Sino-Swiss Business News
Mark Schneider, Nestlé CEO, commented: “In the first half of the year, we delivered strong organic growth and a significant increase in underlying earnings per share. Our local teams implemented price increases in a responsible manner. Volume and product mix were resilient, based on our strong brands, differentiated offerings and leading market positions. We limited the impact of unprecedented inflationary pressures and supply chain constraints on our margin development through disciplined cost control and operational efficiencies. At the same time, investments behind capital expenditure, digitalization and sustainability increased significantly. We are focused on creating shared value over both the short and long term. Growing food insecurity around the world and heightened climate concerns, following an increase in unusual weather patterns, underlines the importance of this strategic direction. Good for you and good for the planet are the two key strategic pillars that our company pursues in an unwavering manner, even in the face of significant short-term challenges.” Regarding Zone Greater China, Organic growth was 2.3%, with RIG of 1.6%. Pricing reached 0.7%, turning positive in the second quarter. Foreign exchange had a positive impact of 3.8%. Reported sales in Zone Greater China increased by 6.0% to CHF 2.7 billion. Zone Greater China reported low single-digit organic growth, impacted by COVID-19-related movement restrictions. Growth was supported by robust demand in e-commerce channels and continued innovation.
SIX officially launched the Swiss GDR-leg of the China-Switzerland Stock Connect with the participation of senior government representatives from China and Switzerland. In addition to the official launch celebrations, the first Chinese companies aim to list their Global Depository Receipts GDRs this afternoon and trading is expected to start in the newly established GDR trading segment on SIX Swiss Exchange. Since signing the Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) in 2019, SIX has been working closely with the Shanghai and Shenzhen Stock Exchanges to establish a Stock Connect offering that is equally accessible for Chinese and Swiss market participants. Stock Connect, which provides a cross-listing framework between Chinese and Swiss exchanges, allows companies from each market to access investor pools in the other market and raise capital by issuing and listing GDRs on SIX Swiss Exchange and Chinese Depository Receipts on the Chinese exchanges. Stock Connect is another important step for the Chinese financial sector in opening up bringing the capital markets of China and Switzerland even closer together. At the same time, it will offer new attractive opportunities to investors as well as companies in both countries.
UBS Group AG plans to set up a wholly owned mutual fund business in China, two people with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters, as the Swiss bank seeks to expand its footprint in the country’s USD 3.9 trillion retail fund market. UBS aims to launch the China fund unit in about two years, the people said. The bank’s asset management arm began hiring key personnel in recent months for the planned business, including a head of the company, one of them said. Strong impetus for the endeavour comes from the top. Ralph Hamers, UBS chief executive since November 2020, is willing to make new bets in China partly due to a success there enjoyed by the bank he previously ran, ING, said the second source. The new activity will expand a UBS presence in China that already includes a mutual fund joint venture and a private fund business. It comes amid intensifying competition in the mutual fund industry in the world’s second-largest economy, heightened by the scrapping of foreign ownership caps two years ago.
After the disruption to schooling wrought by the coronavirus pandemic, Switzerland’s official schools abroad are looking to the future. Headteachers and officials from the 18 Swiss schools abroad are meeting in the canton of Thurgau from July 11-13 for their first full annual conference in Switzerland in two years. More than 100 people will be there for the official day, which is open to guests, on July 13. Thurgau is the patron canton of the Colegio Pestalozzi, the Swiss school in Lima, Peru, which has been among the worst affected schools of the network during the pandemic. It was on distance learning for over one year. Most of the other schools, which are spread among Latin America, Asia and parts of Europe, are “fairly back to normal”, says Barbara Sulzer Smith, the head of educationsuissen, the organisation which represents Swiss schools abroad. Interior Minister Alain Berset was able to see the situation for himself when he visited the Swiss School in Rome in May this year. “After lockdown and distance learning – mastered with dedication by the Swiss school in Rome – it is all the nicer to celebrate its 75th anniversary here,” he tweeted afterwards. Only the newest Swiss school abroad, in Beijing, had to once again go back to distance leanring this year, educationsuisse’s Sulzer Smith said. Schools in the Chinese capital were shut down in May amid a spike in locally transmitted Covid cases.
On July 1, the Militzer & Münch Group took into operation the ninth M&M branch office in China. With the new office in Shenyang, the logistics company now also covers the northeast of the country. After the opening of a branch in Chongqing at the beginning of the year, the presence in Shenyang is another milestone in Militzer & Münch’s growth strategy. With this move, the company is consolidating its network of local experts: M&M now counts 100 employees in China. Branch manager Colon Sun will head and develop the new location. A specialist for the market in Northeast China, he has been active in the international freight forwarding industry for eleven years. “In Colon Sun, we have won an experienced expert for our new branch office,” says Andreas Löwenstein, Militzer & Münch Regional Managing Director Asia / Far East. “We are convinced that he and his will be able to further expand our local business. With our presence in the northeast of the country, we can now also offer our customers diversified, high-quality services in that area.” Nine million people live in the metropolis of Shenyang, the capital of Liaoning Province and one of China’s most important heavy industry centers. With its proximity to the modern port city of Dalian, its links to the country’s three northeastern provinces and to the neighboring economic zones to the south and east, Shenyang is a major transportation hub.
Beyond the reestablishment of business ties in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, building cultural bridges between Switzerland and China is as important as ever, according to Felix Sutter, president of the Swiss-Chinese Chamber of Commerce (SCCC). Mr. Sutter has been head of the SCCC since 2015 and a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Switzerland for 19 years. “We have over the last 30, 40 years woven a piece of fabric together. We have interconnections in the business processes, in the manufacturing processes, in logistics, in culture, everywhere. I think the most important thing to do right now is to listen and not to talk first,” Sutter told Xinhua in an interview recently.
In light of the current situation of the COVID-19 pandemic, the China Embassy in Switzerland and the Chinese Consulate General in Zurich and for the principality of Liechtenstein have mad adjustments to the requirements for Chinese visa application. Foreign nationals, who are approved by the relevant competent Chinese authorities to go to China for employment, can apply for Z visa. Foreign nationals applying for resumption of work and production in China, including those who go China for long-term work or short-term visit in areas such as economy, trade, education, science, technology, sports and culture, can apply for visas with invitation letters issued by the relevant units in China, which is restored to the material requirements before the pandemic. Family members (including spouses, parents, children under the age of 18 and parents of spouses) of those foreign nationals going to China for resumption of work and production can apply for S1, S2, Q1 or Q2 visas. Foreign family members (including spouses, parents, spouse’s parents, children and their spouses, brothers and sisters, grandparents and grandchildren) of Chinese citizens or foreign nationals with permanent residence status in the Mainland of China can apply for visas for reunion or family visit. Visa applicants shall be fully vaccinated before entering China and the COVID-19 vaccine should be approved for emergency use or licensed for use by China or WHO. Please visit the website of the Chinese Embassy in Switzerland and the Chinese Consulate General in Zurich for other regulations and processes of visa applications.
Chinese astronaut Jing Haipeng held an online exchange with university students from China and Switzerland on Thursday, as part of a Sino-Swiss space science meeting aiming to boost cooperation. Jing Haipeng, head of the Astronaut Corps and deputy director of China’s manned space program’s astronaut system, was the first Chinese astronaut to have undertaken three separate space missions in crewed spacecrafts Shenzhou 7, Shenzhou 9 and Shenzhou 11. Former Swiss astronaut Claude Nicollier have also shared his ideas in this meeting. Claude was the first Swiss astronaut to have flown on four space shuttle missions, including two servicing missions to the Hubble Space Telescope. The two shared their experience in space flight and talked about their understanding and feelings of space exploration, unveiling the mystery of space flight and cosmic exploration for the participants. They also shared their impressive missions and space experiments while interacting with Chinese and Swiss university students, inspiring and motivating young students to take passion in science, pursue their dreams and explore the unknown. The interaction was part of the Sino-Swiss space science and technology cooperation online meeting, which was co-sponsored by China science and technology exchange center and the Swiss museum of transport, and gathered more than 100 participants from universities, research institutions and exchange promotion agencies from both countries.
At the beginning of July, Ms. Conny Camenzind has left Chengdu upon completion of her tour in the southwest of China. With her departure, the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs decided to temporarily close the Consulate General in Chengdu until early October 2022. The lack of flights in and out of China make it difficult to achieve staff rotation as planned in the Swiss Diplomatic and Consular Representations in China. Additionally, many planned public diplomacy events cannot be held and their Swiss partners cannot travel to China for lack of flights and strict centralized quarantine. If you have any questions that you would usually address to this Consulate General in Chengdu, please send it during the next months to firstname.lastname@example.org. The colleagues at the Embassy of Switzerland in Beijing will be in charge until the reopening currently scheduled for October 5, 2022, after the designated successor has arrived and has gone through quarantine. The new Consul General and the team of the Consulate General of Switzerland in Chengdu are looking forward to serve you again in the Fall of 2022.
China International Capital Corp.’s U.K. division became the first Chinese bank to become a member of the Swiss exchange, the investment bank said in a press release Friday. CICC UK, which was set up in 2009, is the central platform the investment bank uses for cross-border investment and financing services for its clients from Europe, the Middle East and Africa which are doing business in China, and for Chinese clients seeking cross-border investments in and financing from those regions, the release said. Xinhan Xia, CEO of CICC UK, said becoming a member of SIX Swiss Exchange will allow the bank to better connect the capital markets and investors across China, Switzerland and Europe. In the statement, Xinhan said the step marked a «key milestone» in CICC’s European and international expansion. CICC provides financial services to corporates, institutions and individuals globally, including in the equities, private equity, asset management and wealth management segments. SIX Swiss Exchange is Switzerland’s main stock exchange, with services in other securities, such as bonds and derivatives.