Coffee lovers will soon be able to trace their daily brew back to the farmer by using a Swiss-made mobile app based on blockchain technology. Tatjana Meier, senior managing consultant at IBM in Switzerland, is leading development of the “Thank My Farmer” app. She says consumers, especially young adults, want to know that their coffee has been processed “in a sustainable way and in a fair way.”
Swiss medtech company Ascom is overhauling its corporate structure and taking other steps to revive its fortunes after revenue slumped last year. Reto Huber, senior research analyst at Research Partners, welcomes the latest turnaround efforts, which he says will help put responsibility back into the hands of the company’s regional managers and restore its focus on customers.
Discussions on how to regulate the crypto industry without stifling innovation dominated this week’s Crypto Finance Conference, where the speakers included U.S. Securities and Exchange Commissioner Hester Peirce. “If you don’t define the regulation for this space, not a lot is going to happen,” said Nicolo Stöhr, CEO of the event in St. Moritz.
Part of the initial agreement struck between the U.S. and China was “in clear violation” of WTO rules, which state that two parties cannot do an agricultural deal without inviting other parties to the table, claims Steen Jakobsen, chief economist and CIO of Saxo Bank, in what he says is part of an inevitable move toward two separate global platforms.
Europe is lagging behind the U.S. and China in creating major global technology-driven companies, says Fabian Hediger, co-founder and CEO of Worldwebforum, taking place this week and at which CNNMoney Switzerland is a media partner. He argues that the right leadership, one of the key themes of the forum, is key in helping companies harness the technological changes in their industry.
The U.S. this week put Switzerland back on its watch list of currency manipulators less than a year after removing it. The move will make it harder for the SNB to intervene in markets to keep the franc in check, says Samy Chaar, chief economist at Lombard Odier. “That obviously creates more pressure for the Swiss National Bank in an environment where they already have pressure.”
New EU rules around sustainability, fintech, and data protection are throwing up fresh regulatory challenges for Switzerland as it looks to align itself with standards set by its biggest trading partner. Guenther Dobrauz, partner and leader of PwC Legal Switzerland, says the country will continue to do things its own way and in its own time.
Five years ago, the Swiss National Bank stunned markets when it abruptly abandoned its cap on the franc. Peter Romanzina, head of brokerage at Vontobel Investment Banking, discusses how Swiss exporters have coped with a stronger currency since that tumultuous event.
Traditional businesses that make a habit of trying out new ideas are more likely to survive disruptive innovations, even if most of those experiments end in failure, says Amy Wilkinson, entrepreneur and author of the The Creator’s Code: The Six Essential Skills of Extraordinary Entrepreneurs. “You can fail catastrophically if you aren’t trying anything new,” she says. “What you want to be doing is failing incrementally.” Starting this week, Wilkinson will be at the Worldwebforum, where CNNMoney Switzerland is a media partner.
The world’s top 10 terrorist organizations have an estimated annual budget of USD 3.6 billion, according to AlixPartners. Veit Buetterlin, a director at the consulting firm, warns that the fight against the financing of terrorism needs to be a collective effort by countries as it becomes more globalized and complex.
March 3, also known as Super Tuesday, is a key date in the U.S. primary elections that will give investors important clues as to which candidates are leading the race. It will also set the course for markets, says Thomas Wille, head of research and strategy at LGT.