Watches, Swiss choco­late hit by stronger franc

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE -

The stronger franc will cut sales in China of two well-known sym­bols of lux­ury from Switzer­land — watches and cho­co­lates, an­a­lysts say.

The Swiss Na­tional Bank sur­prised the world on Jan 15 by an­nounc­ing the aban­don­ment of its min­i­mum ex­change rate pol­icy, which kept the euro from fall­ing be­low 1.2 Swiss francs.

The SNB said in a state­ment that the pol­icy, in­tro­duced in 2011, “pro­tected the Swiss econ­omy from se­ri­ous harm” but was no longer jus­ti­fied be­cause the franc had fallen sharply against the dol­lar due to the re­cent de­pre­ci­a­tion of the euro.

That decision, ex­perts said, may be hurt­ing in­ter­na­tional business ven­tures, in­clud­ing tourism and trade be­tween China and Switzer­land, but lux­ury ex­ports to China will be hit the hard­est.

Yan Xin, a se­nior man­ager at the pub­lic af­fairs depart­ment of Ctrip, China’s lead­ing on­line travel agency, said that China’s tourism in the coun­try is un­likely to be af­fected be­cause Switzer­land is not a popular travel des­ti­na­tion for the China’s nou­veau rich.

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