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Collaboration and innovation: Swiss firms further tap into Chinese market Release date: 2024-07-04    Source:CGTN

Over 400 industry leaders and experts from Switzerland and China got together for an economic forum in Beijing on Monday, discussing how companies in both countries can empower business growth through collaboration and innovation.

At the eighth Sino-Swiss Economic Forum (SSEF), senior executives of Chinese and Swiss companies and senior government representatives from both countries had in-depth dialogues in various areas, from life sciences to industrial robots to artificial intelligence. They agreed that both sides could find more room for cooperation amid China's promotion of high-quality development.

Addressing the forum, Chinese Minister of Commerce Wang Wentao said China is developing new quality productive forces, with innovation at its core of fostering new growth drivers.

"I think this is highly compatible with the innovation capabilities of Switzerland – a country that boasts sci-tech innovation," said Wang. "In developing new quality productive forces, China can provide a lot of cooperation opportunities and market space for Swiss enterprises."

The forum coincides with the visit of Swiss Federal Councillor Guy Parmelin, who is also the head of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research.

Speaking at the event, Parmelin said that the fact that a large group of representatives of the Swiss business and scientific communities are accompanying him during his visit to China proves that their interest in the country remains high.

During his meeting with Chinese Minister of Science and Technology Yin Hejun on Tuesday, Parmelin said Switzerland attaches great importance to developing relations with China, and the two sides have a solid foundation and huge potential for cooperation in science and technology.

Roger Germann, chairman of the Life Sciences Committee at the Swiss Chinese Chamber of Commerce, told CGTN that if enterprises manage to combine the fast speed and sheer volume of the Chinese market with Swiss quality and innovation, then they have a very powerful match.

"It's not an easy task," Germann said. "I think that's the key challenge for companies now, and those companies who master this challenge will be the winners of the future."

During an interview with CGTN, Wang Deyong, CEO of Hexagon Leica Geosystems in the Greater China region, highlighted several advantages of China's environment for science and technology innovation.

The company provides spatial information technology and solutions for projects such as construction of high-speed railways and smart cities.

Wang said China has tax incentives for both foreign and domestic high-tech enterprises, which reduce the financial burden of research and development.

"Our company once spent one month meeting a new demand, from the project proposal to the preparation of the prototype and then to mass production. The time span was so short that many European and American colleagues were amazed," said Wang, adding that this is achieved as China has the world's largest and most complete supply and demand market.

"Market demand is the major driving force of innovation, and the complete supply chain in China enables faster innovation," he explained.

The company will intensify R&D investment in China, further tapping in the market opportunities as the Chinese economy transforms to high-quality development.   

At the event, guests also shared their insights on the strategies and practices of Swiss companies in China's business landscape.

By Du Junzhi