Chinese Dragon Hobbled by Cultural Differences

by swisscham in Business

The free trade deal being signed Saturday between Bern and Beijing will bring more Chinese companies to Switzerland. Yet Chinese businessmen already here struggle with cultural problems and unfamiliarity with the local economic environment. The agreement will reduce customs duties for some categories of products, which will have a positive effect on bilateral trade. “This free trade agreement will favour exports going both ways. And trade is what goes before investment”, says Philippe Monnier, director of the regional economic marketing organisation Greater Geneva Berne Area (GGBA). Chinese companies in Switzerland now number between 70 and 80, reports Ernst & Young. In 2005 it counted only five. The Chinese have entered the Swiss market by way of mergers and acquisitions, branch plants, or share purchases.

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SwissCham China has roughly 600 company members. Our Chamber maintains a strong relationship with the Embassy of Switzerland, Switzerland Global Enterprise, Swissnex and Switzerland Tourism. As the representative of the Swiss companies established in China, our goal is to help you to increase your business and visibility, especially amongst the Sino-Swiss business community.

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