Seminar abroad 23/24

Seminar abroad 23/24

ExploreASEAN with us – dive into our experience!

Throughout our Seminar abroad from March 21st to April 7th, 2024, we embarked on a transformative journey, engaging with various companies, universities, and embassies across the vibrant landscapes of Thailand, Vietnam, and Singapore.

In the following section, you’ll find four blog posts written by members of our delegation, each detailing a city we visited during our seminar. These texts offer insights into our joint activities and dinners, as well as the companies, embassies, and universities we visited. Dive into our experiences and discover the diversity and fascination of each destination through the eyes of our delegates.

Thailand, Bangkok

Blogpost presented by Nina Weber

On March 21, 2024, the long-awaited moment arrived as our airplane took off from Zurich Airport towards Bangkok. After a layover in Abu Dhabi, we landed on the morning of Friday 22 March 2024. Shortly after checking in at the beautiful SkyView Hotel, we had our first business exchange with representatives from Veritrans, a logistics company, and Ubon Ratchathani University. After this long day, we enjoyed some time to ourselves in the evening.

Saturday, 23 March 2024, we were all very excited about what awaited us, as it was our first surprise day together. The only thing we knew was that we had to wear long pants. After a two-hour drive from the bustling city of Bangkok, we reached the historical wonders of Ayutthaya and the Ayutthaya Floating Market, definitely a highlight right at the beginning of our trip. The following Sunday, 24 March 2024, was declared “free time” so that we were able to explore this exciting city even further.

After this weekend, we had already gathered our first impressions of Bangkok and were excitedly anticipating our first company visit on the morning of Monday, 25 March 2024, at Oerlikon Balzers. The company is a leader in surface solutions, enhancing the performance and longevity of precision components and tools worldwide. Mr. Michel Maeusli and his team showed us their state-of-the-art facilities and production processes. After a delicious lunch overlooking the sea, we visited the Kerry Siam Seaport. Following a brief presentation on their business activities, we were able to explore the vast port firsthand. In the evening, we enjoyed our first joint dinner with the entire delegation at Bangkok Balcony. The restaurant, located on the 81st floor, offered breathtaking views of Bangkok’s skyline.

Thursday, March 26, 2024, marked already our last day in Bangkok. The first stop was Syngenta, a pioneer in the agricultural sector, which provided us with an extensive factory tour and deep insights into their production processes. After an excellent lunch together at Syngenta’s premises, we had our first embassy visit in the afternoon. Embassy visits require business formal attire, so after a quick change at the hotel, we all dressed formally. In addition to embassy staff, the Swiss Thai Chamber of Commerce (STCC) and Mr. Andreas Wanner, Co-founder and CEO of Mister Loo, provided us with interesting insights into the opportunities and challenges of doing business in Thailand. Mister Loo is dedicated to revolutionising public sanitation by providing clean, accessible, and sustainable toilet facilities through digitised solutions.

Five days of fun and learning went by far too quickly, but we were already looking forward to the next city: Hanoi!

Vietnam, Hanoi

Blogpost presented by Lorenza Bacher

Following the remarkable and thrilling days in Bangkok, we started our journey on March 28, 2024, in Hanoi. Our first visit took us to NTQ Solution, a global software developer. Welcomed warmly, we delved into NTQ’s contributions in the tech field, in addition to a tour of the company’s facilities and witnessing the vibrant workforce that drives the company’s success. An insightful Tech Talk session concluded our visit, presenting NTQ’s expertise in practical AI applications.

Transitioning to the Swiss Embassy, we engaged in informative presentations and exciting discussions with UNIDO, UNDP, and Ambassador Thomas Gass, offering insights into collaborative and developmental projects between Switzerland and Vietnam. The day concluded with a network gathering, which offered the opportunity for significant exchanges over delicious finger food.

The next day, March 29, 2024, was spent with the Foreign Trade University (FTU), where we interacted with Vietnamese students and promoted cultural exchange. During the morning, we collectively visited FPT Corporation, where we explored FPT Smart Cloud and FPT Digital’s transformative efforts in cloud computing and digital consulting, which are reshaping Vietnam’s business environment. In the afternoon cross-cultural collaboration sessions between FHNW and FTU students enriched our perspectives on formal topics like sustainability and digitalisation to cultural explorations of food and tourism. The get-together ended with joyful festivities, where karaoke and laughter led to lasting friendships.

On March 30, 2024, a second surprise day guided us from the busy streets in Hanoi to Ninh Binh, revealing Vietnam’s natural and cultural treasures. Amidst the ancient capital of Hoa Lu, we marveled at the fusion of history and nature. The most memorable part of our day occurred during our exploration of the Trang An Grottoes. Drifting on a boat through tranquil waters, we found ourselves immersed in a beautiful landscape that felt surreal. As we drove through water caves and along limestone cliffs, we gazed into a world that seemed frozen in time, with every perspective offering breathtaking views of pure nature. A perfect ending to our stay in Hanoi before heading to the next city in Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City!

Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City

Blogpost presented by Linda Tran

New week – new city, which we started with a visit to Hasaki Beauty on April 1, 2024. An impressive health-and-beauty retail chain, showcasing how innovation and quality brings them success in a dynamic market. Their commitment to innovation permeates every aspect of their business, with friendly and knowledgeable staff contributing to a welcoming atmosphere. We also gained insights into their omnichannel strategy during conversations with employees.

In the afternoon, we visited the Nhabe Garments Corporation, which showed us the efficiency and organisation that are crucial in modern manufacturing. We observed precision and coordination in fabric processing and clothing assembly, with employees showcasing adeptness and teamwork.

On April 2, 2024, our visit to Jakob Rope Systems showcased their remarkable engineering achievements, emphasising precision, innovation, and sustainability. Their globally deployed rope systems prioritise safety and offer peace of mind to users worldwide. In essence, Jakob Rope
Systems embody creativity and excellence in modern engineering, providing both architectural marvels and functional infrastructure solutions.

In the afternoon, we delved into the world of finance with a visit to HD Bank. There, we gained insights into Vietnam’s evolving financial landscape and learned more about the bank’s digitalisation strategies. HD Bank is a significant player in the country’s banking sector and plays a crucial role in promoting economic growth.

Our day ended with an unforgettable dinner on the Saigon Cruise, where we enjoyed the culinary delights of Vietnam while admiring the impressive view of Ho Chi Minh City’s illuminated skyline. This experience highlighted the cultural diversity and beauty of the city as we exchanged in a pleasant atmosphere.

On the next day, April 3, 2024, we had an enriching presentation from the CEO of Dragon Capital Beat Schuerch, offering comprehensive
insights into investment opportunities in Vietnam, with a focus on ESG investments. The session emphasised the significance of integrating environmental, social, and governance factors into investment strategies, particularly in the Vietnamese context. These insights highlighted both the importance of sustainable practices for corporate growth and the emerging
opportunities in Vietnamese markets.

After a farewell to the analytical world of finance, we immersed ourselves in the colorful life of local culture in the afternoon. Our exploration tour through the bustling streets of Ho Chi Minh City allowed us to experience the vibrant energy and charm of the city to the fullest – another wonderful conclusion before heading off to our last destination, Singapore!


Blogpost presented by Anna Jörgensen

On April 4, 2024, we left Ho Chi Minh City early in the morning to catch our flight to our final destination, Singapore. Once we arrived in Singapore, we had time to check into our hotel room, grab a bite to eat, and get ready for our first visit at NEWater, a company that supplies the country with one-third of its water consumption through recycled wastewater. This is a contribution to Singapore’s reliable water supply plan. In addition to recycled wastewater, Singapore has three other water suppliers, including imported water from Malaysia, seawater, and local water (rainwater). After the visit, we had time to discover Singapore on our own. The most popular programme after dinner was to see the light and water show at Marina Bay Sands, followed by the impressive light show at Gardens by the Bay.

The next day, April 5, 2024, was the only full day in Singapore, and we made good use of it. After a morning of free time, everyone met for the last time in their business formal outfits to tick off the final points in the schedule. The afternoon began at Siemens. There, we were presented with many exciting points that Siemens is pursuing in relation to digitalisation in the ASEAN region. The second visit was to the Swiss Embassy, where we were introduced to the cooperation between Switzerland and Singapore in the newly renovated embassy building. Furthermore, we were introduced to a few similarities and differences between the two countries. To round off our time together in Southeast Asia, we had an aperitif at the Fullerton Hotel with a wonderful view over the Marina Bay Sands and the impressive skyline.

After the check-out on Saturday, April 6, 2024, we were able to spend the last few hours in Singapore. Although the programme was individual, most of the group made the short trip to Sentosa Island. In the late afternoon, the bus picked us up for the very last time and took us to the airport, where we calmly began our long journey back to Switzerland.

We arrived early in the morning on Sunday, April 7, 2024, in Zurich, tired but with lots of new experiences, insights and new friendships.

A huge thanks to the exploreASEAN 2023/2024 team for the very well-planned trip! Thanks to you, we all had an unforgettable time together in Thailand, Vietnam and Singapore.

You will find more on our social media platform!

Booklet Seminar abroad