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!