In the first quarter of 2014, Swiss machinery companies recorded additional (year-on-year) exports in the value of 89 million Swiss francs to China and Hong Kong – three times the growth generated by the USA.
The exports of the Swiss machinery industry to China and Hong Kong are back on track. In the first quarter 2014, Swiss machinery companies sold goods in the value of 650 million CHF to China and Hong Kong – an absolute growth of 89 million CHF (or 13.7%) compared to the year before, according to figures of the Swiss Federal Customs Administration. “In the Far East, Swiss enterprises achieved three times more absolute export growth than in the United States (29.5 million CHF) and about as much as in Germany (90.5 million CHF, +4.7%), by far the most important market for Swiss goods”, analyses Nicolas Musy, Managing Director of the non-profit organization Swiss Center Shanghai (SCS), the largest cluster of Swiss enterprises in Asia.
Need for automation and quality
“Many Chinese producers used to work with simple, cheap and locally made machines complemented by a lot of manual labor. Since labor costs go up, automation is the key to stay competitive”, explains Musy. Additionally, Chinese manufacturers are looking for better margins and climbing up the value chain, selling better and better products locally and for export. “That is why they are not only in need of automation, but also of machines capable of making high-quality products. When looking at the amount of factories still relying on manual labor, this trend has only just begun: China will remain a highly interesting and fast growing market for Swiss exporters of machinery and other products for many years if not decades to come.”
SCS Machinery, Trading and Business Center
Following its vocation, to support on the spot the numerous Swiss machinery SMEs who do not have the resources of the big players, the Foundation Swiss Centers and the Swiss Center Shanghai are opening a new Machinery, Trading and Business Center in the Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone. “The 4.400sqm pre-installed space offers showrooms, warehouses and offices especially designed for the needs of Swiss industrial companies, with heavy loading floors, high ceilings and dynamic power supply”, explains Zhen Xiao, General Manager of SCS. “Companies can have their machines and tools permanently exhibited duty-free in the facility, bringing a cash-flow advantage for the firms. The zone can also serve as an ideal logistics center for the Asia-pacific market for trading and spare parts services with customs clearance done once a month only.” The simplified customs declaration procedures allow certain spare parts to be sent out within 4 hours.
The new Machinery, Trading and Business Center for Swiss SMEs is strategically located in the Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone, which has been established to pilot the new round of groundbreaking economic reforms launched by the new Chinese government at the end of last year. Foreign companies registering in the FTZ benefit from considerably reduced administrative hurdles and regulations in all aspect of corporate life and financial transactions.
For more information: www.swisscenters.org.
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