China Economic Quarterly February 2017

China announces new measures to attract foreign investment in 2017

The China Economic Quarterly is a market outlook prepared on a quarterly basis by PwC to share the latest economic and policy updates. In this fourth quarter update, the overview of China’s macro trends are followed by a summary of the main policy developments and hot topics of interest such as what China plans to do in 2017 and what’s next for the Renminbi.

Major economic indicators

pwc_china economic quarterly q4 2016


  • China’s GDP in the fourth quarter of 2016 increased by 6.8%, resulting in the overall GDP growth of 6.7% for the whole year over 2015.
  • Fixed asset investment remained a key driver for China’s economic growth, growing 8.1% over last year and accounting for 80% of GDP.
  • Massive money supply has exerted great pressure on RMB’s exchange rate, which fell from RMB 6.55 per dollar at the beginning of the year to RMB 6.92 per dollar at the end of 2016.
  • China’s manufacturing purchasing managers index (PMI) experienced the highest performance since 2012 in the fourth quarter of 2016, thanks to booming domestic demand, rising prices and growing activities in high-end manufacturing.

Policy update

  • China’s State Council announced on 17 January 2017 an unprecedented set of new measures to attract foreign investment. These measures aim to lower market entry restrictions on foreign investment in several sectors including banking, insurance, futures and others.
  • China has issued its 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020) to strengthen the protection and utilisation of intellectual property rights (IPRs). The plan laid out 7 major tasks for the development of IPRs, such as improving the legal system and protection for IPRs, promoting industrial upgrading and international cooperation.

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To find out more about the market outlook and its implications for businesses in China, please click this link:

Hong Kong:


The Client onboarding process – how to provide state-of-the-art support

At first glance, client onboarding seems to be a simple and fast process. But apart from high client expectations and tedious internal processes, increasing regulatory requirements – such as the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) or the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II (MiFID II) – have also turned it into a highly complex, customised process for every single prospective client. This could lead to banks spending weeks or even months running complex approval processes and having to let the client wait until an initial transaction can be made over the newly opened account. This leads us directly to the question of how customers, and even employees, can be supported during the process to enable a good customer experience on the one hand and efficiency gains within the company on the other.

Our clients in the banking industry have pointed out that implementation of a new client onboarding process is just one side of the coin (read our previous blog about client onboarding). The flip side is to come up with a support model that guides customers and employees through all upcoming questions during the onboarding process. Providing a consistent support model is also essential to improve the completeness and accuracy of account documentation.

PwC can support you in analysing your current support model, finding the gaps in comparison to best practice solutions, and in implementing an advanced support model into your existing, or new, client onboarding process.

In this blog, we will give you some insight into possible support solutions.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Marc Achhammer
PwC, Director Advisory
+41 78 850 66 66

Sandro Ricklin
PwC, Assistant Manager
+41 58 792 20 01

亲爱的 朋友们, 女士们, 先生们!

Dear Friends, Ladies and Gentlemen!

The Chinese lunar year which just started is not just the Year of the Rooster – it is the Year of the Fire Rooster. One might think that an ordinary rooster already has quite a temper − so what should we expect from a Fire Rooster?

The Year of the Rooster 2017 is a very special one. It has 384 days and lasts for almost 13 months, from January 28, 2017 until February 15, 2018 – an event which takes place only every sixty years. Therefore, it contains two «Chinese springs» and is called a Fire Rooster Year.

Fortunately, the name of this animal is more fiery than its characteristics. And, in any case, a creature which appears only every sixty years may need some time to get up to full speed. As one might expect from an elderly animal, the fire rooster is more virtuous than temperamental, which is indeed an auspicious sign. He is well known for five virtues which are supposed to influence the New Year:  courage, perseverance, efficiency, generosity and punctuality.

While punctuality certainly has its advantages – who does not like people who stick to timelines and reliably deliver results – other animals like the monkey or the tiger think it smells a bit dusty. But the tiger is a leader who is not accountable to anybody, and the monkey somehow artfully masters any situation. Everybody else, especially the ones who get to work in a team, should profit from the Fire Rooster’s punctuality and sense of responsibility.

Courage comes in handily, too: talking straight, calling things by their name and getting things done lead to efficiency right away. A Fire Rooster does not like to waste time and makes the best use of its resources. Who in business doesn’t like this?

Combined with a healthy degree of perseverance, success is bound to happen. After all, only those who follow up on pending matters, refuse to lose and strive to achieve the defined goals with persistence will finally achieve their aims.

But what about emotions? Does the Fire Rooster also have a heart, or is he all about certainly virtuous, but rather business-oriented characteristics? Here, the Fire Rooster can help with his generosity. He is looking at the big picture, and at the same time he is overlooking small missteps in order to achieve the overall goal. He is mentoring the younger colleagues and generously makes place for the next generation.

All these virtues play well with an organization that wants to implement a new strategy or a big project, and they agree very well with the Swiss business culture. In this sense, I wish you a happy and successful New Year!


May you have a prosperous New Year!


Project Blue Emerging Markets Geared up for growth: Shaping a fit for purpose financial system

project_blue_emerging_marketsA ‘fit for purpose’ financial system is essential in promoting inclusive and sustainable growth within emerging markets. How do leading markets rate against fit for purpose Targets?

How can policymakers, regulators and financial services organisations actively shape a fit for purpose financial System?

In Geared up for growth: Shaping a fit for purpose financial system, we set out what an efficient, resilient and inclusive – ‘fit for purpose’ – financial system looks like across eight key dimension and how leading emerging markets rate against fit for purpose targets.

Read the whole Report.

ceo Magazine “Near and Middle East”

_MG_0210With the December issue of ceo Magazine, we want to bring you closer to the sprawling, multifarious world of the Near and Middle East.

395 million people, a surface area of 69 million square miles, 26 countries, three world religions – as diverse and contrastive as this region might be, it is all the more homogenous in one respect: its economic, social and geopolitical dynamism.

The magazine gives voice to personalities who have recognised this potential and are helping to shape the future of the region. What can Western cultures learn from our Eastern neighbours? What drives the people on the crest of this new wave of entrepreneurial creativity?

Frank Duggan, ABB Group Executive Committee member, is fascinated to see how the region is changing.
Samih Sawiris emphasises the impermanence of the Onsi Sawiris Scholarship Program.
And “Jane Bond” Shira Kaplan shares her experience in starting up a company that specialises in cyber security from Israel.

We wish you inspiring reading with interesting new perspectives.

Read more.

Fashion’s way Forward: An action plan for the hard-hit fashion industry

_MG_0210For Western fashion companies, the last few years have provided a sobering reminder of the perils of making the wrong investments. Many companies in Europe and the U.S. increased their retail store space; others invested heavily in their e-commerce websites, believing that direct sales from their own branded stores would be essential to their success. Not all of these bets were right for every company, and companies that got it wrong have been penalized heavily. Many of them are struggling with the resulting high fixed costs and diminished retail store productivity.

This is an important time for fashion companies to make sure that their strategies are clear and differentiating.

Read the whole action plan for the hard-hit fashion industry.

If you have any questions, I’m happy to hear from you.

Doing business in China: Three ways executives in China will adapt to new market realities

The APEC 2016 CEO Survey China report, Doing business in China, was launched last week. The theme focuses on a story of change and adaptation as executives in China develop their strategy in response to new market realities.

PwC surveyed over 1,100 CEOs and business leaders across APEC’s 21 economies (including 222 based in Hong Kong and China). They were asked to give their perspectives and plans for doing business in China in the run up to the APEC Business Summit in Lima, Peru (17-19 November).

Some of the hot topics from this year’s China report include:

  • Business outlook for a changing China
  • Investment plans of China executives
  • Strong sector growth stories in technology and financial services
  • Strategies to seek quality growth




You can find more information here.

PwC’s Not-for-profit Excellence Survey 2016

2nd edition of PwC’s survey of not-for-profit organisations

Switzerland, and more specifically Geneva, is an important global hub for international not-for-profit organisations (NPOs). They play a vital role in key humanitarian activities worldwide. In spite of the importance of this work, which benefits a growing stakeholder community, these organisations can find themselves confronted with a number of challenges in an increasingly complex environment.

This year, we carried out a Not-for-Profit Excellence survey among some 150 Swiss organisations to take the pulse on economic, financial, governance and operational challenges the NPO community faces.

This report summarises the findings of the second not-for-profit organisation (NPO) survey PwC carried out in summer 2016. Two years after the first edition, we revisited the questions and expanded the survey’s reach beyond French-speaking Switzerland. Senior leaders from close to 150 NPOs across Switzerland responded to this survey. Over a third of our respondents have an annual operating budget of more than ten million francs.

The not-for-profit organisations we surveyed are in good economic and financial health. Despite some concerns on the future employment market, they are confident about the future of their organisation in Switzerland.

Visit our webpage to find out more:

Part 3/3: Client Onboarding Process – it’s all about efficiency, effectiveness and client experience

Key benefits from a front-to-back onboarding process

In our last two blogs, you have read about why banks are thinking about redesigning their onboarding processes  and we provided insight about the 7 steps to come up with a streamlined, highly digitalized onboarding process.

On our journey to bring your onboarding process to the next level, we will realize the following 5 key benefits:

1One front-to-back process: Information flows seamlessly from front to back and allows for real time status reports

2Transparency with regard to guidance and support: Problems are addressed in a structured manner and a clear escalation process is established

3Time efficiency: The streamlined process reduces throughput time dramatically, leading to a better client experience and reduces costs

4Digitization and automatization: The new process maximizes compliance through minimizing human errors and providing a clear audit trail

5Clear and insightful metrics: They allow for a clear benchmarking between different teams and are the basis for continuous improvements

PwC understands that your bank has individual needs and that the ideal solution for how clients enter your firm will thus also look different from the competition. A streamlined Target Operating Model for your onboarding process will allow you to leverage these special traits in order to deliver a compliant process with a superior customer experience efficiently. PwC is looking forward to supporting you on this journey.

Please contact our experts:

DaanDr. Marcel Tschanz
PwC Partner Advisory
+41 79 540 60 80

DaanMarc Achhammer
PwC Director Advisory
+41 78 850 66 66

Or our specialists:

DaanSandro Ricklin
PwC Advisory Assistant Manager
+41 58 792 20 01

DaanMichael Hunkeler
PwC Advisory Assistant
+41 58 792 16 03

China Economic Quarterly November 2016

China remains on track to grow in the third quarter of 2016 buoyed by service sector growth and fixed asset investment

The China Economic Quarterly is a market outlook prepared on a quarterly basis by PwC to share the latest economic and policy updates. In this third quarter update, the overview of China’s macro trends are followed by a summary of the main policy developments and hot topics of interest such as Xi Jinping’s speech on the role of the Party in the management of state-owned enterprises (SOEs), China’s supply-side structural reform and pilot programme on SOE reform.

Graphic 1

According to key economic data released by China’s National Bureau of Statistics for the third quarter of 2016, China’s GDP grew at the rate of 6.7%, an increase of 1.8% from the previous quarter, thanks to strong investment and expansionary monetary policies.

Here are the key findings:

  • Services maintained its strong momentum, growing 7.6% year-on-year in the first three quarters, contributing to just over half of total GDP growth.
  • Fixed asset investment grew 8.2% (or 9.5% real growth rate) to RMB 42.69 trillion, remaining one of the key drivers of the overall economy.
  • National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) has expedited the approvals for urban rail projects. Up to now, urban rail plans of nearly 50 cities have been approved with a total investment of more than RMB 2.5 trillion.
  • Sales of residential buildings surged by 43.2% in response to new government restrictive policies on house purchase and land supply and rising inflow of hot money into the market.
  • Consumption maintained its growth momentum, becoming a major contributor to China’s economic growth.



china_economic_quarterly_nov2016To find out more about the market outlook and its implications for businesses in China, please click this link:

Hong Kong: