New Era in China ushering in new business opportunities

In his keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the Boao Forum for Asia 2018 (BFA) on April 10, President Xi Jinping described economic globalisation as an irreversible trend, and noted that China would continue on its course of opening-up. This is positive news for enterprise, as extended opening-up will bolster investor confidence globally, while leading to a wide range of new business opportunities.

Against the backdrop of the 40th anniversary of China’s reform and opening-up, President Xi announced steps would be taken to widen market access significantly, create a more attractive investment environment, strengthen protection of intellectual property rights (IPR) and expand imports.

The Government Work Report released earlier this year had touched on most of these measures, but the current trade environment has given them new significance. Measures for enhancing alignment with international economic and trading rules, along with increasing transparency were specified, being regarded as particularly important for China’s development at this stage.

Measures on China’s further opening up and business implications include:

1. Further opening up in the financial sector

The People’s Bank of China unveiled policy details as well as a timeline on 11 April, with policies focusing on expanding market access and lifting ownership restrictions. This series of deeper financial opening-up measures are beneficial to both China and the global financial industry, as it will create new opportunities for domestic and foreign players in the areas of market competition, channels, products and services, customer experience, and operations.

2. Further opening up in the auto sector

The market entry restrictions for the auto industry would be phased out over the next five years. Gradually lifting the market entry barriers for new energy vehicles, as well as commercial and passenger vehicles will help home-grown brands optimise their production capacity structure and ramp up investments in research & development and production operations, thereby improving their competitive edge in international markets.

3. Taking the initiative to expand imports

The reduction of auto and anti-cancer drug tariffs will allow foreign models to be introduced to the country at a lower price. This may bring pressure to Chinese domestic enterprises initially, but it also motivates the Chinese enterprises to enhance their capabilities and adjust to the competitiveness of the international market.

4. Creating a more attractive investment environment

It can be anticipated that in the future, China will create a more fair and stable tax and business environment for taxpayers by focusing on both “reducing tax burdens” and “facilitating tax compliance”. The evolving tax and business environment are crucial for enhancing a country’s soft competitive power.

5. Strengthening the protection of intellectual property rights

In addition to actions taken at the national level, enterprises need to strengthen the protection of their IPR, investing more in enhancing their awareness and ability to innovate, and continually attract and cultivate innovative talent. By doing so, together with the government, they could effectively push IPR progress to a higher level.

6. Benefitting from the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)

Future BRI projects will also likely pay closer attention to effects on the environment and seek to minimise environmental impacts in order to achieve the goal of “shared benefits” for all. The BRI is also not just about Chinese outbound projects, but also concerns foreign investment into China.

Read full article

Russian Football Premier League: A comprehensive study of the economics of Russian football

Regular football fans – and football industry insiders – have plenty to look forward to in Russia. In the run-up to the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia this summer, our colleagues of the Sports Consulting Practice at PwC Russia has joined forces with the Russian Football Premier League to survey the country’s top league. In the report they explore areas such as infrastructure, commercial deals, attendance and fan engagement – and benchmark the finances of the cream of Russian clubs against their counterparts in the leading European leagues.

In this blog post we introduce a few of the key findings by way of a taster. The authors − Oleg Malyshev, Aleksander Kardash and Anastasia Shalimova at PwC Russia – report that top Russian football is making up ground, both in sporting and business terms, on the leading leagues in Europe. The four most promising developments are as follows:

State-of-the-art infrastructure and technology boosting fan enjoyment and revenues
Currently in its sixteenth season, the Russian Football Premier league has formulated a strategy designed to maximise commercial revenue over the next few years. By providing better insights into the economics of the Russian game, the first survey of the league, conducted by PwC and entitled Russian Football Premier League: a comprehensive study of the economics of Russian football, is an important stepping stone towards this goal.

Obviously the upcoming FIFA World Cup, to be held in Russia this summer, is generating a great deal of excitement. But the league – and its member clubs – are determined to actively leverage the effects. The World Cup is giving clubs a great tool to attract people to watch the game, both regular fans and VIPs. Many of the stadiums built for the World Cup will debut this season. The new Saint Petersburg Stadium is already breaking match-day attendance records, new arenas are due to open in Ekaterinburg and Rostov-on-Don, and Dynamo Stadium in Moscow will soon reopen after a massive overhaul. The RFPL is also spearheading the adoption of new technology, with a new fan identification system about to be launched and video assistant referee systems currently being installed in stadiums.

Economic innovation also kicking off in Russian football
Technological innovation is being accompanied by the adoption of state-of-the-art business approaches. Russian football is becoming increasingly popular abroad, watched by fans in more than fifty countries and regions including Europe, Central and South America, Israel, China and the UAE. Twenty companies have purchased broadcasting rights to RFPL matches.

This growing popularity is one of the reasons sponsors are becoming more interested in top Russian football. Alongside increases in match-day revenue we’re seeing sponsors pay more attention both to the league and the clubs. The league’s title sponsor is Rosgosstrakh, and other important sponsors include Nike and Liga Stavok, a sports book.

New venues and technology-enabled means of direct-to-consumer sponsorship activation (such as social media, email, SMS and chatbots) are making it more interesting for FMSG companies to invest in advertisement in football.

Online no longer a mere sideline
Online sales are a big deal across the entire league. Most clubs now have online ticketing and merchandise stores, building up a strong presence on social media. As a result, some clubs now generate up to 80 percent of their regular ticket sales via online channels – their own website and mobile apps or third parties such as online ticketing aggregators. Even the average club already generates around 40% of total sales online.

Clubs are also pretty savvy when it comes to driving attendance by using promotions or offering free tickets or discounts. While only a third of RFPL clubs already use customer relationship management (CRM) systems to provide personalised service and boost fan loyalty, nearly half of all clubs plan on adopting CRM systems during the season.

UEFA penalties forcing more prudent financial management
Because of UEFA Financial Fair Play rules designed to help clubs achieve financial sustainability by striking a balance between their income and expenditure, clubs are required to be more prudent in terms of what they spend, and look for more and more ways to boost commercial revenues.

This vigilance is bearing fruit. Having paid UEFA penalties under the current rules, the financial activities of several clubs continue to be monitored. But there were no fines for violating financial fair play rules in 2016-17. These financial improvements are resulting in healthier competition on and off the field, and more attention paid to young local talent.

Conclusion: plenty to get excited about in Russia, both on and off the field
While there are still areas for improvement, in this World Cup year there’s plenty to get excited about in Russian football, with promising new developments both on and off the field. Clubs have increasing financial incentives to improve their sporting performance, build the loyalty and engagement of their fans, and modernise the way they go about their business. And they’re increasingly harnessing this potential by adopting smart technology and business approaches.

If you’d like to find out more, check out the report − Russian Football Premier League: a comprehensive study of the economics of Russian football  – or get in touch with me to discuss the opportunities in football and other sports in Russia.

How healthy were hospital finances in 2016?

The Swiss healthcare sector is increasingly dynamic and competition-driven, with growing economic incentives. Our analysis of financial information from Swiss hospitals reveals that too many acute hospitals are not yet profitable enough.

On average the situation at psychiatric care facilities looks slightly better. Against this backdrop, many hospitals and clinics face major challenges when it comes to funding investments in the long term. Added to this is the fact that new healthcare delivery models, changing roles and digital technology will come to dominate the healthcare landscape as we approach 2030. Hospitals will have to be agile and open to innovation to be able to withstand this pressure and flourish.

Download an excerpt of the study alongside with analyses in interactive format on www.pwc.ch/hospitalstudy. The complete study is available in German and French.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out to us. We look forward to hearing from you.

Contacts

Patrick Schwendener, CFA
PwC | Director | Deals | Valuation & Modelling | Healthcare
Office: +41 58 792 15 08 | Mobile: +41 79 816 69 10
Email: patrick.schwendener@ch.pwc.com

Philip Sommer
PwC | Director | Consulting
Office: +41 58 792 7528 | Mobile: +41 76 516 1741
Email: philip.sommer@ch.pwc.com

Artificial Intelligence & Project Management: Beyond human imagination!

12. April 2018 – An event by PMI Switzerland Chapter and PwC Switzerland

Around 200 years ago the industrial revolution changed society for good. Today, another revolution is under way, with potentially even farther-reaching consequences.

Experts are predicting that Artificial intelligence (AI) in industry will change everything about the way we produce, manufacture and deliver. Cognitive computing, machine learning, natural language processing: these different terms have emerged as the technology has progressed in recent years.

What they all encapsulate is the idea that machines could one day be taught to learn how to adapt by themselves, rather than having to be spoon-fed every instruction for every eventuality. Now, according to many, that day has arrived. AI will change the world.

At this event, Marc Lahmann and Manuel Probst will show how AI is set to change project management practice. They’ll also be explaining how project managers can prepare themselves to stay relevant in a fully integrated, automated and predictive project management world.

Agenda –  12 April, 2018
18:00 Registration
18.30 Presentation
19:30 Q&A
20:00 Networking Apéro

Event Language: English

Professional Development Units: 2
– Leadership
– Strategic & Business Management
– Technical Project Management

Please be aware that at the event photos of the audience are made and published on the PMI Switzerland homepage as well as on Facebook. The event may also be live broadcasted over Facebook. With your attendance you accept these conditions.

Event fee discounts: If your are PMI-CH member, please log in with your PMI-CH member account at www.pmi-switzerland.ch and enter the event from there in order to benefit from the membership discount.

Cancellation policy: 100% refund is possible for a ticket if cancelled 5 days before the event.

Registration

Contacts

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

Manuel Probst
Senior Manager Transformation Assurance
+41 58 792 27 62
manuel.probst@ch.pwc.com

Disclose 27, Focus piece 3: Fit for Growth – the smart way to cut costs, restructure and renew

Disclose – PwC’s online magazine

«It takes people, digital technologies and trust to achieve top performance.»

Reading our latest issue of Disclose (disclose.pwc.ch/27/) you’re sure to get an adrenaline rush as we investigate a topic with particularly close connections to sport: high-performing organisations.

Focus piece 3 gives you an insight into the topic Fit for Growth – the smart way to cut costs, restructure and renew

Companies across industries and geographies are realising that the only way to unleash profitable growth is to cut costs as rigorously as they concentrate on growing revenues. As with any living organism, there’s no profitable growth without equally robust pruning. To get fit enough to thrive in an increasingly tough environment, you need to focus on a small number of differentiating capabilities, align your cost structure to these capabilities, and organise for growth. In this article we look at how the world’s fittest companies have mastered these three components to achieve and maintain healthy, profitable growth – and at the principles that can enable companies in this country, to to prune their business for sustained success.

Read the full report here.

Contact

Niklas Hoppe
Partner, Strategy& Switzerland
+41 58 792 2875
n.hoppe@strategyand.ch.pwc.com

A look back at the PMI event: Creating high-performing teams for your projects, February 8

Lively exchange, interesting topics and inspiring conversations at the event held by the Project Management Institute (PMI) and PwC Switzerland

Human capital research has given us some interesting insights over the last 30 years. Did you know, for example, that undermined motivation probably has a larger effect on productivity and quality than any other factor? And that after motivation, probably the largest influencer of productivity is the individual capabilities of members of a team or the working relationships among them? These and other facts have been discussed yesterday at the event on the subject “Creating high-performing teams for your projects”.

The interactive presentation has drawn on experience with building high-performing teams for IT projects, nationally and internationally. Attendees got insights into how to build teams that make the grade, what roles need to be included, and what factors influence behaviour and motivation.

We would like to say thank you to all attendees, colleagues, PMI and especially to our speaker Maarten Broekhuizen, senior manager in the Transformation Assurance division at PwC Netherlands, and would be delighted to have the pleasure of your company again soon.

About the next event: Artificial Intelligence & Project Management: Beyond human imagination!

Around 200 years ago the industrial revolution changed society for good. Today another revolution is under way, with potentially even farther-reaching consequences.

Artificial intelligence (AI) in industry, experts are predicting, will change everything about the way we produce, manufacture and deliver. Cognitive computing, machine learning, natural language processing – different terms have emerged as the technology has progressed in recent years. What they all encapsulate is the idea that machines could one day be taught to learn how to adapt by themselves, rather than having to be spoon-fed every instruction for every eventuality. Now, according to many, that day has arrived. AI will change the world.

Date: Thursday, April 12, 2018 from 6:00 PM to 9:30 PM (CEST)
Location: Geneva, Switzerland.

Registration

Contact

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

Manuel Probst
Senior Manager Transformation Assurance
+41 58 792 27 62
manuel.probst@ch.pwc.com

 

Cut costs and grow stronger – Join our Fit for Growth Event

You don’t need us to tell you how tough it is to cover your costs in today’s global, digitally disintermediated financial services market, never mind post healthy profits.

What we can offer you is a proven approach to enable you to grow stronger and achieve healthy, lasting profitability.
 
We call this approach Fit for Growth, and it has already helped some of the world’s most prominent players get in shape to compete and flourish.

We’d like to invite you to join us and peers from the financial services industry for an evening on our Fit for Growth approach on Thursday, 1 February 2018. Basically you’ll find out how to grow stronger by making deliberate, holistic choices on where to invest in new cost-cutting technologies and where to cut costs, and in particular

  • how to focus on the unique differentiating capabilities
  • how to align your cost structure around ‘good’ and ‘bad’ costs and redistribute costs to create room to invest in differentiation and innovation
  • how artificial intelligence and other digital technologies will help you achieve these goals.

We’ll be starting the evening with a brief introduction to cost-cutting with our Fit for Growth framework, followed by a keynote speech from PwC’s European Data & Analytics Advisory Leader Christian Kirschniak on how data analytics and artificial intelligence can help you achieve these goals.

This evening will be well worth your while. We look forward to seeing you on 1 February!

Click here to register online

Please note that seats are limited.

Date and Time
Thursday, 1 February, 2018
18:00 – 19:30, followed by an apéro

Venue
Savoy Baur en Ville
Poststrasse 12
8001 Zürich

This time our new Fit for Growth* Event addresses mainly the financial service industry. In our next events we will cover other industries as well.

Contact
Utz Helmuth
Strategy&
+41 77 409 4571
utz.helmuth@strategyand.ch.pwc.com

*Fit for Growth is a registered service mark of PwC Strategy& LLC in the United States.

Creating high-performing teams for your projects

An event by PMI Switzerland Chapter and PwC Switzerland

Human capital research has given us some interesting insights over the last 30 years. Did you know, for example, that undermined motivation probably has a larger effect on productivity and quality than any other factor? And that after motivation, probably the largest influencer of productivity is the individual capabilities of members of a team or the working relationships among them?

This interactive presentation draws on experience with building high-performing teams for IT projects, nationally and internationally. You’ll get insights into how to build teams that make the grade, what roles need to be included, and what factors influence behaviour and motivation. And you’ll find out what happiness and grit could possibly have to do with the success of a project.

About our speaker:

Maarten Broekhuizen is a senior manager in the Transformation Assurance division at PwC Netherlands. He has more than 10 years’ experience in advising firms on IT and business transformation challenges and troubled projects in the Netherlands, Europe, the US and South America. Maarten has a master’s in business administration and information management. One of the questions that has run through his career has been why some project teams are more successful than others. He looks forward to sharing his experience helping you create your own high-performing team for your project(s).

Agenda

  • 18:00 Registration
  • 18.30 Presentation
  • 19:30 Q&A
  • 20:00 Networking Apéro

Event Language: English

Professional Development Units: 2

  • 0.5 Leadership
  • 1.0 Strategic & Business Management
  • 0.5 Technical Project Management

Please be aware that at the event photos of the audience are made and published on the PMI Switzerland Chapter homepage as well as on Facebook. The event may also be live broadcasted over Facebook. With your attendance you accept these conditions.

Event fee discounts
If your are PMI-CH member, please log in with your PMI-CH member account at www.pmi-switzerland.ch and enter the event from there in order to benefit from the membership discount.

Cancellation policy
100% refund is possible for a ticket if cancelled 5 days before the event.

Registration

Contact

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

Manuel Probst
Senior Manager Transformation Assurance
+41 58 792 27 62
manuel.probst@ch.pwc.com

 

China Economic Quarterly November 2017

Overall 2017 economy likely to outperform market expectations, despite moderately slower growth in third quarter.

This latest issue of China Economic Quarterly, which provides analysis of major economic data points in China for Q3 2017, summarises main policy developments and discusses hot topics of interest. In the third quarter, China’s GDP growth slowed slightly as expected to 6.8%, partly due to the government’s efforts to rein in property investment and debt risks.

Here are some highlights of the macro economic and policy updates:

  • The economic growth rate in 2017 is likely to demonstrate a better performance than that of 2016 and beat the market expectation of 6.7% thanks to the strong contribution from the service sectors.
  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has upgraded its economic forecast for China to 6.8% and 6.5% for 2017 and 2018 respectively. This is the fourth time this year that the IMF has upgraded China’s economic forecast.
  • As the national and local governments step up their restrictive policies to further curb speculation, property sales might decrease in the fourth quarter and next year.
  • China’s imports and exports had the best performance amongst all major economic indicators, thanks to the moderate recovery of global economy and fairly strong domestic demand.
  • China will step up efforts to protect the legal rights and interests of entrepreneurs, strengthen protection of intellectual property rights (IPR), fight against monopolies, unfair competition practices and regional protectionism, and remove regulations that undermine fair competition.

Download full report

 

To read more, you can access the latest issue of China Economic Quarterly by clicking the following links:

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

Rescuing struggling projects

When managing the project recovery process it’s crucial to avoid taking action for action’s sake, treating the situation as a fire drill, or only addressing the superficial symptoms rather than the real underlying issues. You have to take a structured approach, starting with stabilising the project on the basis of the visible symptoms, and going on to do an in-depth root cause analysis as the basis for defining a recovery plan. This will help the project move beyond mere survival to achieve a sustainable solution in the long term.

Move beyond mere survival to find a sustainable path to recovery

Businesses today are facing challenges like never before which is driving an increased demand for transformation projects, each one more complex than the last. Over half of projects fail completely or exceed their budget significantly. It is no longer about if a project struggles, but when. Is your project is in trouble? What will it take to rescue it for the long-term? Read more …

Contact

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

Manuel Probst
Assurance Senior Manager
+41 58 792 27 62
manuel.probst@ch.pwc.com