Viewing posts categorised under: Bilateral Relations

SCCC President Calls for Strengthening Sino-Swiss Trade, Cultural Ties

by swisschambei in Bilateral Relations

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.  [Watch the video]

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Notice on the Adjustment of Requirements for Chinese Visa Applications

by swisschambei in Bilateral Relations

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.

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Temporary Closure of Consulate General of Switzerland in Chengdu until October 4, 2022

by swisschambei in Bilateral Relations

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 beijing@eda.admin.ch. 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.

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Switzerland’s Neutrality Policy in the Spotlight After it Joins EU Sanctions Against Russia

by swisschambei in Bilateral Relations

Switzerland, known for its neutral status in foreign relations for over two centuries, has recently come under spotlight after it sided with the European Union in imposing sanctions against Moscow and its leaders over the Ukraine war. The move has triggers questions about the future of country’s policy of neutrality. In an interview with Caixin, Swiss Ambassador to China Bernardino Regazzoni said neutrality doesn’t mean indifference, and that a neutral state has the right to choose political positions and can stad up for universal values.

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Special Representative of the Chinese Government on Korean Peninsula Affairs Liu Xiaoming Visits Switzerland

by swisschambei in Bilateral Relations

On 14 April 2022, Special Representative of the Chinese Government on Korean Peninsula Affairs Liu Xiaoming met Livia Leu, State Secretary at the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs in Bern. The two sides exchanged views on the situation on the Korean Peninsula. Chinese Ambassador to Switzerland Wang Shiting attended the meeting. Liu Xiaoming elaborated on China’s position on the Korean Peninsula issue. He underscored that China does not want to see escalation of tension on the Peninsula and calls on relevant parties to stay cool-headed, exercise restraint and resume meaningful dialogue at an early date. He also commended the mediation efforts made by Switzerland for resolving the Peninsula issue and welcomed Switzerland to continue to play a constructive role. Leu appreciated the important role played by China in promoting the political settlement of the Peninsula issue. She echoed the point that relevant parties should stay cool-headed, exercise restraint and resolve the issue through diplomacy. She said that Switzerland will continue to play a positive role for the political settlement of the Peninsula issue and maintain close communication with China in this regard. On 13 April, Liu Xiaoming visited the renowned Geneva Centre for Security Policy(GCSP) and exchanged views with Director Thomas Greminger and other GCSP experts over the Korean Peninsula situation and other international issues of mutual interest.

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Swiss Banking on China’s Winter Olympics Legacy

by swisschambei in Bilateral Relations

Switzerland Tourism, the national marketing and sales organization for the Alpine country, expects to reap long-term benefits from the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games, betting on Chinese tourists to hit the slopes in their home country and in the Alps soon, a top executive says. Simon Bosshart, head of Markets East at Switzerland Tourism, tells Xinhua that the Beijing Games have opened up massive business opportunities for the landlocked, mountainous country, which is one of the world’s top destinations for winter sports. “For us, the Beijing Olympics have started far earlier than just this February. We saw this craze for winter sports coming a decade ago. We started to promote such offerings intensively 10 years ago,” he says. “All these preparatory years of the Olympics have, of course, massively fertilized the interest of the Chinese in winter sports.” As of October 2021, over 346 million Chinese people have pursued winter sports activities since Beijing’s successful Winter Olympic bid in 2015, far exceeding the country’s initial goal, according to China’s National Bureau of Statistics. The number of people pursuing winter sports is expected to surpass 50 million by 2025, according to the government’s 2016-25 development plan for the sector.

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2021: Swiss Exports Soar to a New High

by swisschambei in Bilateral Relations

While the COVID-19 pandemic cast a massive shadow over Swiss foreign trade in 2020, it proved to be extremely robust in 2021. Exports grew by 15.2% to a new record high, while imports climbed by 10.1%. The difference in the pace of growth between exports and imports caused the trade surplus to rise to a substantial CHF 58.7 billion. The Swiss export industry sold more goods in all three major economic areas. Double-digit growth rates were observed in deliveries to Europe (+18.1%, or +21.9 bn) and North America (+17.0%, or +7.4 bn). Shipments to Asia were also up by 9.0%, or CHF 4.4 billion. In the case of Asia, the increase in exports to Hong Kong (+23.0%), China (new record), Japan and Singapore was significant. In Europe, Spain stood out with a rise of CHF 5.1 billion. The cumulative increase in exports to Germany, France and Italy amounted to CHF 9.2 billion. Meanwhile, sales to the United States expanded by CHF 7.4 billion, or +18.8%, thereby reaching a new record level. At the same time, 2021 saw the United States replace Germany as the most important buyer of Swiss products for the first time since 1954.

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Swiss to Send Official Representative to Beijing Olympics

by swisschambei in Bilateral Relations

A member of the Swiss government will in all likelihood travel to Beijing next month for the opening of the Winter Olympics. At its meeting on Wednesday, the seven ministers agreed in principle that one of them would travel with the Swiss delegation to represent the country at the Games, which begin on February 4, the government spokesman said. A definitive decision, subject to the pandemic situation, will be taken at a later date. Switzerland will thus not be following the decision of some other western nations in recent weeks to diplomatically boycott the Olympics. – sending athletes to compete, but no official representatives – as a protest against human rights issues in China. Neutral Switzerland, which was one of the first Western nations to recognise the People’s Republic of China in 1950, has largely focused on trade in its relations with Beijing – since 2010 China has been its biggest trading partner in Asia and its third-largest trading partner globally after the European Union and the US. However, the relations, largely covered by the country’s new China strategy unveiled last May, also involve diplomatic exchanges on political issues, including an annual “human rights dialogue”, set to resume in 2022 after a three-year gap.

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China-Switzerland Innovation and Entrepreneurship Cooperation Launch Conference Held in Changzhou National Hi-Tech District

by swisschambei in Bilateral Relations

The China-Switzerland Innovation and Entrepreneurship Cooperation Launch Conference was held in Changzhou National Hi-Tech District on October 21 in a move to further strengthen the strategic partnership on innovation between Switzerland and China and implement the spirit of the Joint Statement on Strengthening Science and Innovation Cooperation signed by China’s Ministry of Science and Technology and the Swiss Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research. Sino-Swiss (Changzhou) Innovation Park was established in 2018 and sponsored jointly by Torch High Technology Industry Development Center of the Ministry of Science and Technology, the International Economic and Technical Cooperation Center of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and the municipal government of Changzhou as a provincial-level international cooperation park. The park is committed to serving as the industry cluster and center of innovation for the production of intelligent equipment, carbon fiber composite materials as well as biomedical and medical devices. To date, working factories and production lines already occupy some 270,000 square meters of the approximately 670,000 square meters allocated to the park. Since its opening in 2019, the companies operating in the park have made innovation, intelligence and environmental sustainability part of the mission, as these are all areas strongly supported by the governments of China and Switzerland and are of growing importance to leading Swiss and German companies.

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Swiss Ambassador to China: We Have our Best Companies Present at CIIE

by swisschambei in Bilateral Relations

Bernardino Regazzoni, Switzerland Ambassador to China, said that the China International Import Expo is an important event for Swiss companies that wish to do business in the Chinese market. “Personally, it’s my second participation (in the expo),” he said. “We have around 65 companies showing up. I would say the best ones are here. “It’s not just about bringing goods from Switzerland, but they are in China. Very strong in the Chinese market, producing and making research in China.” China and Switzerland have a long lasting relationship in many fields and both parties signed a free trade agreement in 2013 which enhanced their exchange of goods and services, he said. Around 1,000 Swiss companies are doing business in China in fields such as food, drugs and robotics, he added. “They’re the backbone of our economic relations between two countries. All Swiss companies are committed to more sustainable development. Sustainability is not just a commitment. For some of them, it also has become a business,” he said.

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