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

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.

Notice on the Adjustment of Requirements for Chinese Visa Applications

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 Interacts with Sino-Swiss Students

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.

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

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.

SIX Swiss Exchange Gets First Chinese Member

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.

ABB and Wison Offshore & Marine Collaborate to Develop Standardized Solutions for FLNG Facilities

ABB and Wison Offshore & Marine (WOM), a technology and solution provider focusing on clean energy, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaborate on the development and implementation of floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) facilities worldwide. FLNG facilities makes the production, liquefaction, and storage of natural gas possible at sea, from where it can be shipped directly to customers around the world. By optimizing and standardizing the FLNG unit design, ABB and WOM aim to significantly improve the production efficiency of LNG at sea. WOM’s competence as a premier provider of turnkey engineering, procurement, construction, installation and commissioning (EPCIC) to the FLNG market will be coupled with ABB’s expertise in integrating electrical, control and safety systems. Valued at over USD 14,187 million in 2020, the global FLNG market is projected to reach a value of over USD 104,281 million by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 20.1%. Mr Wei Huaqing, Assistant President of WOM said: “The FLNG market continues to grow. We are pleased to be working with ABB and look forward to leveraging our complementary expertise to deliver more value for FLNG customers around the world. By combining our bespoke offerings, we believe we can increase productivity in greenfield developments and in doing so improve overall CAPEX efficiency.” The agreement will also utilize ABB’s unique project methodology, Adaptive Execution™, which offers customers complete visibility of their project, from start to finish, via a single, streamlined and centralized approach.

Switzerland’s Alpex Pharma Inks a Deal with Chinese Giant Ban Loong Holdings

Switzerland-based Alpex Pharma has signed a strategic cooperation agreement with the Chinese Pharma conglomerate Ban Loong Holdings. Ban Loong’s Chief Executive, Tang Ming recently visited Alpex Pharma to finalize and sign the partnership agreement with the Swiss company. The signing ceremony was attended by the President of Alpex Pharma, Kevin McKenzie, the CEO of Alpex Pharma, Shahbaz Ardalan, the Head of Research and Development, Gabriele Granata, and other prominent members.Ban Loong is a Hong Kong-based organization whose principal shareholders include Yunnan Baiyao Group Co. Ltd, one of China’s largest hybrid pharmaceutical and healthcare companies, and Shanghai Pharmaceuticals Group Co., which was the first company in China to get dual-listed by the Shanghai and Hong Kong Stock Exchanges. Last year, Shanghai Pharmaceutical, a Global Fortune 500 company, brought in Yunnan Baiyao as a strategic investor through a non-public offering of shares to support the company’s long-term business development, improve the industrial layout and enhance the company’s overall strength.

Cathay, Lufthansa Cargo Expand Agreement to Include Swiss WorldCargo

Cathay Pacific and Lufthansa Cargo announced the entry of Swiss WorldCargo into the airlines’ joint business agreement, providing cargo customers with more direct connections, more flexibility and more time saving. “The entry of Swiss WorldCargo builds on the joint business agreement signed in 2016 between Cathay Pacific and Lufthansa Cargo, which enables the two airlines to cooperate in terms of sales, pricing, contracts, and the handling of shipments between Hong Kong and Europe,” according to a statement from Cathay Pacific. Cathay Pacific and Lufthansa Cargo already have a close collaboration on international lanes via their hubs in Hong Kong and Germany while the handling of cargo in Hong Kong is coordinated under one roof at the Cathay Pacific Cargo Terminal of Hong Kong International Airport. “Under the expanded joint business agreement, Cathay Pacific, Lufthansa Cargo and Swiss WorldCargo will work closely together on network planning, as well as on sales, IT and ground handling. Initially, the airlines will cooperate on traffic from Hong Kong to Zurich and Frankfurt with traffic to and from Hong Kong and the rest of Europe planned to be included later this year.” Cargo customers will be able to access the entire joint network via the booking systems of all three partners, the statement added.

Swiss Watches Exports to China Plummet in April

On May 31, the Swiss watch-makers association announced that the country’s watches exports to China plummeted in April, owing to the Chinese government’s zero-Covid policy, which has slowed down growth in the hitherto booming sector.In April, exports to China, one of the largest markets for Swiss watch manufacturers, fell by 57.8%, according to the association’s figures. Swiss watches exports continued instead to grow at a healthy rate in the USA, where they increased by 37% in April, having posted a 31.8% rise the previous month. They were up by 18.2% in Japan and by 29.7% in Singapore, and continued to grow in Europe, where they recorded a 16% rise. A positive trend that is well-established in the major markets that were hit hard by the absence of tourists during the pandemic, as exports increased by 21.2% in the UK, 48.6% in France and 25.5% in Italy. Despite the “Chinese market’s slowdown,” the association said in a press release, “global growth remains sustained.” In April, the value of Swiss watch exports worldwide was CHF1.9 billion (€1.8 billion), equivalent to a 7.3% increase over April last year. A result that was however weaker than the 24% growth recorded in February, and the 11.8% one recorded in March.

Firmenich Moves to Majority Ownership of ArtSci to Capitalize on High-Growth Chinese Taste Market

Firmenich, the world’s largest privately-owned fragrance and taste company, announces that it has increased its equity stake in strategic partner ArtSci Biology Technologies (Hangzhou) Co., Ltd (“ArtSci”) moving to majority ownership, subject to registration by local authorities. ArtSci and Firmenich have been strategic partners since 2019, when Firmenich took a minority equity stake. This move will further strengthen Firmenich’s ability to serve the rapidly growing Chinese local market and extend its geographic reach across China. ArtSci will continue to operate as normal, with its management team remaining in place and fully committed to serving ArtSci customers. “Firmenich is committed to investing and growing in China following our decades’ long commitment to this key market,” said Gilbert Ghostine, CEO, Firmenich. “I am delighted to announce that we have moved to majority ownership of ArtSci in our established strategic partnership, which will open up new avenues of growth as we continue to combine ArtSci’s intimate understanding of Chinese customers, geographic reach and agility, with Firmenich’s innovation capabilities, consumer insights and unparalleled product quality.” “We are proud of the achievements of our strategic partnership with ArtSci, which combines their local expertise and agile business model with our industry-leading technology, creation and manufacturing,” said Paul Andersson, President, Firmenich China, “ArtSci is a dynamic and entrepreneurial company, and we are excited to move to the next phase of our partnership to better serve the rapidly growing Chinese market.”

 

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