Two bidders competed to send a Chinese vase to a record CHF 5 million in Geneva. The pre-sale estimate for the piece was CHF 500 to 800.”Including the commission, the vase will cost the Asian buyer CHF 6.08 million (USD 6.1 million),” auctioneer Olivier Fichot told the AFP news agency. The auction house, Genève-Enchères, had listed the piece as a 23-inch tall vase with three blue dragons on a yellow background, possibly dating from the early 20th century yet with an 18th century Qianlong seal. The auctioneer said their estimate was conservative and that the piece was difficult to date accurately.Read more
CHANGZHOU, China, Sept. 30, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — On September 28, the Centre for International Economic and Technological Cooperation, a government unit under the aegis of China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, signed a strategic partnership with the municipal government of Changzhou, formally kicking off the construction of Sino-Swiss Industrial Park in Changzhou National Hi-Tech District.
The establishment of the park was the result of the Changzhou CPC Municipal Committee’s and the Changzhou city government’s proactive engagement in an initiative to strengthen ties between China and Switzerland. The initiative also helps to advance both “China Manufacturing 2025”, the Chinese government’s plan to move the country from the role as the world’s low-priced factory floor to one whose industrial leaders stand head and shoulders with their counterparts in the world’s developed countries, and Switzerland’s “Industry 4.0”, the Alpine country’s plan to take the lead across Europe in completing the fusion of industry and digitisation.Read more
Switzerland-based mining giant Glencore PLC will acquire assets in South Africa and Botswana from Chevron Global Energy Inc., after a similar deal between Chevron and Chinese oil behemoth Sinopec Group fell through earlier this year. Glencore will buy a 75% stake in Chevron South Africa Proprietary Ltd. and wholly acquire Chevron Botswana Proprietary Ltd., for a total of over USD 970 million, Glencore said in a statement on 6 October. Sinopec had announced in March that it would buy Chevron’s Botswana subsidiary and the 75% stake in the South Africa business for USD 900 million, after rounds of bidding that included offers from Glencore and France’s Total SA. The Chinese company had planned to rebrand Chevron’s Caltex gas stations in the two countries under Sinopec’s name. In April 2016, Sinopec sold a 40% stake in its investment arm, Sinopec International Petroleum Exploration and Production Corp. (SIPC), in a deal it said was intended to “increase its competitiveness and achieve sustainable, healthy development.” In August this year, SIPC said it would terminate its Addax Petroleum operations in Switzerland because of continued low oil prices. But Sinopec, together with China’s other “Big Three” oil companies — China National Petroleum Corp. and China National Offshore Oil Corp. — placed a vote of confidence in the global oil market this year when they announced plans to invest a combined RMB 371 billion (USD 54 billion) in 2017. “Sinopec does have a number of challenges to address domestically in both the upstream (declining assets) and downstream (competition from teapots),” an industry term for China’s privately-owned oil refineries, Virendra Chauhan, oil analyst at Energy Aspects, told Caixin.Read more
On 16 October, the Chinese Ambassador to Switzerland, Geng Wenbing, visited the headquarters of Nestlé in Vevey and held talks with Mr. Paul Bulcke, Chairman of Nestlé and CEO of Zone Asia Oceania and sub-Saharan Africa Ms. Wan Ling. Mr. Bulcke said that China is currently the second largest market for sales of Nestlé, and the development is very rapid. Belt and Road Initiative, the decentralization of government and a series of reforms bring great significance to both Nestlé and the whole world. Nestlé is pleased to see China’s strong economic growth and greater progress in government regulation. Also, Nestlé is confident in the future of China market. The Ambassador spoke highly of the participation of Nestlé into the development of Chinese economy. Ambassador Geng briefed the current situation of China’s economic development and said that after the Ninth National Congress of the Communist Party of China, we will further deepen reform and open up the market and provide more opportunities for Nestlé’s development in China. He expected that Nestle could seize the favorable opportunity and increase investment in Chinese market and make greater contribution in food safety, quality control, etc.
by eggplant in BFI
On 13 October 2017, the Federal Council submitted the agreements on the introduction of the automatic exchange of financial account information (AEOI) with Hong Kong and Singapore for consultation. The agreement with Hong Kong was signed by Switzerland on the same day, the agreement with Singapore had already been signed on 17 July 2017. The consultation will run until 27 January 2018. It is important for Switzerland’s financial sector that the same competitive conditions exist all over the world. The introduction of the AEOI with competing financial centres is of particular importance. Hong Kong and Singapore are two of the world’s leading financial centres. Based on specific bilateral agreements, the Federal Council intends to introduce the AEOI with Singapore and Hong Kong in 2018 and exchange data for the first time in 2019. In order to meet the time schedule set, the Federal Council has initially decided to introduce the AEOI with both countries provisionally from 1 January 2018. The committees responsible approved the provisional application of the agreements in June 2017. By law, the Federal Council has six months from the start of the provisional application to submit the matter to Parliament for approval. The Federal Council expects to submit the dispatch on both agreements for adoption in spring 2018. This will ensure that Parliament can deal with the proposal as part of the ordinary procedure.Read more
The new director of Corum and Eterna will take his functions next September, replacing Davide Traxler. Jérome Biard mentions his future Chinese bosses and explains why he gives up the idea of collaborating with Amazon for e-commerce. Officially, he has not yet taken over but Jérome Biard knows the two watch brands from La Chaux-de-Fonds (NE) and from Granges (SO) that he will take over in September very well. During the past eight years, he contributed to sell the two brands on emerging markets as general manager of LPI, a Russian company specialized in luxury goods distribution. Since 2013, the owner of Corum and Eterna is the Chinese businessman Kwok Lung Hon and his diversified group Citychamp. The two previous directors – Antonio Calce (2007-2014) and Davide Traxler (2015 – 2017) – will have stayed less than two years under this president. It’s time for Franco-Swiss Jérôme Biard (who worked for Vacheron Constantin, Cartier and Girard-Perregaux in the past) to take on the challenge.Read more
This is the 10th EY annual report on China’s listed banks. The purpose of this annual report is to provide an outlook on the direction of the future development of China’s banking industry based on observations of the businesses, operating models and regulatory environment of the 37 listed banks in mainland China. “2017 is an important year for the implementation of the ‘13th Five-Year Plan’ and a year for the continued deepening of supply-side structural reform. China’s banking industry is still undergoing critical transformation where both opportunities and challenges coexist. To cope with the complex and ever-changing environment, listed banks will continue to explore the path for transformation and development, and FinTech will inject new impetus into the shaping of future banking. In addition, banks should strengthen risk prevention and control during transformation to achieve long-term sustainable development”, said Jack Chan, Managing Partner of EY Financial Services in Greater China.Read more
Recently, ABB and the China national machinery and equipment Corporation (CMEC) signed a strategic cooperation agreement “ABB power and automation world” activities held in Hangzhou, to further deepen bilateral relations and cooperation, and work together to explore the global market. Under the agreement, both sides will give full play to their advantages and jointly explore the global power infrastructure projects, expand “one Belt one Road” overseas Engineering Procurement Construction (EPC) market. Dr. Chunyuan Gu, Senior Vice President of ABB Group, Chairman and President of ABB (China) Limited, said: “The ‘one Belt one Road’ initiative brings new opportunities for ABB and Chinese enterprises to further cooperate. Relying on ABB’s leading technology advantages and rich experience in project management, We are providing products, technologies and services that meet international standards for a growing number of Chinese companies, including CMEC. In the future, we will help our clients enhance project management and implementation through ABB Ability digital solutions, to create greater value, to achieve the win – win cooperation.”Read more
Forster is co-chief executive officer of Forster Rohner AG, a 113-year-old company in the eastern city of St. Gallen that produces fabric that can cost thousands of dollars per yard—including material he says was used in the dress British socialite Pippa Middleton wore at her wedding in May. Forster Rohner is among dozens of Swiss textile producers that have managed to survive, and even thrive, despite wages that are among the world’s highest and a currency that’s risen 50 percent against the euro since 2008. “It’s clear that we don’t think the strong franc is great,” says Forster, a great-grandson of the company’s founder. “But our creative brainpower really comes from our site in Switzerland.” The key is combining the country’s history of quality workmanship with its tradition of innovation: automating where it makes sense and doing only the most intricate pieces by hand—while exporting lower-value work to less expensive locales. The company employs 250 people in St. Gallen—where unemployment is just 2.5 percent—and has 640 workers in factories in China and Romania crafting material for lower-cost clothing. “It is encouraging to produce something unique in Switzerland that you can’t find elsewhere,” Forster says. “You can’t have China without St. Gallen, and vice versa. It’s a system in which each part has its own function. And the function of Switzerland is clear: driving innovation and design.”Read more
Swiss watches have always been at the top of the shopping list for Chinese overseas tourists, but would they be as passionate about niche designer brands from Switzerland? China is reported to be the fifth largest market for Switzerland tourism and its status is rising. However, Swiss brands overall have yet to establish themselves among Chinese customers. “At the moment, it (the presence) is not huge. It could be bigger. The market here is more and more important for them,” said Yannick Aellen, director of Mode Suisse. For example, Julian Zigerli, known for his avant-garde designs, had a short collaboration with Paris department store Galeries Lafayette’s outpost in Beijing three years ago. He says that communication has been difficult for small designer brands in China. While Swiss fashion brands are still a minority in China, they are on the radar of Chinese fashionistas who are avid social media users. Like Zigerli, Reichmuth found the street style in China to be unexpectedly inspiring. “They are very open,” she said. “I was amazed at the extravagant, crazy pieces you can find in the shops here. In Switzerland, people are very understated and simple. You want to fit in. Here people want to stand out with their outfit.”Meanwhile, Chinese designers are also tempted to test the waters overseas. “We want to make a good first impression,” said a Chinese designer, “to see how we can develop in each other’s country.”