Sino-Swiss Business News
Innovation parks in Switzerland and China are seeking to cooperate closely. In so doing, high-tech firms in China would look to set up subsidiaries in Switzerland. At the same time, new opportunities would be opened up for innovative Swiss companies in China. Plans have been drawn up for innovation parks in Switzerland and China to cooperate in future. The relevant Memorandum of Understanding has been signed by Switzerland Innovation and the Torch Center of the Ministry of Science and Technology of the People’s Republic of China, details of which can be found in a press release. The Torch Center is the Chinese counterpart of Switzerland Innovation, helping to coordinate around 170 “High-Tech Development Zones” across the country. These are innovation parks designed to attract high-tech companies and capital in addition to establishing innovation networks. The overarching aim of the collaboration is to promote exchanges between the innovation parks in Switzerland and China. According to Switzerland Innovation, some of the high-tech Chinese firms will also set up subsidiaries in Switzerland, where they will then have the opportunity to drive forward innovation projects together with Swiss universities and companies. At the same time, the collaboration will also open up new opportunities for Swiss firms seeking to establish a presence in the Chinese market.
During Huawei Intelligent Finance Summit 2021, Huawei and Temenos, the banking software company, announced a partnership to offer Temenos’ cloud-native core banking solution on the Huawei Public Cloud. Temenos is the first core banking software certified with Huawei infrastructure and Huawei Public Cloud. Geographically, the partnership covers Asia with a specific focus on China and it also includes Africa, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East. The partnership brings together the extensive cloud hosting, implementation, and integration strengths of Huawei and the power of Temenos’ industry leading banking software. The scope of the partnership covers sales and marketing, implementation and training. Financial institutions will be able to modernize their core banking systems on Huawei Cloud and benefit from elastic scalability, cost and operational efficiencies. Together, Temenos and Huawei will help banks of all sizes to go to market faster, open up new business models, and achieve industry-leading cost/income ratios. The two companies have demonstrated success and have a number of existing customers and successful projects in APAC. The two companies already see significant market traction and have a number of new prospects in the works. Temenos and Huawei will jointly go to market focusing on China and moving to the more regions with aligned marketing and sales processes.
ABB Motion, a business unit of the Swiss technology and engineering company ABB Group, plans to introduce more of its latest electric motor products in China to respond to the government’s call to pursue green and high-quality development, said its top executive. With China setting a target to combat climate change by speeding up reductions in emissions to reach carbon neutrality before 2060, measures to improve energy efficiency will play a vital role in helping industry and infrastructure to reduce their emissions, said Morten Wierod, president of ABB Motion. While mostly hidden from public view, electric motors are embedded in almost every built environment. They power a vast range of applications fundamental to modern life, he said. China has recognized the importance of efficient electric motors as a matter of policy, with a new national standard requiring motors to have a minimum efficiency level of IE3 coming into effect on June 1, 2021. “As one of the earliest countries to sign the Paris Agreement, China has made a strong commitment to address climate change,” said Morten Wierod, President of ABB Motion. “This latest legislation on electric motor efficiency is an important new step in driving down emissions.
A technology-powered 3D design competition launched in 2020 to mark the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic relations between Switzerland and China revealed its winners at the Embassy of Switzerland in China in Beijing. A total of 12 3D design works were submitted by contestants from both China and Switzerland. Each of the works embraced the competition’s main theme of interpreting the connection between the two countries through art. The final two winners were Chinese designer Yao Zhihao and Swiss designer Noelani Rutz. Yao created the geometrically aesthetic 3D sculpture Rising, which merges visual symbols such as Switzerland’s iconic Matterhorn and seven triangular structures to imply qualities such as “universally shared natural legacy” and “balance and stability.” The triangles are intertwined and staggered one above each other to deliver an almost anti-gravity visual sense. The event was co-organized by the Embassy of Switzerland in China and two top cultural institutions -Switzerland’s écolecantonale d’art de Lausanne (ECAL) and China’s The Academy of Arts & Design, Tsinghua University.
A giant panda-themed art exhibition kicked off at the Chengdu Giant Panda Research Base, amid the 45th International Museum Day and the reopening of China’s first international panda art center following almost eight months of closure because of the COVID-19 epidemic. Young artists from China and Switzerland were involved. The exhibition aims to demonstrate the cross-cultural and trans-regional communication of the giant panda culture, and to explore the diverse and fashionable artistic expression of young artists from different cultural backgrounds, so that young people in China and abroad can feel emotional resonance from cultural exchange activities. Works by three artists are being displayed in three exhibition halls and one multimedia hall. Five works by Antonio Wehrli from Switzerland are being displayed in the first hall, including oil paintings that took several months to be completed, one employee at the base told the Global Times.
The chairman of Swiss technology and engineering firm ABB told Xinhua he was bullish about his company’s performance outlook for 2021 driven by its China business and strong push into robotics and e-mobility. “The first quarter (Q1) of this year was better than expected, both in revenue terms but also in profit terms,” Peter Voser told Xinhua on the side-lines of the 50th St. Gallen Symposium, a conference and student initiative taking place at the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland in May every year. ABB, headquartered in Zurich, is a global technology and robotics leader with some 110,000 employees worldwide. In Q1, the company reported a 34% year-on-year jump in its net profit to 502 million U.S. dollars and expects orders and revenues to grow by more than 10 percent during the second quarter. “So all in all, I think a positive outlook for the second quarter, and then for the rest of the year. But there we haven’t given any numeric targets at this stage, but we are more positive than we used to be at the beginning of the year,” he said in the interview. China is ABB’s second largest market worldwide. Headquartered in Beijing, the company has around 15,000 employees in the country. Voser said the group’s China strategy is focused on an “in China, for China and the world” approach, which entails improving its local research and development (R&D) and innovation capabilities. “We are continuously investing in China,” Voser said. “Our biggest project at the moment is the new robot factory, which is also an R&D center and an automation artificial intelligence (AI) center for robotics, so it’s the value chain in which we are investing now.”
On May 7, the Ambassador of Switzerland to China, Mr. Bernardino Regazzoni, opened the Swiss National Pavilion at the inaugural China International Consumer Products Expo (Hainan Expo) alongside the Secretary-General and Vice Governor of Hainan Province, Mr. Ni Qiang, the Director General of the Department of European Affairs, Ministry of Commerce of China, Mr. Zhai Qian, and representatives of Swiss exhibitors. Switzerland, as exclusive Guest Country of Honour, showcases its innovativeness, traditions and sustainability under the motto ‘This is Swiss quality’. Around 40 of Switzerland’s most renowned companies in the luxury and consumer goods sector are participating in this Expo, with a total exhibition area of around 1,100 m². Switzerland’s status as Guest Country of Honour offers unique visibility to its diverse consumer brands, and is testament to Switzerland’s world-class reputation in the premium products sector. On the night before, Ambassador Regazzoni welcomed a delegation of high-level Chinese Government representatives, including Mr. Hu Chunhua, Vice Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China in an official tour to the Swiss National Pavilion. On the occasion of the Hainan Expo Opening Ceremony, the President of the Swiss Confederation, Mr. Guy Parmelin sent a greeting message: ‘The invitation to be the Guest Country of Honour at the Hainan Expo reflects the quality of the relations between Switzerland and China. Building on our foundation of trust, our relationship has strengthened through dialogue and cooperation in many fields.’ On behalf of the Swiss Confederation, the Swiss Business Hub, an integrated unit of the Embassy of Switzerland in China, in collaboration with Switzerland Global Enterprise (S-GE), has organized and is operating the Swiss National Pavilion at the Hainan Expo. Located in Hall 5 of the Hainan International Convention & Exhibition Centre in Haikou, the Swiss National Pavilion is 200m² large and exhibits some of the most prominent testimonials of Swiss innovation and lifestyle. The pavilion consists of an ‘Animation Area’ and an ‘Exhibitor Area’.
Nestlé, Laixi Government and Laixi Guhe Subdistrict Office jointly hosted the signing ceremony of new investment projects in Guhe Subdistrict of Laixi, a county-level city in Qingdao, east China’s Shandong province. This marks another major project in Laixi for this Fortune Global 500 company after 25 years. The Guhe Subdistrict of Laixi, where the Qingdao Laixi Food Industry Cluster (ca. 10.73 km²) is located, has been giving full play to the role of leading enterprises including Nestlé to drive the formation of a complete industrial chain integrating food processing, packaging, storage and transportation. The new project has decided to settle in Laixi for its optimized business environment and efficient government services. Several rounds of talks were held by local governments to facilitate the successful landing of the new projects. “We want to show Nestlé China’s headquarters in Beijing our sincerity in making partnership and the bright future of cooperation between the two sides”, said Xu Donghui, secretary of the Party Working Committee of Guhe Subdistrict, Laixi City. At the ceremony, Nestlé announced a series of new initiatives in Laixi, including the establishment of a product innovation center, launch of new Gerber puree products, expansion of its production capacity and further promotion of sustainable development, covering its main businesses of infant supplement food, coffee and dairy products, etc.
The first edition of the Swiss Machining Seminar 2021 was held in Beijing on April 14th and featured 20 machining experts from the Swiss Machinery Association who shared their experiences in the most cutting-edge technology in machining and automation. The Ambassador of Switzerland to China Bernardino Regazzoni gave the keynote speech. The Swiss Machining Seminar 2021 welcomed around 250 attendees at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beijing, representing a wide range of industries, from automotive, aerospace, medical, and 5-axes machining, to smart factory automation, ‘state-of-the-art’ coatings, and high-end coolants. The seminar attracted specialists in China in the machining and automation industries, from tooling engineers, programmers, tool manufacturers, CNC-operators, to factory planners. On the Swiss side, experts from 20 industry champions of the Swiss Machinery Association shared their expertise in how to achieve both high quality and cost effectiveness. The Swiss mechanical, electrical and metal industry (MEM) is Switzerland’s biggest industrial employer. Its high standards in quality, precision, safety and reliability, coupled with its ability to innovate, make Swiss MEM competitive internationally. In his keynote speech, Swiss Ambassador to China Bernardino Regazzoni emphasized Swiss innovation, quality and precision in this rapidly-changing world of manufacturing technology: ‘It’s the people working in these precision fields that make the “Swiss Made” label a true symbol of excellence; they implement the values of quality and innovation that are at the core of the Swiss ethos.’
Clariant, a focused, sustainable and innovative specialty chemical company, announced the opening of a new world-class production facility for process and light stabilizers. The facility is jointly owned by Clariant and Beijing Tiangang Auxiliary Co., Ltd. (Tiangang), a privately owned producer and leading supplier of light stabilizers in China. Located within the Cangzhou National Coastal-Port Economy & Technology Development Zone in Cangzhou (Hebei Province), the facility forms the centerpiece of the partnership between both companies. It enables Clariant and Tiangang to continue their successful cooperation with an enhanced ability to fulfill the growing demand in China for high-end process and light stabilizers from local growth industries like automotive, textiles and coatings. “With this state-of-the-art facility, we enhance our ability to support Chinese customers with high-end stabilizers that fulfill their growing demands for sustainable solutions. It is through such expanded local production capacity, which is focused on fulfilling local needs and is supported by a strong local partner in Tiangang, that Clariant will keep outgrowing the local market,” said Conrad Keijzer, CEO of Clariant.