Executives from Swiss multinational giants including ABB, Novartis, Nestlé, Roche, Schindler, Swiss Re, as well as distinguished academics from the Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business, EHL Hospitality Business & Hotel Management School, the the University of International Business and Economics and the United Nations, discussed talent development, vocational education, innovation and lifelong learning.
In a keynote speech, Ambassador of Switzerland to China, H.E. Jürg Burri stated “Youth unemployment is an issue in China. VPET is a great way to bring young people directly into the companies. We have courageous Swiss companies who are offering the double track education model in China. We can be proud of our companies that are acting as pioneers and showcase the successful Swiss education system.”
Mr. Yulin LV, Acting Director General Department of International Cooperation at MOHRSS, Naichun FANG,Director General of China Vocational Education Association, Niansha XU, Secretary of the Party Committee and Chairman of the Fifth Council of China Machinery Industry Federation, Honglong ZHANG, Representative of Novartis Group (China), Daniel AELLEN, Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer, Nestlé Greater China Region, Johann OBERSON, SwissCham Beijing President and Amy Xiang CAO, China Nobleness int. Founder and Swiss Nobleness AG Chief Representative in Greater attended the forum and addressed the opening speeches.
The Sino-Swiss Economic Forum (SSEF), started in 2010, takes place every two years in Beijing and is by far the largest economic summit between Switzerland and China. On occasion of China's latest guidelines to promote the high-quality development of vocational education, including establishing a modern vocational education system nationwide, and the initiative in China to establish an alliance of Swiss companies on Vocational and Professional Education and Training, the SSEF, consisting of three seminars and four panel discussions, as well as a gala dinner, offered numerous opportunities for attendees to learn from leading innovators, share best practices and drive the implementation of VPET projects.
The seminars featured experts from business, government, and academia who shared successful stories and provided invaluable insights. Lars ECKERLEIN, General Manager of ABB (China) Limited and Country Holding Officer of ABB China, Shiping WANG, Sustainable Agriculture Development Manager of Nestlé China, Ke SUN, Shareholder of Generis AG, CEO of Generis Beijing, Chen BAO, Director and Country Head of China of EHL Advisory Services, Cloe YANG, Director of Audiology Training & Sonova Grand Hearing Institute, Walter FRANCO, Deputy Head of Sales at Pacific Prime share their best practices for identifying, developing, and retaining talents in the consulting, healthcare and services, as well as manufacturing and consumer goods industries.
This industry-focused presentations were followed by a conversation led by the host to stimulate exchange and dialogue.
A thorough understanding of the Chinese educational system and how businesses function inside it is a prerequisite for anyone who wants to innovate in the fields of talent discovery, development, and retention. In the first panel discussion, we invited Dr. Jun PU, Professor in Finance and Accounting at the University of International Business and Economics, Dr. Sacha STÖCKLIN, Founder and Managing Director, Center of innovative and entrepreneurial Culinary Arts & Services (CieCAS), Jenny LIU, Head of HR of Swiss Re China, Toumert ALKHALLOUFI, Director of Education and Business Development Consultant from B.H.M.S. China office, Philippe ROESLE, CEO and Consul of Swissnex in China and Head of the Science, Technology and Education Section from Embassy of Switzerland in China, to contribute with their perspectives on vocational education and professional training in China, as well as talent market outcomes.
Switzerland and Germany are two of the most innovative countries in the world because their schools and businesses support vocational and professional training. In these countries, the government and businesses work together to offer dual vocational programs, upskilling and reskilling programs, and other ways for people to learn new skills and keep learning throughout their lives. In this panel discussion, Dr.-Ing. Lennart FRIES, Science & Technology Catalyzer Lead of Nestlé R&D China Ltd., Lucas RONDEZ, Co-Founder or TAROMED, Founder of niHUB, Dr. Anthony ERB, Academic Dean and International Marketing Director of BHMS and Wendy SHI, Head of Education in China at GFMS, discussed how vocational education and professional training programs in China affect the growth and development of businesses.
Despite a nationwide drive for vocational education in China, regional differences exist in geography, culture, and industry. Regional characteristics are seen in local governments, enterprises, and vocational education programs. Therefore, in this panel discussion, Dujiang LI, General Manager of Schindler Region Shenzhen, Dr. Stephan ROTHLIN, Director of the Macau Ricci Institute & CEO of Rothlin International Management Consulting Co., Ltd., Amy Xiang CAO, China Nobleness Int. Founder and Swiss Nobleness AG Chief Representative in Greater China and Remo STEINMETZ, Head of Swiss Re Institute Executive & Client Engagement, examined how businesses and governments might support programs for professional development and vocational education while also raising their social standing.
Foreign-owned firms in China's expectations for 2022 and beyond have been significantly impacted by the Omicron pandemic, lockdowns, and the current global business environment. It is more crucial than ever for businesses and organizations to talk about how to change their strategies in order for foreign-owned companies to succeed in China.
Two topics were explored by our guest speakers, Siddharth CHATTERJEE, United Nations Resident Coordinator to China and Gang ZHANG, Assistant Professor of Economics at the Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business. The first was a discussion of the major barriers to success and success factors that may affect foreign-owned enterprises in China in the future. The other was how businesses fit into the current global, environmental, and social context, as well as the requirement that sustainability principles be included in their long-term strategies.
More than 300 distinguished guests attended the event. During the gala dinner, Lucas Rondez, President of SwissCham Shanghai presented the first edition of the “China-Switzerland White Paper on Vocational Education” which was released in November last year. It is worth mentioning that the China-Switzerland Alliance on Vocational Education was officially launched during the event.