Thought Starters by foraus Asia Co-Heads

Shuting Ling • 18 March 2019

Markus Herrmann and Michael Settelen, Co-Heads of the foraus Asia program and coaches during the Policy Cooking workshop in Zurich have come up with a few bullet points that, in addition to the publication with 12 policy action domains, can be used to kickstart the interest mapping / ideation process on the challenge.

Swiss foreign economic policy (effectiveness & execution)
−    Bilateral

  • FTA, IPA, Finanzplatzabkommen, RMB-Hub
  • Access to counterparts: dialogue architecture (right dialogues, effective/productive) discussions
  • Coordinated approach internally (thorough understanding of Swiss economic interests on sectoral/horizontal issues → associations)

-    Multilateral

  • WTO → reciprocity/market access incl. IP, JV-law, etc.; regionale Tradeblocs, RCEP, CPTPP → understanding the currently weak WTO

Support for businesses venturing to China (Market Access, Level Playing Field)
−    Thorough understanding of market developments, opportunities and challenges (market access, technology transfer requirements, public procurement, IP protection) for Swiss businesses → export promotion mandate Switzerland Global Enterprise, IP Dialogue
−    Sectoral / horizontal issues for Swiss businesses in CN? IP, Public Procurement
−    Business opportunities? (cleantech, fintech, e-commerce, BRI?)

Attracting CN investments to Switzerland
−    Thorough understanding of Chinese interests in the Swiss economy (sectoral investments, greenfield and Mergers and Acquisitions) needed → IP mandate Switzerland Global Enterprise
−    What investments needed/wanted, is there a need for screening? → innovation, succession planning, financing

Possible immediate avenues of action (Swiss capabilities)
−    Switzerland Global Enterprise, Associations

Business / market opportunities
-    climate/green technology
-    Chinese initiatives (e.g. BRI, China International Import Exposition, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank
-    eCommerce?

Policy challenges / systemic differences
−    State-led capitalist model (no level playing field, SOEs, no reciprocity, strategic M&A, technology transfer, ...) and industrial policy programs (MiC 2025, ...) → Swiss (non-)response vs. other countries’ response (UK, Germany, ...)