Swiss companies in China: post-Covid confidence boost
- The Swiss business community in China has regained its confidence: In the recent “Swiss
Business in China” survey, 62% of respondents expect higher or substantially higher
profits in 2023 compared to 2022.
- The confidence level, at 7.2 out of 10, is not only significantly higher than in 2022, but also
stands out historically.
- The strict zero-Covid measures have hurt Swiss companies in China: One fourth of
respondents stated that the measures have reduced their China sales by 30% or more.
- Geopolitics have entered the business equation: Though Swiss companies see China as a
priority investment market at levels similar to before the pandemic, 42% of respondents are
postponing or canceling some investments in China due to international tensions.
Shanghai (May 25, 2023) – Decision makers of Swiss enterprises in China have regained their confidence
after the end of zero-Covid policies in the second largest economy of the world: In the recent “Swiss Business
in China” survey, 62% of respondents expect higher or substantially higher profits in China in 2023 compared
to the year before. “During the pre-pandemic years of 2019, 2018 and 2017, 48% of companies expected
higher profits when compared to the previous year. However, the proportion of Swiss firms expecting lower
profits increased to 13% in the 2023 survey while the three pre-pandemic years average was 7%,” states
Nicolas Musy, Delegate of the Board of the Swiss Centers Group, a non-profit organization that lowers the
Asian market entry hurdles for Swiss enterprises. “More importantly, the confidence now is higher than even
in the recent pre-pandemic years. We have developed the confidence index first in 2014. And we have to go
back to that year to reach a higher result than the post zero-COVID confidence level of 2023.”
The Swiss Business in China survey is published by the University of St. Gallen (HSG), the Swiss Centers
Group, and China Integrated in partnership with the Embassy of Switzerland in China, SwissCham China,
Swissnex, Economiesuisse, Switzerland Global Enterprise and the Swiss-Chinese Chamber of
Commerce. The comprehensive survey includes responses from 111 Swiss companies, both SMEs and large
enterprises, and is believed to be representative of the roughly 600 Swiss companies in China. (Download the
full survey HERE)
The survey features a metric to compare the confidence level of Swiss enterprises over the years. In the recent
survey, the confidence level of respondents reaches 7.2 on a scale from 0 (absolutely not confident) to 10
(extremely confident) when asked about the next year. The confidence about the next five years is equally
high (7.17). “After China’s reopening, the Swiss business confidence has rebounded. Swiss companies see
very positive opportunities for their businesses in China. This confidence level was recorded in the first quarter
of 2023 looking only at the business environment, though. This outlook is still less positive than in 2022 pre-lockdown when it reached its highest recorded level,” underlines Musy.