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Swiss Machinery Industry Benefits Big from Trade with China

by swisschambei in Business

According to annual figuresExternal link released on Wednesday, the Swiss MEM industry saw sales drop by 9.8% and incoming orders by 6.5% in 2020. The situation started to improve in the second half of the year with new orders in the fourth quarter of 2020 returning to the previous year’s level. This was thanks in large part to trade with China, which recovered quickly after the shutdown in the first quarter. “The Swiss industrial companies that do business locally or with exports with China were able to benefit quickly,” said Martin Hirzel, President of the Swissmem, manufacturing industry association, in an interviewExternal link with Swiss public television SRF. The Swiss industrial sector has boosted business with China with the help of the free trade agreement in force since 2014 – the first signed between China and a European country. The sector now exports four times more to China than two decades ago. Exports to the country making up 7% of all Swiss MEM exports.

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Kuehne+Nagel Acquires Chinese Logistics Provider Apex

by swisschambei in Business

Kuehne Nagel will be acquiring Apex International Corporation, one of Asia’s leading freight forwarders, especially in the transpacific and intra-Asia. At this point, both parties have agreed to not disclose any further transaction details. Detlef Trefzger, CEO of Kuehne Nagel International AG, said, “The combination of Apex and Kuehne Nagel provides us with an opportunity to offer our customers a compelling proposition in the competitive Asian logistics industry, especially in e-commerce fulfilment, hi-tech and e-mobility. We are looking forward to welcoming the Apex colleagues to the Kuehne Nagel family.” Following closing of the transaction, a minor stake of Apex shares is to remain with the experienced and entrepreneurial management of Apex. Furthermore, the company will then continue to operate separately within the Kuehne Nagel Group. Tony Song, chairman of the board of directors and CEO of Apex, added, “With Kuehne Nagel, we have found a strategic shareholder and logistics group with more than 130 years of heritage. We are sure that with this transaction, we will be able to add value for our customers’ supply chains and expand our global logistics network. We will complement Kuehne Nagel’s existing global air logistics team while offering our management and key talents unique career opportunities.”

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Clariant and Harbin Hulan Sino-Dan Jianye Bio-Energy Announce License Agreement for Sunliquid® Cellulosic Ethanol Technology in China

by swisschambei in Business

Clariant, a focused, sustainable and innovative specialty chemical company, announced that it has signed a license agreement with Harbin Hulan Sino-Dan Jianye Bio-Energy, a Chinese green energy company for its sunliquid® cellulosic ethanol technology. Harbin Hulan Sino-Dan Jianye Bio-Energy, a subsidiary of the Sino-Dan Jianye Group was formed in the early 2010s and has been involved in the second generation (2G) biofuels business and research for almost a decade making them one of the frontrunners in this field in China. The project development and plant operation will be performed by Harbin Hulan Sino-Dan Jianye Bio-Energy at a corn-rich greenfield site near Harbin City in the Heilongjiang Province, in Northeast China, utilizing available land and existing infrastructure owned by the Sino-Dan Jianye Group. The annual production capacity is planned to be 25,000 tons of cellulosic ethanol, processing more than 125,000 tons of locally sourced corn stover, making it one of the first 2G biofuel plants to be built in the Heilongjiang Province so far. The project is comprised of a license for a basic sunliquid® engineering package, the provision of technical services, as well as the supply of starter cultures from Clariant’s proprietary enzyme and yeast platform to process Harbin Hulan Sino-Dan Jianye Bio-Energy’s feedstock into cellulosic ethanol. Detailed project evaluations and preparations for the engineering phase are well underway.

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Bally’s Strategy Drives Growth In China Despite COVID-19

by swisschambei in Business

From architect Le Corbusier to designer Ueli Berger, Switzerland has historically been synonymous with intelligent, stylish design. As one of the rare birds that marries a storied heritage, artisanal craft, and contemporary concerns like environmental sustainability, the Swiss luxury house Bally continues the country’s long tradition. Whether it’s the application of its iconic Bally Stripe designs, which date back to its origin as a ribbon-maker in the 1840’s, or the way it drives digital innovation today, Bally is sure to bring its valuable combination of heritage and imagination into 2021. This combination works well with China’s consumers, too, as it’s currently the house’s largest market worldwide. With the same spirit that Carl Franz Bally pioneered the mechanization of shoemaking when he founded the company in 1851, Bally blazed a trail into the China region in the early 1980s with a strategy rooted in physical stores. Yet, creating an integrated shopping experience to engage customers in the digital space became a priority, even before COVID-19. And since 2019, e-commerce channels like Tmall’s Luxury Pavilion have helped the company drive double-digit growth. According to Bally CEO Nicolas Girotto, these initiatives have been executed with vital input from its local teams on the ground, enabling the brand to navigate China’s cultural nuances with confidence. Now, as Bally enters 2021, Jing Daily talks to Girotto about what’s next in China, communication strategies, and retaining its important inbound Chinese consumers.

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Swiss Renminbi Hub Has 13 Partner Banks

by swisschambei in Business

China Construction Bank (CCB) officially opened its Zurich branch on January 14, 2016. In the five years since then, the institution has supported companies from Switzerland and China in establishing and expanding their business activities in the respective countries. On behalf of the Central Bank of the People’s Republic of China (PBoC), CCB has also established the renminbi hub in Switzerland since 2016 and has since been developing cross-border business with the Chinese currency in Switzerland as a clearing bank for the renminbi. Since its opening, the hub has recorded a transaction volume of CNY 4,300 billion yuan (about CHF 590 billion), of which around CNY 2,600 billion was accounted for in 2020 alone, the institution said. The hub today has 13 Swiss partner banks. As a Chinese bank in Switzerland, CCB’s Zurich branch focuses on providing first-class financial services to Swiss companies operating in China, Swiss import and export companies, Chinese companies operating in Switzerland, and Swiss and international financial institutions.

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Dufry and HDH to open new duty-free stores in Hainan, China

by swisschambei in Business

Dufry and Hainan Development Holdings (HDH), a fully state-owned company of the Hainan Provincial Government, have signed a strategic cooperation agreement to develop opportunities in Hainan’s travel retail market. The first step of this collaboration will focus on the development of new duty-free operations at the Mova Mall in Haikou, the capital of the island. Mova Mall is a major tourism and shopping destination in the city center of Haikou, featuring a vast leisure offer of shopping, dining and entertainment facilities, as well as over 2,500 luxury hotel rooms in walking distance. The Mova Mall complex welcomed 22 million visitors in 2019 and visitors from mainland China are allowed to buy duty-free items up to an amount of 100.000 RMB (approx. USD 14,000) per year. The new downtown duty-free shop will span over 38,920 m2 across two buildings of the Mova Mall, in three phases and the first phase is expected to be opening before the Chinese Spring Festival, at the end of February 2021.

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Swiss Companies Out in Force at CIIE

by swisschambei in Business

Around 50 Swiss multinational corporations, including engineering company ABB, pharmaceutical firm Novartis, food and beverage giant Nestle, inspection group SGS as well as small and medium-sized enterprises are participating in the ongoing China International Import Expo in Shanghai from November 5th to 10th. The companies have displayed a slew of sustainable and innovative solutions such as fast charging stations for electric vehicles, environmentally friendly packaging and robot nurses using artificial intelligence and automation. “I think the CIIE is the perfect platform for constructive business dialogues with our potential partners. We decided on the idea of setting up a metering laboratory with Zhoushan Free Trade Zone when their leaders visited our booth in the previous expo. The laboratory has since come to fruition,” said Frankie Ng, CEO of SGS Group. Dan Brindle, President of Novartis Group, said, “We view the CIIE as an opportunity to connect with stakeholders here to collectively contribute to improving the business environment, help facilitate international exchange and further drive global trade.” Novartis is showcasing innovative medicines, breakthrough cell and gene therapies, and a pipeline of products that it plans to bring to China in the near future. On November 6th, the Swiss Consulate General in Shanghai organized a Sino-Swiss business reception to celebrate with the business community the 70th anniversary of bilateral relations.

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Hengrui Medicine Sets Up Clinical Research and Development in Basel

by swisschambei in Business

The Chinese life sciences company Hengrui Medicine is establishing a Swiss subsidiary in Basel. The European hub for clinical research and development will help the company to advance its innovative drugs, including cancer treatments. The Basel life sciences ecosystem is set to grow by another major global player. The international company Hengrui Medicine is establishing a Swiss subsidiary, Hengrui Europe Therapeutics AG. Founded in 1970, the Chinese company reportedly has a market capitalization of about USD 70 billion and therefore ranks as one of the top 30 life sciences companies in the world. It has more than 25,000 employees worldwide and currently runs more than 120 clinical trials globally. The Basel site will be dedicated to the clinical research and development of Hengrui’s innovative drugs in Europe. Hengrui Medicine operates in various fields, though its primary focus is on cancer treatments. The investment and innovation promotion agency Basel Area Business & Innovation is supporting Hengrui Medicine in establishing the Basel subsidiary.

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Switzerland May Surpass Hong Kong as the Top Global Corporate Tax Haven

by swisschambei in Business

Hong Kong will soon lose its status as the place with the world’s lowest corporate tax, replaced by the small mountainous canton of Nidwalden in Switzerland, a study found. That’s according to a taxation index by BAK Economics that regularly measures the attractiveness of Swiss cantons compared with each other as well as locations abroad. Switzerland is implementing one of the most significant tax reforms in decades. Tax burdens on corporate profits are expected to fall sharply in several cantons, especially Nidwalden, located on Lake Lucerne, according to the study. Unless Hong Kong changes its own tax regime, Nidwalden will push past it by 2025 with a corporate rate of 9.8%, the independent Swiss economic research institute concluded. Nationally, the Swiss corporate tax rate should fall to 13.5% from 16.8% when the reforms are fully in place by 2025, BAK estimated. That would be lower than Singapore. The canton of the capital Bern, with the highest tax burden in Switzerland, comes in ahead of European cities such as London, Munich, Vienna, Paris and Milan, the study found.

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Protective Medical Gear from China Arrives in Switzerland

by swisschambei in Business

China is sending protective material to Switzerland with a first batch of “urgently needed” gowns delivered to Zurich hospitals on April 6th, Keystone-SDA news agency reported, citing cantonal authorities. Another flight arrived in Geneva and more are expected in the coming days. The personal protective gear arrived at Zurich Airport on Sunday evening from Shanghai. The supplies will be distributed to 34 healthcare institutions in the cantons of Zurich and Schwyz. Another flight landed on Monday in Geneva carrying 92 tonnes of protective medical equipment including masks made in China, Reuters reported. That flight contained 2.5 million surgical masks, 10 million gloves as well as goggles and thermometers. The equipment will be distributed to 13 Swiss hospitals and pharmaceutical associations. Additional protective materials such as masks, gloves and safety glasses are expected to arrive in the coming days, according to SWISS International Airlines.

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