2020 - Feb 20, 2020

Swiss companies in China: struggling with consequences of Coronavirus but seeing a ray of light at the end of the tunnel

  • Personnel shortages, production downtimes, travel restrictions, interrupted supply chains and reduced demand: Swiss companies in China struggle with the effect of the epidemic but see light at the end of the tunnel.
  • The total number of people still sick from the Coronavirus starts to decrease, with the recovery of over 16’000 patients.
  • A broad government strategy aims to restart economic production and ease the burden on companies, for example with special loans or the delay of tax and social welfare payments. Swiss Centers China experts expect the stimulus program to offset damages to the economy from the Coronavirus.

Shanghai (February 20, 2020) – The Coronavirus epidemic is not only a humanitarian disaster; the unprecedented measures taken to contain it are hitting the Chinese economy hard. Municipal quarantines have blocked many migrant workers from returning to their workplaces after the extended Chinese New Year holiday. Most international flights have been cancelled, some interprovince roads and railway lines are blocked, many shops and restaurants are closed, Chinese tourism is at a standstill both domestically and internationally.

“Most office employees of the Swiss Centers China member companies are currently working from their homes without much disruption, but production companies face big challenges to bring back their migrant workers and get components from their local suppliers,” explains Nicolas Musy, Delegate of the Board of Swiss Centers China (SCC), a non-profit organization that lowers the market entry barriers into Asia for Swiss companies. In a recent survey by SwissCham China in cooperation with the Swiss Embassy, 71% of the Swiss companies responded that the Coronavirus affects their business negatively. 21% are considering a budget reduction of more than 15%.

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