In this year’s edition we conducted our Seminar Abroad in Singapore. The city-state was an ideal destination for our project. Why? People with Chinese ethnicity make up a large amount of Singapore’s population and the country has close ties to the People’s Republic of China. The country is an intermixed country influenced by China but also Malaysia, India, Sri Lanka and many more. Singapore is a highly diverse place, where the project team and delegation had the opportunity to see and interact with people from different countries and cultures.
For the project and the delegation, it was quite interesting to compare similarities and differences of Switzerland to Singapore in many aspects. From an economic perspective which is the most fascinating, we experienced that the economic situation as well as living standards are similar to Switzerland. Singapore, as one of the four Asian tigers, is small yet has a strong economic force, looking at the GDP or unemployment rate for instance. Additionally, since we are an international business project, Singapore was a perfectly suitable destination for our Seminar Aboard. Not only is Singapore the fourth largest financial centre in the world but also do many international companies have their headquarters located in Singapore.
We were able to get a glimpse of Singapore’s work environment through the company visits we were able to do. At this point we would like to express our gratitude to Hilti Singapore, T-Systems Singapore and Kuehne + Nagel Singapore for enabling us to get educational insights into these companies and their way of operating at in their work environment.
At Hilti we were able to see their latest digital innovation systems as well as their education centre. We saw a recreation of their production centre with all different stages of manufacture. During the company visit of T-Systems we were able to see their Cyber Defense Centre and the Security Operations Center. There they outlined how hacker attacks happen, what their reaction in such a case is and what they do to take measures to prevent attacks from happening. At Kuehne + Nagel we were introduced how they operate internationally in the region of Southeast and East Asia.
From a cultural perspective both countries are somewhat similar as both countries have four official languages. However, in Switzerland these different language groups do not live as intermixed with each other as in Singapore and are rather divided due to geographical area. For example, in Singapore we thought it was fascinating to see so many people with all sorts of ethnicities in public places and transportation. Switzerland is also quite culturally diverse as well. Though people in Singapore tend to have more East, South Asian and Southeast Asian heritages, while in Switzerland you can see people from everywhere, though people usually have more European origins.
Additionally, we experienced Singapore as an urbanised and technologically advanced city. For instance, the “Trace Together” Application, which is used for contract tracing in times of the pandemic. Since the application works with Bluetooth it enables the citizens and tourists to access it without internet connection. People, who do not carry a mobile phone are provided with a token from the government or community centre that can be used without internet access.
Another application that we found useful and handy is “Grab”. The application provides food delivery, general cargo delivery, payment and even fast transportation opportunities. This shows us that instead of having multiple apps, all these functions can be merged into one application and offer many different services, which the user needs.