The delegation met again at 8.30h in the morning which was a good time to get together after an intense and interesting trip on Wednesday. The team showed up freshly recharged with new energy. Mr. Glatthard started the day with an insightful presentation about the challenges and opportunities for young professionals in the ASEAN region. His enthusiasm and his passion for the ASEAN business practices could be felt while he explained to us the major issues and opportunities that Europeans face when starting doing business in Asia. Furthermore, he encouraged us to network with different parties to help us launch our journey to become successful professionals. Moreover, he particularly gave us advice on how to proceed when you want to enter the ASEAN business world.
The next speech evolved around “Reshaping Urban Water and Singapore’s Quest for Sustainability”. Mr. Tuck Seng Low shared his knowledge and experience with the key characteristics of Singapore’s economy such as rapid industrialization, urbanization and the city’s density etc. which ultimately came at the cost of the environment. As emphasized by Mr. Low, the government is putting a lot of effort in taking eco-friendly measures in different sectors and is highly concerned about its water supply management.
The morning was concluded with a joint presentation from Roche with the InsightChina delegation. The speakers mainly talked about how making the Supply Chain Management more efficient and gave us a better understanding of why the prices of medical products are sometimes so high.
After enjoying an Asian lunch, the delegation was split up into three groups and rotated around different lecturers and guest speakers to get a deeper knowledge for the three countries and enabled us to ask more open and specific questions. Viet Nam was presented by our supervisor Mrs. Freiburghaus, Mr. Bohren gave us a deep insight into the Thai culture and that a certain behavior does not always correlate with our understanding of it. Last but not least, Mrs. Schärer informed us in an engaging and humoristic way about the quirks of Singapore and how surprisingly similar Singapore is to Switzerland on many levels.
All in all, the fourth day marked the last meeting of the preparatory seminar within the whole delegation and finished with a typical culinary treat from both countries, Switzerland and Viet Nam – chocolate and dried ginger plum.
On Wednesday morning, 12. February 2020, the exploreASEAN delegation had the opportunity to visit the DT Swiss headquarters in Biel/Bienne, Switzerland. We would like to thank DT Swiss for their time and the creation of unique insights into logistics, quality management and the production of spokes, ratchets and wheels. We were able to see the companies focus on sustainability and water treatment, reusing up to 90% of the water again for production. It was expressive to see how the spirit of DT Swiss is enhanced by the exiting, dynamic and international environment. We are delighted to further develop this long-lasting relationship to such an important and internationally recognised Swiss company with already the third visit of exploreASEAN.
In the afternoon the delegation was able to look into the most important source of energy production for Switzerland - the hydro-electric power plants. The visit of the Flusskraftwerk Ruppoldingen which is operated by Alpiq provided some exclusive awareness in relation to environment and electricity. Especially impressive is that the company already took the environment into consideration during the construction process in the late 1980ties and early 1990ties with for example its restoration of the bypass waterpass or its "natural" fish ladder.
We promise to positively represent the core values of DT Swiss and Alpiq in the ASEAN region during our on-site trip.
The second day of the exploreASEAN preparatory seminar started with a very insightful and interesting presentation of Sybille Vermont from the Swiss Federal Office of Environment. As a Deputy Head of the Section Global Affairs she represents Switzerland as a senior negotiator. In the frame of the topic “The flow of water”, she talked about the importance, the difficulties of management and the global need for water and shared her huge knowledge specifically about Switzerland and the ASEAN region.
The following guest-speaker was Patrick H. Kriesemer, who is the Vice President of the Swiss-Asian Chamber of Commerce. In his insightful speech he has enlightened the historical development or the Southeast Asian region with its diversity and differences. The morning was enriched with a case study on the product of Air Note, which was presented by the CEO Nicola Renda itself. All students were inspired to actively participate and to come up with a possible market entry strategy for the Asian region.
In the afternoon we were able to gain extraordinary and interesting insights into the Vietnam economics, the countries development and challenges, due to the visit of Prof. Dr. Bui Thanh Trang from the University of Economics Ho Chi Minh City.
Mr. Christian Vousvouras, a water specialist working at Nestlé also talked about the topic of water. In his inviting presentation he talked about the improvement of water efficiency in the factories of Nestlé using the example of the "more coffee with less water" case in Vietnam.
The delegation also had the honor to welcome two guests of the Royal Thai Embassy Bern, namely the Ambassador H.E. Mr. Chakri Srichawana and the Counsellor Mr. Aadit Samphaiworakit. After an overview over Thailand they presented among other things their 20-year National Strategy, which contains the vision of a developed country with stability, prosperity and sustainability in accordance with the Sufficiency Economy Philosophy. Also they talked about the countries water resources and management goals and the relationship between Thailand and Switzerland.
The second day of the preparatory seminar was closed with a tasty apéro organized to enable networking and discussions on the topics of the day between the delegation members.