On 1 July 2014 the Free Trade Agreement between Switzerland and China was inaugurated by the Swiss State Secretary for Economic Affairs, Mrs. Marie-Gabrielle Ineichen-Fleisch, at the Sino-Swiss Economic Forum in Beijing. swissnex China was a partner at the forum and organized two panel discussions:
Can the FTA boost collaborative innovation?
- Ms. Tina Tao, COO and Partner, Innovationworks
- Mr. Olivier Glauser, Co-Founder and CFO, Shankai Sports International
- Prof. Ursula Backes-Gellner, Professor for Business and Personnel Economics, University of Zurich
Moderator: Mr. Pascal Marmier, CEO, swissnex China
With China’s rapidly developing ecosystem, it is expected that more innovation will be coming out of China in the near future. In this sense, the FTA has potential to serve as a catalyst to bring Chinese and Swiss innovators together. This panel shed some light on the innovation landscapes of the two countries and explored possibilities to bring Chinese and Swiss innovators together.
In order to kick off collaborative innovation between China and Switzerland, the panelists agree that free exchange of any kind is crucial: exchange of students; academic exchange; exchange of entrepreneurs; trade; Chinese companies using Switzerland as a hub to access Europe; Swiss companies taking responsibility in education in China.
Fostering innovation through IPR?
- Prof. Chuntian LIU, Dean Intellectual Property Academy, Renmin University of China
- Prof. Florent THOUVENIN, Professor at the Law Institute, University of Zurich
- Mr. Peng LIN, Co-founder and CEO of Zhigu Ruituo Technology Services
- Mr. Daniel LUTZ, Managing Director of Nestle Food & Beverage, Greater China
Moderator: Mr. David Kay, Founder of Yuanfenflow Consulting Firm
The FTA between China and Switzerland has a chapter on Intellectual Property Rights (IPR). This panel explored the impacts of this chapter, its potential for fostering innovation, and the role of IPR for innovation in general.
The panelists agree with Professor LIU that the notion of indigenous innovation in China is crucial as China is currently at the critical moment of shifting growth patterns. They are confident that given more time, IPR protection in China will be better developed with more sustainability. The panel also discussed the issue that IPR can be overprotected and hamper innovation – they entered a lively discussion with the audience on this issue.