To create a long-term basis of talent and strong relationships between China and Switzerland, I think it’s important that we dedicate special attention to education.
We now see that young people in Switzerland have woken up to the importance of China. We see them coming here to learn the language, do internships or exchanges.
We should also think about building up a bigger platform, making sure that it’s not only the top universities that have access to education and experience in China, but also some of the more practical-oriented faculties and students who should come into contact with expertise in China.
I’m keen on developing more programmes as well. We have one called China Hardware Innovation Camp (CHIC), where we bring desigers, engineers and students of design, together with prototyping labs in the South of China.
We should continue investing into these experiments and making sure that the way China is perceived is not only on the surface, by doing study tours or coming to learn the language, but really going into the core of their innovation system, working on the factory floors, sourcing the materials, and understanding how businesses are run.
This is preparing for us the competitive advantage for the next 20 years.
Pascal Marmier is Vice Consul General (Innovation) & CEO, swissnex China