Sino-Swiss Business News
Switzerland is China’s fifth biggest investment target in Europe, an EY study has found. In 2019, Chinese investors made 12 transactions in Switzerland, investing a total of USD 571 million. Although there were fewer transactions, the total value increased. The consulting company EY has analyzed Chinese investments in Europe and placed Switzerland in joint fifth place with the Netherlands for the number of transactions. Over the past year, Chinese investors made 12 transactions in each of the two countries, compared to 13 in Switzerland in the previous year. There were 182 transactions in Europe last year, most of them in Germany. In terms of the value of the transactions, Switzerland is sixth in Europe, after Chinese investors invested USD 571 million in Swiss companies in 2019. This is an increase in transaction value over the previous year (USD 492 million). In Europe as a whole, Chinese investors invested USD 17.3 billion in 2019, with most of this sum going to companies in Great Britain.
Swiss International Air Lines (Swiss) is to switch its Zurich-Beijing services from the present Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) to the new Beijing Daxing International Airport (PKX). The change will be made with the start of the 2020 summer schedules at the end of March. The move will offer travelers more attractive timetables on the route. The eastbound service will leave Zurich late in the afternoon and arrive in Beijing just after 09:00 on the following day. The westbound flight will depart from Beijing at 11:00 and arrive in Zurich at 15:35 on the same day. Swiss serves Beijing daily in summer and five times weekly in winter. The route is operated using Airbus A330 equipment. The new Beijing Daxing International Airport, which was designed by top architect Zaha Hadid, opened last autumn and is in the south of the city. The new facility meets all the requirements of an airport today and is ideally linked to the public transport network. The airport is set to become one of the world’s busiest by 2025.
Following the fastest-ever changing speed of the Chinese Marketplace, precipitated by the behaviors of Consumers & Shoppers changing to “digitalization”, “diversification” and “speediness”, it has become critical for FMCG Companies to develop highly Innovative Technologies & Solutions. In the spirit of driving Consumer & Customer-centricity, Nestle GCR Supply Chain is leading with breakthrough Digital Supply Chain Capabilities in China. Recently, Nestle built a Smart “Digital Supply Chain Center (DSCC)” successfully and launched in Beijing with the witness from one of its business partners Kidswant, the well-known company in maternal and infant industry. Digital Supply Chain Center (DSCC) is a data and technology integrated smart Digital Supply Chain Center, providing a Real-time and end to end visibility through entire value chain. The Flow of Data, Information & Intelligence become visible in order to detect demand signals, triggering effective & on-time actions, therefore responding to the needs of consumers, shoppers & customers.
A delegation from the China International Import Expo (CIIE) bureau visited Switzerland from January 9th to 11th to invite more local companies to participate in the CIIE this November. Led by Wang Bingnan, vice-minister of commerce and director of the CIIE bureau, the delegation visited the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research, the World Economic Forum as well as a number of renowned Swiss enterprises. During the visit, Wang said that Swiss companies rank among the top in Europe in terms of the number of exhibitors and booth areas at the CIIE. He also expressed hope that Swiss businesses can seize the opportunities provided by the expo and increase their exports to the Chinese market. Marie-Gabrielle Ineichen-Fleisch, state secretary for Economic Affairs of Switzerland, said that the Swiss government would encourage more companies to attend the third edition of the CIIE. She also said that Switzerland would be an active participant in China’s Belt and Road Initiative.
ChemChina and Sinochem are consolidating their agricultural assets into a new holding company to be called Syngenta Group, ChemChina unit Syngenta said. Chen Lichtenstein, current president and CEO of Shenzhen-listed crop protection company ADAMA, which will also be incorporated into the new group, will be nominated CFO of the newly formed Syngenta Group. He will be based in Basel, Switzerland, the Swiss group said in a statement. Reuters reported last month that China National Chemical Corp, or ChemChina, had approached Chinese state-backed investors for up to USD 10 billion in funding as part of a reorganization of its agrichemicals business ahead of a public float. The reorganization includes Syngenta, the Swiss pesticide producer that ChemChina agreed in 2016 to buy for USD 43 billion. The fundraising efforts and eventual stock market listing are designed to cut ChemChina’s debt ahead of a long-awaited mega-merger with state-owned peer Sinochem. Frank Ning, the chairman of both companies, has encouraged individual business units to tap capital markets ahead of any tie-up, which has been in the works since 2016. ChemChina wants to list Syngenta on China’s technology-focused STAR market in mid-2020, according to fundraising documents dated from October.
Bühler Group has sold its flour ingredient business to Bakels. The Swiss group manufactures and distributes bakery ingredients and application solutions. As part of the transaction, 70 employees of Bühler Guangzhou are moving to the new owner with immediate effect. Both parties have agreed not to disclose the selling price. “With Bakels, we have found an excellent owner and strategic partner for flour ingredient solutions,” said Johannes Wick, chief executive officer (CEO) of Bühler’s Grains & Food business. Bakels is a Swiss enterprise with more than 2,750 employees. Its focus is on ingredients for bakery and confectionery. “Flour ingredients have been a missing link in our portfolio so far,” said Armin Ulrich, chairman of Bakels. “We are excited to close that gap now by taking over Bühler’s well-positioned business and strengthen our position in China.”
ABB has completed the divestment of all its shares in two Shanghai-based Electrification joint ventures, Shanghai ABB Breakers Co., Ltd. and Shanghai ABB Guangdian Electric Co., Ltd. to holding subsidiaries of Shanghai Guangdian Electric Group (SGEG), ABB’s joint venture partner in the two companies. Financial details have not been disclosed. Tarak Mehta, President of ABB’s Electrification business, said: “The completion of this divestment reduces the complexity of the Electrification business in China and improves our focus in this key market. It is a significant step forward in ABB’s ongoing strategy of active portfolio management.” ABB acquired a 60% stake in the two joint ventures as part of the GE Industrial Solutions acquisition in 2018. With the sale now complete, SGEG now owns the two Shanghai companies. ABB and SGEG will continue to operate as long-term partners via a multi-year mutual supply agreement.
Walking along the antique pathways in Shanghai Yu Garden, the brand-new Swatch concept store under traditional classical architecture jumps into sight around the corner. The wave point element and the simple modern design of the store blends with the classic Chinese style of Yu Garden, igniting unique sparks of creativity. On November 26th, the Swiss fashion watch brand Swatch opened its concept store in Shanghai Yu Garden with a new collection unveiled during the opening event. In a cooperative effort with local artist Wu Mengyu, the new Swatch X You customization collection in a Chinese traditional style has been launched. Since its founding, Swatch has had a strong connection with art. The artwork was inspired by Yu Garden, connecting the contrast of modern playfulness and classic elegance with daytime and nighttime. This innovative cooperation offers more opportunities for consumers to freely express their own personalities via Swatch customization styles that allow them to design online.
The Zurich and Singapore based FinTech Incubator & Accelerator F10 has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Chinese Zheshang Venture Capital Company Ltd to create more opportunities for investment and Startup development within the F10 ecosystem at the “Zurich Lake – West Lake” forum for FinTech and Wealth Management. The event brought highly ranked representatives of government, banking and FinTech as well as academia from Switzerland and China together to discuss economic and cultural exchanges. The goal of this MOU signed at the “Zurich Lake – West Lake” FinTech and Wealth Management Forum in December 2019 is the establishment of an exchange mechanism to create opportunities for investment and the development of Startups within the F10 ecosystem. The memorandum includes the exploration of global markets between Chinese venture capital companies and Swiss multinational companies in the canton of Zurich.
The Swiss Tobacco brand, Davidoff has now launched a Hong Kong flagship inside the luxury retail complex; The Landmark. The 580sq ft outlet is significantly larger than the brand’s previous space. The original outlet was the brand’s third best-selling cigar outlet internationally and accounted for over twenty-five percent of the brand’s Asian sales. “We are delighted to relocate our new flagship store in Hong Kong,” said Davidoff Asia MD Laurent de Rougemont. “The challenge in designing this unique cigar shop was to preserve the company’s history but to continue our mission to delight and surprise our customers worldwide by delivering unique brands and unrivaled retail experiences.” “This enlarged new flagship store continues the Davidoff legacy of an inspiring place where aficionados can find exceptionally crafted Discovery Series cigars from different regions, as well as the complex tasting profile of Winston Churchill Collection,” said Davidoff Hong Kong regional manager and store manager Charles Lim.