On 9th January 2013, the Swiss Federal Council approved the Report on foreign economic policy in 2012. According to the revised trade statistics, the term “country of origin” is now determining. This appreciation brings significant changes to some countries’ commercial balance. Thus in 2011, the volume of imports from China to Switzerland grew from CHF 6.3 billion to CHF 9.6 billion (+3.3 billion). According to the new rule, the trade balance of Switzerland to Mainland China in 2011 presents a deficit of CHF 0.9 billion instead of an surplus of CHF 2.5 billion.
China’s Ministry of Economy has recently updated the list of goods, which require licenses for import and export in 2013. For the moment, this list is only available in Chinese. However, the products can be determined according to the first six numbers of the Harmonized Customs System.
Travelers from 45 countries can now benefit from a 72-hour visa-free stay policy in Beijing and Shanghai, a move that could attract more transit visitors. Tourists holding third country visas and plane tickets can now apply for a transit without visa at Beijing’s international airport and at Shanghai’s Pudong and Hongqiao airports. Foreign visitors are not permitted to leave to other Chinese cities during the 72 hours, and have to depart from the same city.
On November 23, Victoria University’s Graduation Ceremony was held in Hong Kong. There were 921 graduates this year which from Switzerland, China, Netherlands, Prague, Malaysia, Singapore, Dubai, Egypt etc. In accordance with tradition, the graduation ceremony was opened by a musical performance of a local Scottish bagpipe band. The music played was of Scottish origin and was full of glory suitable for the occasion. The official part of the program started with a speech by the Dean of the school, Dr. El Namaki. He spoke about changes graduates had to face in recent years. Dr. El Namaki encouraged the graduates to prepare themselves to this changing environment. The next speaker was Dr. Dai Xulong, the President of the school. He congratulated all students in Mandarin and English. He also spoke about the future of the school. He pointed out some of the major changes Victoria University is facing e.g. some good news.
SGS, the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company, will be attending China Wind Power, one of the world’s leading annual renewable energy conferences, from November 15th-17th, 2012.
Music will help to form a bond between China and the West at a time when the country is attaching greater importance to art education and the cultivation of new talent, said a senior executive of Credit Suisse, a founding sponsor of the Beijing Music Festival. This is the 14th year that the Swiss financial institution Credit Suisse has supported the Beijing Music Festival, one of Asia’s leading platforms for lovers of classical music as the major founding sponsor.
On 11th August, the film “When Night Falls” (official title), directed by Chinese director Ying Liang won Best Director at the 65th Locarno International Film Festival in Locarno, Switzerland. An Nai won Best Actress.
Swiss hardware accessories maker Logitech International SA is eyeing China’s enterprise market to boost sales amid the global economic recession.
On 12th July 2012, Vice Foreign Minister Song Tao and Secretary of State at the Swiss Foreign Ministry Yves Rossier held political consultations between the two Foreign Ministries in Beijing.