Expo to Strengthen Image of Swiss Companies

The largest world exhibition of all time opened up in Shanghai. “The Expo is the biggest showcase of international display that Chinese will have ever seen. It is a great chance to further strengthen the image of Switzerland and Swiss companies, which are a very important component of the Swiss image”, says Nicolas Musy, Managing Director of Swiss Center Shanghai (SCS). SCS, the largest cluster of Swiss enterprises in China, is a non-profit organization that facilitates the market entry of companies in the Far East. “Chinese decision makers see Swiss companies as very reliable, accurate and professional – especially in the machinery and precision industries. This is a good chance to cultivate this image”, states Mr. Musy.

According to a survey by Presence Switzerland upon 860 opinion leaders in China, the overall image of Switzerland is better than the image of the compared countries France, Germany, UK, Austria, USA and South Korea. Above all, the Chinese managers and students highlight the Swiss top level in quality of life and product quality.

Innovator image to be developed
However, the Chinese opinion leaders are not much aware of the Swiss excellence in research and education and of Switzerland’s ability to innovate, though it is No 1 in Europe. Mr. Musy: “This perception may change. According to the latest Swiss Chinese Chamber of Commerce survey, within the next 2-5 years, 69% of Swiss companies will be doing R&D in China.”

Christian Guertler, President of the Swiss Chinese Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai, sees the same development: “Swiss companies in China have to adapt to the local needs and increase their local development and innovation efforts.” During the six months of the Shanghai World Expo, Mr. Guertler expects the Swiss industry to spotlight its expertise. “The image of Switzerland and Swiss companies that Chinese visitors should take away from the Expo should be: quality, reliability, design and innovation”, adds Guertler.

The slogan of the Expo 2010 is “Better City, Better Life”. Switzerland participates with the main Swiss Pavilion on the sub-theme “rural-urban interaction” and the joint City Pavilion of Basel, Geneva and Zurich on best practices for sustainable water management. Basel is Shanghai’s sister city in Switzerland.

About Swiss Center Shanghai (SCS): Founded in 2000, SCS is by far the largest cluster of Swiss enterprises in China with a rich experience in business set-up and China operations management. SCS not only offers instant workshop, office and desk space, but also supports the companies with government relations and a broad network of experts. SCS served more than 100 companies in China – both SMEs and large enterprises. Among other, the SCS experts performed set-ups of 20 production companies and more than 30 offices and trading companies.

The Swiss Chinese Chamber of Commerce (SwissCham China, www.swisscham.org) is a network for the development of the Swiss-Sino economic relations. Over 600 companies (multinationals as well as SME) in China and Hong Kong, among them leading Swiss enterprises in trade, industry and financial services have joined the Chamber. SwissCham China is an association of three regional chambers in Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou and is associated with SwissCham Hong Kong. There is also a strong cooperation with the Swiss Chinese Chamber of Commerce in Switzerland (SCCC) with offices in Zurich, Geneva and Lugano.