Preparatory Seminar – 2nd Day

 

The second day of the preparatory seminar mainly dealt with Insight China’s main topic “One Belt, One

Road”.

As first guest speaker, we welcomed Mr. Patrick Roettger, Managing Director of Lenovo Switzerland GmbH. He mainly addressed the success of a global Chinese company, taking Lenovo as a best practice example. Today, Lenovo belongs to one of the top companies worldwide. More than 68 % of the revenue is generated outside of China. Most of the production, however, is located in China, being distributed over the Silk Road, thereby following the goals of OBOR. Closing his speech, Mr. Patrick Roettger especially highlights the importance of diversity and open mindedness regarding other cultures. “Be global, not international and avoid stereotypes and predefined options”.

 

Next, Mr. Hui Gu, Minister-Counsellor Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Switzerland, touched upon the Swiss Chinese relations and the perceptions of OBOR. Mr. Hui Gu especially points out the improved relationship between China and Switzerland in matters of trade, finance, innovation, and infrastructure. In 1950 Switzerland was among the very first countries to recognize and establish new ties with China. With the OBOR Initiative, Mr. Hui Gu highlights the opening up of a new era, in which not only Switzerland and China, but also many other countries profit from. The initiative aims to build a community with a shared future for mankind. Hereby, a wide consultation, a joint contribution and shared benefits are needed. Mr. Hui Gu states that, “with the spirit of mutual respect, treating each other as equals, mutual benefit and win-win, Chinese Swiss relations will play a pioneer role in the building of a new type of international relations”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Before lunch, Dr. Daniel V. Christen, Board Member of Swiss-Chinese Chamber of Commerce, CEO Assetis AG talked about the Financial Aspects of OBOR. Today, the initiative focus lies in the investment in developing markets, towards Central Asia, East Europe, Southeast Asia and North Africa. Although the initiative stimulates a massive market, it also leads to a wide range of costs. According to Dr. Daniel V. Christen, the investment amounts to trillions of dollars. The total expected financing associated with the Belt and Road initiative is USD 20 trillion. The OBOR initiative is not only just an economic project, but it also facilitates the trade between China and its main partners, as well as helps get resources from Africa back to China.

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the afternoon, we had the pleasure to welcome Mr. Xiankun Lu, Managing Director Ledeco Geneva and Visiting Professor, Wuhan University of China, who just arrived yesterday in Switzerland from China’s spring festival. He presented us the strategic aspects of China’s OBOR Initiative. Starting with the history, how the first silk road even evolved, followed by the strategic objectives of OBOR, what the five aspects of OBOR are, about its challenges and opportunities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The CEO of the Bertschi Group, which is also a long-term Gold Partner of Insight China, Mr. Hans-Jörg Bertschi, gave us an outlook of the concrete projects of Bertschi AG around OBOR. The company was the first which ever transported liquid chemical by rail on the Silkroad between Europe and China. Today the company focus lies in China and the Middle East and Mr. Bertschi already has plans for the company’s future.

Today was all about the One Belt, One Road Initiative. We had the honour and pleasure to welcome again many fascinating guest speakers and experienced an amazing traditional Chinese lion dance by the Chin Woo Kung Fu Schule Affoltern. Thank you!

 

Preparatory Seminar – 1st day

Finally, the time has come; the eagerly awaited Preparatory Seminar has officially started! The Preparatory Seminar gives a thorough introduction to life and work in China and is the ideal preparation for the On-site Seminar trip. From culture, history to the economic development – the program is fully packed with interesting topics.

The first day started off with a joint introductory remark by Prof. Dr. Ruedi Nützi, Director of School of Business at FHNW, Prof. Dr. Crispino Bergamaschi, President FHNW, and Doris Leuthard, Federal Councillor of Switzerland. The Swiss Federal Councillor gave us a lively insight into the strong connection between politics and economy on an international basis. We highly appreciate to have started off our preparatory seminar with such high prominence.

After the welcoming and opening speech, Prof. Dr. Ruedi Nützi joined our delegation to kick-off our individual seminar. In his presentation, he outlined the prosperous relationship between the FHNW and China. The school’s longstanding history of intensive exchange with Chinese universities and institutions is remarkable. For several years FHNW has built a network in China that is second to none. With the establishment of its own Swiss SME Research Center in China, the school is capable to provide consultancy services to numerous Swiss companies, who want to gain a foothold in the Chinese market. After all, building genuine partnerships in China does not always work smoothly and is further complicated by cultural differences and complex regulations. China is getting stronger in many different aspects, such as rising self-confidence and a stronger economy.

For Prof. Dr. Ruedi Nützi it is a must for Switzerland to have a real understanding of China. The strategy of FHNW is to enhance the international activity and know-how exchange between Switzerland and China. Switzerland can profit from China’s ability to be flexible and their long-term orientation.

Next, Mrs. Fan Neifer Yang, Lecturer at FHNW, gave us a thorough introduction into the Chinese language. The Chinese language takes on a long traditional history (5000 years) and is the native language of 1/5 of the world’s population and belongs to one of the 6 official languages of the United Nation. She taught us the principles of the Chinese languages inclusive practices in pronunciation. The delegation was split into four groups and had the chance to practice daily conversations.

In the afternoon Insight China had the great opportunity to have an interview with Dr. Uli Sigg. It was an honour that he took some of his precious time to provide us with insights into his interesting and diversified life. As he formed with Schindler the first ever Joint Venture between China and a Western Country and served as the Swiss ambassador in China from 1995 to 1999, he could give us a very broad insight of the Chinese culture and how business is done in China. Furthermore, Dr. Uli Sigg has formed the most substantial collection of contemporary Chinese Art with around 2200 works, of which he donated 1450 work to the M+ Museum in Hong Kong.

The day has been closed by Andreas Ryser, Sales and Project Engineer at Schindler Group, presenting the company’s activities in China. In 1980, Schindler China Elevator Co. Ltd. was the first industrial Joint Venture founded in China. According to Ryser, China is no longer a country where cheap production takes place. The future of the economic growth lays clearly within the Asian pacific region, where developments are coming from and where the businesses are. Just like Dr. Uli Sigg, Andreas Ryser has a broad knowledge of China and we are grateful that he shared his experiences and knowledge with us.

Already the first day of the preparatory seminar was marked by fascinating and interesting speeches of prominent guest speakers. Our delegation already gained a tremendous amount on information and knowledge about China. Insight China is looking forward to further exciting days and company visits!

 

Preparatory Trip of the Project Team

After half a year of domestic preparations by the project team, it was time for us to go to China for a first time in 2018 in order to prepare the on-site seminar in a more detailed manner. The trip was a success all over.

Nothing beats a meeting

One can write a dozen e-mails, but a face to face meeting is irreplaceable. During our stay in China, we have met representatives from Lenovo, Inter China Consulting, Swissnex, Brugg Cables AG, M-Industries, Huawei, the Shenzhen Technology University, the Swiss Embassy, our Hotels and our local travel agency. In these meetings, we were able to discuss the respective expectations and fix certain details in order to organise an interesting and interactive on-site seminar for our delegation.

Cities which leave you speechless… literally!

For some of us, these were the first steps on Chinese soil. The hectic schedule (Beijing, Shanghai, Suzhou, Shenzhen in 8 days) forced us to adjust as quickly as possible. During the times which were not occupied by travelling to meetings or holding them, we discovered the unbelievable cities for ourselves. Constantly on the lookout for nice places for our delegation, we tested restaurants, checked out several sights and studied the public transportation system. This helped us to realise how massive these cities are. Many times, we were looking for the right words to describe the spectacular views and the entertaining happenings in front of our eyes. China really is different to Switzerland and experiencing it first hand is truly broadening one’s horizon. Looking for words, by the way, is a proper way to describe a journey through this country. The language barrier is huge and English does not take you far.

On-Site, we cannot wait!

As of now, we are sitting in the airport in Beijing, waiting for our flight back home to Zurich. With a bag full of experiences and a suitcase full of to-dos, we head back full of vigour. There is still an incredible amount of work to do but the last few days have made us confident that this year’s trip to China is going to be an awe-inspiring time for our delegation and us. We cannot wait!

Delegation Application is now open!

Hey!

Do you want to experience a once-in-a-lifetime trip? You want to learn more about China, its culture and economy? You are at right spot!

From today up until November 20, the application period is open!

Hit the button on the top right or access insightchina.ch/delegation-application to get more information and to apply straight away!

We cannot wait to read your application and to hopefully welcome you as a part of our delegation!

Your IC-Team!

 

Official closure of Insight China 2017

Our tremendous journey has come to an end and the superlatives could roll off our tongues endlessly. We are still awed by this country – a nation full of great places we’ve probably never thought to explore, with the same linguistic and cultural diversity as the entirety of Europe, surprises waiting around every corner and a growing number of vibrant and innovative companies. China, whom our hearts had grown so fond over this journey, enriched us in a very profound way, not only on a professional level but also on a personal level.

So as of today, we mark the official closure of Insight China 2017. The Insight China team has been selected and we proudly pass the project to our successors – The stage is yours! We wish you, the Insight China 2018 team, all much success and energy in tackling the challenges that lie ahead of you.

Finally, what remains to to be said is our infinite gratitude. A big shout-out and thank you goes to all our partners, speakers, companies, supervisors, lecturers and delegates that have made this incredible project possible!谢谢你!

And just one more thing…