Swiss National Pavilion @ CIIE: the Jewel in the Crown at the World's Largest Trade Expo

By Victor Dietrich, Junior Project Manager

China International Import Expo (CIIE), the World's Largest Trade Expo with 3000 companies from 130 countries/regions, took place from November 5 to 10 at the National Exhibition and Convention Center Shanghai. The CIIE is a major initiative of the Chinese government to support trade liberalization, economic globalization and open the market to the world.

The Swiss National Pavilion at CIIE is managed by the Swiss Business Hub China of the Embassy of Switzerland in the People's Republic of China, in cooperation with Switzerland Global Enterprise (S-GE), on behalf of the Swiss Confederation. The Swiss National Pavilion has an outstanding presence at the expo, and swissnex China was proud to provide strong support to the Swiss National Pavilion at the first CIIE.

 Photos © Bi Yuchao / Swiss Business Hub China

Photos © Bi Yuchao / Swiss Business Hub China

 Photos © Bi Yuchao / Swiss Business Hub China

Photos © Bi Yuchao / Swiss Business Hub China

On the opening day November 5, the official opening ceremony included important speakers such as Xi Jinping president of the People’s Republic of China, Alibaba.com's CEO Jack Ma or Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates. On November 6, the Swiss National Pavilion was inaugurated by the Swiss Secretary of State for Economic Affairs, Mrs. Marie-Gabrielle Ineichen-Fleisch, and Swiss Ambassador to China, Dr. Jean-Jacques de Dardel who led a high-level Swiss delegation to the trade fair.

 Photos © Bi Yuchao / Swiss Business Hub China

Photos © Bi Yuchao / Swiss Business Hub China

 Photos © Bi Yuchao / Swiss Business Hub China

Photos © Bi Yuchao / Swiss Business Hub China

 Photos © Bi Yuchao / Swiss Business Hub China

Photos © Bi Yuchao / Swiss Business Hub China

On November 7, swissnex China was delighted to host a special event on Swiss innovation at the Swiss National Pavilion. The event was opened by Dr. Felix Moesner, Science Consul and CEO of swissnex China, who highlighted Switzerland's substantial global lead in education, research and innovation, as well as the swissnex mission. Swissnex China Project Leaders Ms. Libing Gu (Academic Relations), Ms. Cissy Yiwen SUN (Interdisciplinary & Special Projects) and Ms. Lijun Zhang (Innovation & Entrepreneurship) then each presented their own fields and diverse range of activities. As a remarkable example of Swiss innovation applied in a Chinese context, Ms. Xiaolin (Lin) Briod-Wang from Flyability, a Swiss startup spin-off from EPFL, presented the Elios collision-tolerant drone and its impressive application at the 15th China-ASEAN Expo.

Since 2010, China has been Switzerland’s most important trading partner in Asia. It was therefore important for Switzerland to participate in the CIIE and show its excellence in innovation, in addition to the robust commercial relationship they have. The Swiss National Pavilion offered the audience an opportunity to visit Switzerland in virtual reality, physical space, engaging all senses while showcasing Switzerland’s global leadership in innovation, culture, and tourism. The main feature of the Swiss National Pavilion was the LiveMap, a large walkable aerial map of Switzerland in front of a Swiss traditional Chalet and a large LED screen. Visitors could then enjoy culinary specialties and receive prizes won while using the LiveMap in the Swiss Post office on the balcony of the Swiss chalet. In the relaxation zone in the back of the chalet, visitors can take a rest in a natural environment that resembles a swiss alpine meadow and relish the unique sensory experience in Swiss nature.

 Photos © Bi Yuchao / Swiss Business Hub China

Photos © Bi Yuchao / Swiss Business Hub China

 Photos © Bi Yuchao / Swiss Business Hub China

Photos © Bi Yuchao / Swiss Business Hub China

The CIIE has been intense. Thank you very much to the volunteers and all the people that worked on the pavilion and thank to the numerous visitors, that we hope to have appreciated this experience. We will see you next year probably!