China-Switzerland Innovation and Entrepreneurship Cooperation Launch Conference Held in Changzhou National Hi-Tech District

The China-Switzerland Innovation and Entrepreneurship Cooperation Launch Conference was held in Changzhou National Hi-Tech District on October 21 in a move to further strengthen the strategic partnership on innovation between Switzerland and China and implement the spirit of the Joint Statement on Strengthening Science and Innovation Cooperation signed by China’s Ministry of Science and Technology and the Swiss Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research. Sino-Swiss (Changzhou) Innovation Park was established in 2018 and sponsored jointly by Torch High Technology Industry Development Center of the Ministry of Science and Technology, the International Economic and Technical Cooperation Center of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and the municipal government of Changzhou as a provincial-level international cooperation park. The park is committed to serving as the industry cluster and center of innovation for the production of intelligent equipment, carbon fiber composite materials as well as biomedical and medical devices. To date, working factories and production lines already occupy some 270,000 square meters of the approximately 670,000 square meters allocated to the park. Since its opening in 2019, the companies operating in the park have made innovation, intelligence and environmental sustainability part of the mission, as these are all areas strongly supported by the governments of China and Switzerland and are of growing importance to leading Swiss and German companies.

Swiss Ambassador to China: We Have our Best Companies Present at CIIE

Bernardino Regazzoni, Switzerland Ambassador to China, said that the China International Import Expo is an important event for Swiss companies that wish to do business in the Chinese market. “Personally, it’s my second participation (in the expo),” he said. “We have around 65 companies showing up. I would say the best ones are here. “It’s not just about bringing goods from Switzerland, but they are in China. Very strong in the Chinese market, producing and making research in China.” China and Switzerland have a long lasting relationship in many fields and both parties signed a free trade agreement in 2013 which enhanced their exchange of goods and services, he said. Around 1,000 Swiss companies are doing business in China in fields such as food, drugs and robotics, he added. “They’re the backbone of our economic relations between two countries. All Swiss companies are committed to more sustainable development. Sustainability is not just a commitment. For some of them, it also has become a business,” he said.

Novartis Eyes Continuous Support for Chinese Cardiovascular Patients through Innovation

Novartis pledges to continue pushing innovation in China with new treatments and solutions in the cardiovascular sector, one of the most common diseases in China. Novartis’ major lipid-lowering drug “Inclisiran” is a key exhibit at the Swiss pharma giant’s presence during the 4th China International Import Expo. Johan Kahlstroem, senior vice president and business unit head of Cardiovascular, Renal & Metabolism at Novartis Pharma (China), said it aims to continue to strengthen partnerships with local stakeholders and to raise the overall treatment levels for cardiovascular diseases. Novartis is fully engaged in the Chinese market from manufacturing to business development, covering the whole industry value chain. It has been committed to offering innovative solutions and partnerships that could be valuable in achieving the goals of Healthy China 2030. The increasing prevalence of cardiovascular disease is a serious burden for patients and their families, and it’s also a huge challenge for healthcare provision and health budgets. According to the Chinese Cardiovascular Association, it’s estimated that there were about 330 million cardiovascular disease patients in China in 2019, about a quarter of the population, and it was responsible for 43% of deaths that year.

Credit Suisse Plans Accelerated China Expansion, Says China CEO

Swiss investment bank Credit Suisse Group AG plans to accelerate its expansion in China, growing its team on the mainland by three times in the next five years, China chief executive Janice Hu said. Speaking to a media roundtable, Hu said that Credit Suisse has hired more than 120 people since gaining a majority stake in its China securities joint venture in June 2020. Hu said that the bank was in close contact with regulators over cross-border data transfers. China implemented a Personal Information Protection Law from November 1, complementing a new Data Security Law in regulating cyberspace and safeguarding national security. The Data Security Law requires all companies in China to classify the data they handle into several categories and governs how such data is stored and transferred to other parties. “We are communicating with the regulator and our headquarters on a daily basis to achieve a plan that regulators can agree with and is feasible for us … this is at the core of our work,” Hu said. She also said the bank was in talks to provide financing for internet firms unable to list in the short term.

DKSH Acquires Right Base Chemicals in China, Further Expanding its Performance Materials Business

DKSH announced that it has signed an agreement for the acquisition of a majority stake in a joint-venture with Chinese specialty chemicals distributor Right Base Chemicals (RBC). The joint-venture is in line with DKSH’s strategy to solidify its leading position in the distribution of specialty chemicals and ingredients in Asia Pacific. RBC primarily distributes additives, resins, and colorants for coating and ink applications. Founded in 1992 and based in Shanghai, RBC and its 60 employees cover the Eastern, Central, and South-Western regions of the Chinese market. Thomas Sul and Natale Capri, Co-Heads Business Unit Performance Materials at DKSH, jointly commented: “China is by far the largest market for chemical distribution in APAC. By acquiring RBC, we are actively driving forward the market consolidation of the specialty chemicals industry. This joint-venture will further strengthen our market coverage of the coatings industry and will provide an extended platform for leveraging our key suppliers portfolio for further industries in China. We are glad to welcome all of RBC’s employees and look forward to growing with them together.” RBC generates net sales of around CHF 25 million¹ at sound profitability and return on capital. Initially, DKSH will acquire a 70% stake in the joint-venture with RBC and the remaining 30% in five years. The joint-venture is expected to be immediately earnings-accretive. Closing of the transaction is expected for the fourth quarter of 2021 and is subject to certain conditions.

Dada Group and Nestlé Strengthen Cooperation to Boost Omni-channel Growth

Dada Group, China’s leading local on-demand delivery and retail platform, and Nestlé (China) Co., Ltd. announced that they would strengthen cooperation on omni-channel marketing and digitalization. Philip Kuai, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Dada Group, and Rashid Qureshi, Chairman & CEO of Nestlé Greater China Region, signed a joint business plan in Beijing. “Nestlé has always focused on shoppers and optimized the efficiency of its supply chain through big data, blockchain and other technologies. Digital transformation is full of opportunities and challenges, and joint operation and win-win is the only way. For cooperation with Dada Group, I am very confident that both sides will jointly create a data-driven new retail business model, so that our shoppers can have a better and more convenient shopping experience,” said Rashid Qureshi, Chairman & CEO of Nestlé GCR. “Nestlé is a strategic partner of Dada Group. We have jointly created a series of outstanding cooperation cases in on-demand retail. In the future, the companies would enhance collaboration on omni-channel and digitalization, improving the sales and operating efficiency, and leading the development of food and beverage categories in on-demand retail market,” said Philip Kuai, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Dada Group. Hong Kong singer-actor Aarif Lee Chi-ting also shared his affection for Victorinox by saying that “‘Swiss spirit’ represents craftsmanship, firm dedication, a passion for meticulous work, an attitude of striving for excellence, as well as relentless pursuit of innovation and perfection.”

ABB to Realize ‘Robots Make Robots’ in Shanghai

Swiss tech giant ABB will realize “robots make robots” in Shanghai, the company announced at the 2021 International Business Leaders’ Advisory Council for the Mayor of Shanghai. According to Peter Voser, chairman of ABB, with a total investment of USD 150 million, ABB’s new robotics factory in Shanghai will be put into operation in the first quarter of 2022. The new 67,000-square-meter factory will be one of the most advanced, automated and flexible factories in the robotics industry worldwide, utilizing the latest manufacturing processes — a cutting-edge center where robots make robots. Production in the facility will be based on cells of automation, with robots moving from station to station, enabling greater customization and more flexibility than in traditional, linear production systems. In order to realize “robots make robots,” ABB’s new factory in Shanghai will include an R&D center to accelerate the innovation and development of artificial intelligence. The factory in Shanghai will better participate in and promote the development of China’s high-end manufacturing industry, said Voser. ABB currently has three factories worldwide. In addition to Swedish and American factories, the new factory in Shanghai will mainly serve Asian customers. ABB has 27 local companies with 15,000 employees in China, with business activities covering R&D, manufacturing, sales and services.

21 Swiss Startups to Take the Stage at China’s Hottest Tech Expos

21 Swiss startups will be joining the primely-located SwissTech Pavilions at China Hi-Tech Fair from November 17 – 21, 2021 in Shenzhen, and Tech G Shanghai International Consumer Electronics Show from January 13 – 15, 2022 in Shanghai. The world-class Swiss startups will be taking to the stage on-site and online, including seven startups from the Venture Leaders Deeptech 2021 program organized by Venturelab. The 21 participating Swiss startups come from fields of Cleantech, IoT, Vehicle Technology, Robotics, Software, AR/VR, Life Science, Microtechnology, Additive Manufacturing, HealthTech, Environmental Tech, EnergyTech and Neuromorphic Intelligence. The SwissTech Pavilions offer these startups an opportunity to showcase their products and services, to gain quick access to the China market, to raise brand exposure to a huge audience and to make high-quality connections with investors, incubators, partners, manufacturers and customers. “As part of our SwissTech campaign, which aims at raising the awareness of Switzerland as an innovative location, we’re proud to support the work of Swissnex in China and its SwissTech China series,” said Ambassador Nicolas Bideau, Head of Presence Switzerland, the unit of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs in charge of promoting Switzerland’s image abroad, “Come and discover groundbreaking innovation under SwissTech Pavilion. The Swiss startups will surprise you by showcasing their pioneering solutions to solve tomorrow’s global challenges.”

UBS Qianhai Gets China’s Second Fund Distribution License

UBS Qianhai Wealth Management Co Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of UBS AG, announced on Monday it received approval from the Shenzhen Securities Regulatory Bureau to take part in securities investment fund distribution, becoming the second wholly foreign-owned institution to obtain a fund distribution license in China. According to the National Enterprise Credit Information Publicity System, UBS Qianhai was established on Feb 12, 2018, with registered capital of 206.25 million yuan ($31.99 million). It is totally controlled by Swiss firm UBS AG and is a wholly foreign-owned enterprise registered in Qianhai, Shenzhen. Shenzhen’s approval document said it should complete preparatory work within six months before starting business. Xu Jianzhou, CEO of UBS Asia Pacific, said hina is an important market for UBS. With China’s financial market continuously opening up and the overall development of the Greater Bay Area, UBS will take this opportunity to provide professional wealth management services and investor education.

Sika Optimistic on China Prospects Despite Evergrande Concerns

Sika can overcome rising raw material costs globally and uncertainty in China linked to debt concerns at developer China Evergrande (3333.HK) to reach its 2021 goals, Chief Executive Thomas Hasler said. The Swiss construction chemicals maker expects to increase its sales when measured in local currencies by 13%–17% this year following last year’s pandemic driven downturn in building projects. The company also expects to achieve an operating profit margin of 15% for the first time this year, confirming the guidance it gave in July. Hasler, who took charge at Sika in May, said he remained optimistic about China despite uncertainties surrounding China Evergrande.”There is a lot of speculation, but our Chinese organisation is much more relaxed. The exposure is rather small,” Hasler told Reuters at the company’s investor day in Zurich. Sika, whose products are used to strengthen and waterproof building materials, is more involved in high-end projects like bridges, ports and tunnels than the mass market like accommodations, where mainly Chinese companies operated, he said. “Our value is if you build a nuclear power plant or a bridge, then they rely on high tech, then they want reliability,” said the 56-year-old executive. “This type of construction is going to be reinforced and accelerate going forward,” Hasler added. “Our growth strategy in China is well balanced; our aim is to grow in China like in other regions.” Sika now gets around 10% of its annual sales in China, a share that “may increase a little bit”, Hasler added, although it was not the company’s goal to double this level. Sika confirmed its 2021 targets “despite a challenging raw material price development and supply chain restrictions.”

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