secretariat is scheduled to announce next Tuesday the official list of participants and program for this year’s Davos forum. Among other world leaders, British Prime Minister Theresa May and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte are considering attending the meeting, while German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande are expected to skip the event this year, according to Reuters news service.

Pioneering Spirit Shapes China-Switzerland Ties -- Swiss Ambassador
Published by people.cn, 5nd January 2017
A pioneering spirit has always shaped and will further guide Switzerland-China ties, Swiss Ambassador to China Jean-Jacques de Dardel told Xinhua in an exclusive interview. Chinese President Xi Jinping will pay a state visit to Switzerland from 15 to 18 January, attending activities including the 47th World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos, the Foreign Ministry announced Tuesday. The two countries established an innovative strategic partnership during then-Swiss President Johann Schneider-Ammann's state visit to China in April 2016, the first China has developed with a foreign country. "This new partnership is not surprising and certainly rational," said de Dardel. Innovation is a top priority among the five development concepts outlined in China's 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-2020), the four others being coordination, green development, opening up and sharing.

Xi Congratulates Doris Leuthard on Taking Office as Swiss President
Published by ecns.cn, 2nd January 2017
Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory message to Doris Leuthard on her taking office as president of the Swiss Confederation for 2017. In the message, Xi said the development of China-Switzerland relations has gained a sound momentum. The two sides' mutual political trust has been constantly consolidated, pragmatic cooperation in various fields, such as economy, trade and finance has been continuously deepened, and people-to-people and cultural exchanges are increasingly brisk. Xi also said that he attaches great importance to the development of the China-Switzerland ties and is willing to work with Leuthard to enrich the innovative strategic partnership between China and Switzerland, and to lift the bilateral relations to a higher level. On 7 December, the Swiss parliament elected Doris Leuthard to take on the rotating one-year presidency for 2017.
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BUSINESS NEWS

APR Business is Expanding in China with SwitzAge®
Published by financialcontent.com, 9th January 2017
APR Applied Pharma Research., the Swiss, independent developer of science driven, patent protected healthcare products and the Chinese company, Enterprise Innovation Ltd., announce they have entered into an exclusive partnership agreement for the promotion, marketing and distribution of an innovative, Swiss made range of supplements targeting adult and mature people under the brand SwitzAge® in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau. SwitzAge® is the first Swiss range of scientific proven solutions, all formulated and produced in Switzerland, which aim at enhancing adult and mature people quality of life by targeting healthcare needs to enable them to realize their potential for physical, social and mental well-being throughout the life course. SwitzAge® line is made of 8 food supplements, whose development was inspired from a patient-centric and holistic health approach to provide the right answers for body and mind enhancement, by improving physical energy extent as well as the overall balance in terms of memory, concentration and sleep quality, along with a proper differentiation per gender.

ICBC Expected to Enter Switzerland
Published by weixin.qq.com, 10th January 2017
A second Chinese bank is expected to expand to Swiss territory in the near future. At that point, the largest Chinese financial organization will have its overseas subsidiary in Switzerland. Another large Chinese bank is expected to expand to Swiss territory. Yves Mirabaud, president of Swiss Private Bankers Association and Fondation Genève Place Financière, confirmed the intelligence in an interview with the Swiss-headquartered global finance journal L'Agefi on 30 November 2016. Media have placed high odds on the second bank in question being none other than ICBC (Industrial and Commercial Bank of China). Estimating from the balance sheets, the Chinese multinational bank is now the largest bank in the world with branches in 12 European capitals. At the moment, China Construction Bank (CCB) is the only Chinese bank with a presence in Switzerland. The bank opened its Zurich branch in January 2016. Is Geneva therefore the inferior candidate, proving less attractive as an international financial center? Yves Mirabaud disagrees. According to him, Geneva has extraordinary capabilities in private and corporate asset management. It also enjoys a stellar global reputation in commodity trading financing.
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CULTURE & SOCIETY

China-Themed Book Exhibition in Geneva Entices Before Xi's Visit
Published by chinadaily.com.cn, 10th January 2017
Over 6.2 million copies of President Xi Jinping’s book The Governance of China have been distributed worldwide since its release two years ago, Minister of the State Council Information Office Jiang Jianguo said. "The book has steadily attracted worldwide attention and more than 6.2 million copies have already been distributed in different languages," Jiang revealed when he addressed a launch ceremony on a global China-themed book exhibition in Geneva. Jiang said the book’s distribution volume has already set a record, surpassing all other Chinese leaders’ works since the reform and opening up from the late 1970s. The book exhibition, which will last one month, was launched the day before China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs officially announced Xi’s upcoming visit to Switzerland from 15 to 18 January. "President Xi will be discussing with his Swiss counterpart on how to upgrade relations to a new level and the visit will be of landmark importance to the region and the world," said Jiang. In addition to beefing up trade relations, China and Switzerland will announce new measures in boosting cultural exchanges, tourism and financial cooperation during the visit.

Six Sensational ‘Year of the Rooster’ Watches for the Chinese New Year
Published by thetoptier.net, 6th January 2017
Today we bring you a comprehensive look at the top luxury watches designed to celebrate the upcoming Chinese New Year beginning on 28 January, 2017. This year begins the year of the rooster, and, five top brands unveil six sensational Chinese zodiac watches. The rooster is the 10th sign in the Chinese zodiac (and was last honored in 2005). The rooster is generally aligned with loyalty, a sociable and friendly (albeit, a bit bossy) nature and with a punctuality that is bound to impress. This boisterous bird promptly calls out dawn and does so while puffing his chest, ruffling his colorful feathers and proudly showing off his scarlet red comb and waddle. This year the luxury brands that salute the bugler bird include Ulysse Nardin, Jaquet Droz, Chopard, Piaget and Vacheron Constantin – brands known for unveiling an annual timepiece that blends Swiss craftsmanship, Chinese lore and a host of métiers d’arts. Interestingly enough, each brand has depicted the rooster in a decidedly different mode.
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GENERAL INTEREST

China and Switzerland See Steady Growth of Bilateral Tourism Flow
Published by cri.cn, 10th January 2017
Official figures from Switzerland suggest the country is becoming a favored destination for Chinese travelers in Europe, while China remains a popular choice for Swiss travelers making their way to Asia. Statistics from the Swiss government show that 2015 saw a 33% increase in the number of hotel bookings by Chinese tourists. It is part of a trend that has been taking place over the past decade. China has for the first time become the fourth largest source of tourists for Switzerland, behind only Germany, the United States and the United Kingdom. Simon Bosshart, an official with Switzerland Tourism, says finding a common link with Chinese visitors has become a key strategy in promoting Switzerland. "With the Beijing Olympics in 2022, the interest in winter sports is clearly rising in China. We are proud to say that our resorts are more and more ready to welcome Chinese guests in an appropriate manner. For example, we have 19 ski resorts which offer one-day ski experiences out of this winter. These are experiences for absolute beginners who want to give it the first try. Another example, ten resorts are providing Chinese ski instructors upon previous requests of booking with Chinese-speaking ski lessons."
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INDUSTRIES

Engineering / Manufacturing

ChemChina, Syngenta Submit Remedy Proposals to EU Antitrust Watchdog
Published by reuters.com, 10th January 2017
China National Chemical Corp (ChemChina) and Swiss pesticides and seeds group Syngenta AG have proposed remedies to the European Union's competition watchdog to address concerns over their USD 43 billion merger agreement. The European Commission's website showed "commitments" submitted on Jan. 9, which typically means the parties have proposed remedies such as asset divestment or specific product pricing. It did not elaborate on the nature of the pair's commitments. "Details of the remedy proposals are confidential," a spokesman for state-owned ChemChina told Reuters. Syngenta could not be immediately reached for comment. The Commission began investigating ChemChina's takeover of Syngenta in October, saying they had not allayed concerns about potentially unfair competitive advantages. The deal has already been approved by regulators in several markets including the United States and Australia. The Commission's concerns are widely seen as the last major regulatory hurdle.

TE Connectivity named one of China’s 50 Most Innovative Companies of 2016 by Fast Company China
Published by automotiveworld.com, 4th January 2017
TE Connectivity has been named one of China’s 50 Most Innovative Companies for 2016 by Fast Company China. “We are honored to be recognized amongst the most innovative companies in China,” said Chao Zhang, TE Connectivity global vice president and president of TE in China. “TE Connectivity has been leading the field of connectivity for 75 years and we are committed to driving innovation in China, helping engineers bring amazing new ideas to life.” China’s 50 Most Innovative Companies is an annual award hosted by globally renowned business publication Fast Company’s Chinese issue. Every year, Fast Company China invites a panel with experts from different industry backgrounds to analyze more than 800 companies from the perspectives of innovation, leadership, innovation value, design, and technology, aiming to identify the top 50 most innovative companies in China. Credited by Fast Company China for “enabling innovation from concept to mass production through intelligent and reliable connector and sensor solutions,” TE has always been at the forefront of innovation – inventing the sensors and connectors that advance how people live, move, make things and communicate. This is also a great testament of TE’s strong presence and commitment to the China market.
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Bank / Finance / Insurance

Morgan Stanley and UBS Could be about to Raise Their Shares in Chinese Joint Ventures
Published by fortune.com, 9th January 2017
Morgan Stanley and UBS Group AG are set to raise holdings in their separate Chinese securities joint ventures to 49%, people with direct knowledge of the developments said on Monday. China allowed foreign banks to boost share holdings in securities joint ventures to a maximum 49% in 2012 from the previous cap of a third to help modernize the country's capital markets and boost capital flows into the country. Foreign investment banks with securities joint ventures in China, however, have not as yet raised their stakes as most of the ventures were small or struggling to break even due to sluggish onshore deals. But the prospect of China moving soon to allow investment banks to own majority stakes in their Chinese securities joint ventures, and strong deals momentum, have encouraged some foreign banks to explore raising their holdings, the sources said. Swiss bank UBS, which registered its Chinese securities joint venture in 2006, is in talks to raise its stake in UBS Securities to 49% from 25%, two separate sources told Reuters.
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Hospitality / Tourism / Retails

Nestlé Savoring Yunnan Coffee Market Boom as Demand Rises
Published by chinadaily.com.cn, 29th December 2016
Pu'er, where one of the most famous Chinese tea varieties grows, is now gradually expanding into Arabica beans and building itself into China's coffee capital. Having only been introduced to the land around 100 years ago, coffee is generally considered a foreign drink in China. It is usually associated with Western brands such as Starbucks, Costa Coffee, Dunkin' Donuts and Nestlé sachets. But to many people's surprise, Yunnan province in Southwest China has been slowly building up its coffee bean empire since the 1980s. It has become a rising bean supplier in both the domestic and international markets. According to Nestlé, one of the world's biggest coffee producers, Yunnan is now able to supply all the coffee products in the Chinese market, including soluble coffee drinks and Nespresso capsules, with its high-quality Arabica beans. "Arabica is a refined bean and very difficult to grow. It only grows in mountain areas and in last 30 years Yunnan has built a very good profile," said Reinhold Jakobi, managing director of Nestlé Food and Beverage, Greater China Region. "There is a very specific taste to the coffee. It's more delicate and refreshing."
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Legal / Trade / Consulting / Services

China Legal Briefing No. 255
Published by wenfei.com, 11th January 2017
The China Legal Briefing 255 was released. In this briefing, you can read: preliminary review of land use for construction projects; laws re. environmental implication; stricter supervision for individual purchase of foreign currencies; regulations from the supreme court regarding the online judicial auctions and new guiding rules for listing companies in several industries.

SwissCham Night 2016 by SwissCham Beijing
Published by 5starplusdesign.com, 24th December 2016
On December 9 2016, SwissCham Beijing hosted the 2nd edition of "SwissCham Night" at Hilton Hotel Beijing. 5 Star Plus Retail Design acted as proud visual sponsor at the event, which both celebrated the end of yet another successful business year for Swiss companies in China as well as the 20 years anniversary since the chamber's foundation. As visual sponsor, 5 Star Plus Retail Design developed the event's visual identity including the design of the key visual, backdrop, menu, tickets, and signage, among others. The creation of a festive atmosphere was important; further inspiration for the event design concept was the timeline from 1996 to 2016. 5 Star Plus Retail Design is looking forward to celebrating the next exciting 20 years of SwissCham in China.
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