“2016 Chief Digital Officer” study – digital responsibility is growing

In its latest “2016 Chief Digital Officer” study, Strategy& investigates who is responsible for overseeing digitization within companies. The findings show that a third of Swiss management bodies delegate this task to a Chief Digital Officer (CDO), particularly in the financial industry. The profiles of CDOs vary – but not their role.

The aim of the “2016 Chief Digital Officer” study conducted by Strategy& is to establish who is in charge of the digital transformation in the 2,500 largest listed companies in the world (including 49 in Switzerland). The term CDO refers to senior executives entrusted with the digitization strategy of their company. The evaluation clearly shows that: The Chief Digital Officer is taking the C-suite by storm. Whereas in 2015, 6% of study participants employed a CDO; in 2016 the number had already risen to 19%. 60% of the CDOs questioned were appointed between 2015 and 2016. Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) have the highest CDO density in the world, and the strongest growth (+30%) in the role. Switzerland is ranked fifth in Europe with 33%.

The Swiss financial services industry has clearly recognized the signs of the times, and is deploying the relevant management skills to ensure the consistent implementation of a digital strategy. The financial sector has the highest proportion of CDOs in Switzerland: insurance companies lead the way with 67%, followed by banks with 50%. They are digitizing not only their customer activities, but also their internal processes.

There is no typical CDO. Half of Swiss CDOs are members of the Board of Directors, 38% have individual titles such as “Head of Digital”, 6% hold the position of Vice President, and 6% are Directors. Almost two thirds were recruited from within the company. Only 13% of CDOs are currently female. 38% of CDOs held a previous function in marketing, sales or customer service. A third come with technical baggage, while a quarter have a background in consulting, strategy or business development. The importance of technical experience has increased. In 2016, 32% of CDOs originated from the technical sector. This represents more than twice as many as the previous year.

Find out more

Contact

Dr. Daniel Diemers
Partner Financial Services, Strategy&, Schweiz
+41 58 792 3190
daniel.diemers@strategyand.ch.pwc.com

Are public projects doomed to failure from the start? – Transformation Assurance

Public projects have a bad reputation. Is it deserved, or more a matter of expectations and the way success and failure are defined? In this critical review we take a close look at what makes public-sector IT and transformation projects different from those in other areas, the specific challenges they face, and tried-and-tested approaches to making them a success. Read more…

Contact

Marc Lahmann
Director and Leader Transformation Assurance
+41 58 792 27 99
marc.lahmann@ch.pwc.com

Business Review of Premier Li Keqiang’s Government Work Report 2017

March 2017

China recently held the 12th National People’s Congress in Beijing. Premier Li Keqiang announced a number of key policies and initiatives which sets the country’s economic direction. These changes will have profound implications on the business landscape in 2017 and beyond. As part of the Congress, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang delivered the Government Work Report which provides a review of:

I.   Government’s achievements in 2016;
II.  Government’s goals and priorities for 2017; and
III. Government’s plans and actions to improve quality and effectiveness of growth.

Key highlights of the Report

Economic growth rate

  • GDP growth rate for the coming year has been set realistically at “around 6.5%, or higher if possible in practice,” relative to the range of 6.5-7% for 2016.

Fixed and private investments

  • The government will invest 800 billion yuan in railway construction and 1.8 trillion yuan in highway and waterway projects in 2017 while continuing its massive investments in major state projects.
  • To encourage growth in private investments, the government plans to improve policies as well as public administration and promote Public Private Partnerships.

Emerging industries and investment hot-spots

  • The government plans to accelerate the R&D and commercialisation of new materials, artificial intelligence, integrated circuits, and bio-pharmacy and 5-G mobile communications.
  • The government has also set aggressive targets for environmental protection and plans to launch extensive ‘Fitness-for-All’ initiatives, creating business opportunities in education, elderly care, healthcare, tourism, e-commerce and creative services.

Pro-business reforms

  • The government plans to make service industries, manufacturing, and mining more open to foreign-invested firms (FIEs).
  • There are also plans to treat FIEs the same as domestic firms on applications, standards-setting and government procurement and allowing FIEs to enjoy the same preferential policies under the Made in China 2025 initiative.

Real estate sector

  • In 2017, the government will establish robust long-term mechanisms to promote steady and sound development of the real estate sector to restrict further investment and “speculative” purchases by residents and investors.

RMB exchange rate and bad debt

  • To address the rising non-performing loans, Premier Li has pledged to reform the financial regulatory system and work systematically to defuse major potential risks.

Leap ahead: 2016 China tax policy review and 2017 outlook

China Tax Policy Review and Outlook is a series of PwC China Tax annual publication designed to review key tax policy developments in China and discuss the trends and impacts to Chinese businesses from a forward-looking perspective. This 2016 China Tax Policy Review and 2017 Outlook is the second issue in the series.

2016 was a year of transition for China. It was also the first year of the 13th Five-Year Plan. The State Administration of Taxation has released a series of tax policies to support the transition of China’s economy. Turning eyes to the international taxation, China has voiced out her stance on international collaboration to foster growth, innovation and transparency, and her goal to establish a modern tax administrative system by 2020.

Highlights of the 2016 China Tax Policy Review and 2017 Outlook: 

  • Impact of the Business Tax to Value-added Tax Transformation Reform and outlook of the next phase of VAT reform
  • Innovation-driven tax incentives related to High-New Technology Enterprises, equity incentive plans, etc. and “green tax” initiatives (Resource Tax and Environmental Protection Tax)
  • Development of tax transparency (e.g. Country-by-Country Report and Common Reporting Standard) echoed by China’s digital administrative strategy (“Golden Tax III” and “Thousand Groups Project”) New trend of tax dispute resolution mechanism (e.g. tax administrative appeal and court litigation, Advance Pricing Arrangement, Mutual Agreement Procedure)
  • Key words for 2017 outlook, e.g. anti-tax avoidance, localisation of BEPS recommendations, details of Environmental Protection Tax Law, further cut in tax and government levies

With China’s increasing influence on the global economy and international taxation, we have more to expect in the years to come. As Mr. Wang Jun, the SAT Commissioner, commented, “The SAT will step up effort in 2017 to balance its focus on inbound and outbound taxation, and refine some of the existing rules to add more certainty and clarity.” Policies in the 2017 pipeline may include revised anti-avoidance rules related to Controlled Foreign Corporations, Thin Capitalization, etc.; rules to further implement the BEPS project recommendations regarding anti-treaty abuse; landmark reforms in terms of Individual Income Tax, Property Tax; the elaboration on the implementation of the Environmental Protection Tax Law; further cut in non-tax government levies; and what taxpayers are most earnestly waiting for, the new look of the Tax Collection and Administration Law.


Download the full report here.

 

2017 Telecommunications Trends

Choosing new strategic identities is essential

Senior executives at telecommunications companies around the world have heard for several years that their industry is approaching a tipping point. When it hits, they are told, their business might not survive the disruption. And yet they continue to do business. They might well think the warning from telecom industry specialists (including us) is overblown. Telecom customers are often locked into a long-term plan; many are loyal to their carrier. Doesn’t this suggest that the industry will continue as it is for some time?

To be sure, business upheaval often happens more slowly than people expect, and no one can predict exactly when the moment of truth will strike for any given company. But to judge from several trends that have roiled the telecom sector during the past few years, the time for preparation is over. You must now pick the businesses where you have a competitive edge and focus your strategy on them. Even if you think your current business model has several years of life left, you can’t be sure — and strategic focus will help you, no matter how far away the time of change.


Download PDF

 

Winning the fight for female talent: How to gain the diversity edge through inclusive recruitment

Gain the diversity edge through inclusive recruitment

Today, more and more CEOs regard talent diversity and inclusion as vital to their organisation’s ability to drive innovation and gain competitive advantage. And as businesses across the world inject greater urgency into their gender diversity efforts, we’re seeing an intensifying focus on hiring female talent. In fact, 78% of large organisations tell us they’re actively seeking to hire more women – especially into more experienced and senior level positions.

PwC’s new report, Winning the fight for female talent, explores how organisations are seeking to deliver on their gender diversity attraction goals. We also examine the impact of these approaches and – more generally – how they’re matching up to the career aspirations and diversity experiences and expectations of the modern workforce.


Download the full report here.

 

Asia: digitally diverse, economically attractive

Digitisation is in full swing in Asia, and is having an impact on both business and society. But the picture is mixed: while Asian countries are setting the trend and the pace in some areas, they need to catch up in others. As a leader in innovation and engineering, Switzerland will continue to play a key role in the economic and geocultural exchange with Asia.

Read more…

 

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.

Download PDF

 

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

China: www.pwccn.com/ceq
Hong Kong: www.pwchk.com/ceq

 

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!

恭喜发财

May you have a prosperous New Year!

Year_of_the_Rooster_400x110

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.