Three seminars focusing on trade, tourism and innovation were hosted during the Swiss-Chinese Friendship Day event in Nanshan District, Shenzhen, yesterday, aimed at offering opportunities to cooperate between Switzerland and Shenzhen.
The Swiss Ambassador to China, Jean-Jacques de Dardel, said Shenzhen and Switzerland have worked together in biotech, med-tech and watch production.
“All of these very advanced fields of science, technology and business should bring us together. Do they? Not enough,” he said. De Dardel said he was not only impressed by Shenzhen’s economic output, but also the quality of life achieved through economic development without seriously affecting the environment.
“Now Shenzhen is extraordinary. It’s a miracle and an example for the world,” he said. “I’m sure that there are still many business leaders, researchers, bright young people and startups who haven’t fully realized that here is a paradise for what they do, so what I do expect is a quick increase in cooperation.”
According to de Dardel, there are 101 Swiss companies in Guangdong Province and 23 of them are based in Shenzhen. “I’m not happy about 23 only here. I think we could have a lot more and I’m sure we will,” he said, adding that these are mainly engineering companies.
He said Switzerland will be a good choice for Chinese investors and entrepreneurs to expand their business because of the long-standing good relations between both countries, and also because of the openness of society, political stability and a brain-led economy in Switzerland.
“We are also a major economic power. Our domestic market may be small, but our domestic market is Europe. It’s not only Switzerland,” he said.
The event was organized by the Consulate General of Switzerland in Guangzhou and supported by the Shenzhen Foundation for International Exchange and Cooperation.
Beat Schmid, deputy consul general of Switzerland in Guangzhou, said the event was aimed at introducing Switzerland to Chinese partners.
Schmid highlighted research and innovation as the major area for partnership. “We have a lot of research and investment from Switzerland, and Shenzhen brings a very good platform to actually implement these new inventions and brings a lot of new ideas and gives it a first try,” he said.
Lukas Huber, Greater Zurich Area AG’s director in Asia, said his agency has a strong focus on China and it basically helps Chinese companies invest in Switzerland.
The Swiss-Chinese Friendship Day activities have been held in seven major cities among six provinces in China.