Update: we are back to having manageable weather... thank goodness!
The weather is getting warmer but we've been enjoying being able to be outdoors. I was in town recently and while walking by Huaihai Park found out that they were hosting a Swiss Week event/market. It made me smile.
It was a nice surprise and so I casually meandered through the park to see what Swiss things were on offer to the Chinese. Most of the brands we are familiar with were there; Lindt, Mövenpick, Franke etc and I loved that Appenzeller Beer was also on offer.
It was nice to see the Swiss presence in downtown and to note that there has been a significant increase of Swiss brands entering the Chinese market. Most notably since 2013 when Switzerland and China signed a bilateral free trade agreement. The agreement allowed for custom duties on 93 per cent of industrial goods exported to China be reduced or eliminated. This explains why I can now buy Emmi milk for 16 rmb or 2.10 euro which is a far cry from our days in Beijing when imported milk cost us more than double!
The general image that the Chinese have of Switzerland is that it's a beautiful country with an abundance of chocolate and watches. The direct translation of the Chinese word for Switzerland is 'auspicious land'.