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- The results of the recent Swiss Business in China Survey 2022 reflect the tumultuous events of this year. Early in the year, Swiss business leaders’ plans to invest in China were at their highest ever level on the back of high profit and revenue growth expectations for 2022.
- For the first time, a follow‐up mid‐year flash survey was conducted to re‐evaluate the level of business sentiment recorded at the start of the year. War in the Ukraine, growing geopolitical tensions in Asia, and the ongoing Omicron lockdowns in China lead to an unprecedented collapse in business confidence.
- Swiss companies face ever‐fiercer competition with 60% identifying it as the main external challenge, while the top internal challenges remain finding and retaining talents for 88% of the respondents.
- China’s rising demand for advanced technologies and the growing domestic consumption remain the drivers of future business growth and long‐term optimism for Swiss companies.
Shanghai (September 16, 2022) – In 2022, for the first time ever, the Swiss Business in China Survey was conducted twice within the same year: early in 2022 and then later with a mid‐year flash follow‐up to re‐evaluate the initial findings. The goal was to understand how the war in the Ukraine, geopolitical tensions in Asia and the ongoing Omicron lockdowns in China impacted the expectations of Swiss companies in 2022 and beyond.
The results of the survey, 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, reflect the tumultuous events of this year.
“This year’s survey is unprecedented since we started making such studies in 2006”, comments Nicolas Musy, Delegate of the Board of the Swiss Centers Group, a platform that lowers the market entry barriers into Asia for Swiss companies.
“The initial survey at the beginning of the year recorded the highest‐ever level of business confidence. In the middle of the year, the follow‐up survey was very different, showing a dramatic collapse in business confidence to the lowest level on record. The Omicron outbreak and lockdowns in China, as well as the growing geopolitical tensions have strongly impacted the expectations of Swiss businesses for 2022 and beyond.”
By early 2022, all of the growth lost due to the pandemic had been fully recovered, and Swiss managers viewed 2022 with unfettered optimism. Over 70% of respondents had expectations of higher sales, almost two thirds expected higher profits, and no respondents expected a decrease or termination of investments in China. The second survey showed that only 38% of surveyed businesses now expected higher sales and 15% foresaw a decrease or termination of investments in China. Many respondents cited geopolitical tensions as a cause.