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Swiss Chamber Eyes Bigger Role in Singapore: Businesses to Drive Innovation, HR Development

This Week

SINGAPORE – Media OutReach – 31 October 2022 – Swiss Chamber of Commerce and Industry Singapore (SwissCham) said it aims to leverage on the core strengths of innovation and the people-centred expertise of its member businesses to deliver a stronger presence in Singapore and foster cross-border collaboration.

Singapore DPM Heng Swee Keat (L) with SwissCham Chairman Mr Georg von Wattenwyl at SwissCham event

Singapore DPM Heng Swee Keat (L) with SwissCham Chairman Mr Georg von Wattenwyl at the SwissCham Gala event

SwissCham members have increasingly harnessed their core competencies of innovation and people-focussed expertise to develop a pole position in Singapore. With the onset and through the Covid pandemic, Swiss companies doubled their efforts in people retention and development by supporting, training, and developing their Singapore staff. This has increasingly given SwissCham members greater recognition as employers of choice. SwissCham announced this at their annual gala event.

Present as Guest-of-Honour at the SwissCham Gala event over the weekend was Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies Mr Heng Swee Keat.

Speaking at the event, SwissCham Chairman, Mr Georg von Wattenwyl, shared a four-pronged strategy will help deliver on the bigger goal. These are:

– Providing a more conducive platform for cross-border knowledge transfer and creation. Four sub-committees – Climate­Tech, Digital Transformation, International Relations Asia, and Hospitality – will support Swiss businesses in their pursuits.
– Widening and fostering stronger collaboration with Singapore-based trade associations and chambers and government agencies. A new “International Relations” sub-committee will build on this new initiative.
– Strengthening networking within the business community, both through informal and formal channels. Such regular engagements aim to deliver on this strategy.
– Increasing the profile and presence of SwissCham so that it can be a more prominent “voice” in the Singapore business community.

He said: “The Swiss Chamber of Commerce and Industry is eager to foster and recognise innovation in the business communities and sectors that we work in and this drives us. A key undercurrent is the understanding that innovation is a key focus of Swiss businesses, in fact, innovation is in the DNA of Switzerland.

“Innovation equally applies in good measure to human resource development. Socio-economic developments over the past three years have intensified the need for good talent, especially from the positions of acquisition and retention. Much can be learnt from Swiss businesses how innovated and adapted to these new realities by relying on emerging business practices, showing creativity and innovation, while developing sustainable activities in new formats,” he said.

Currently, SwissCham comprises 200 companies and collectively these businesses account for 25,000 jobs in Singapore. These companies come from a cross section of industries, notably, Technology, Finance & FinTech, Pharmaceutical, and Luxury.

Globally, Switzerland recently received the top accolade as the most innovative country in the world in 2022 from the Global Innovation Index, which is published by the World Intellectual Property Organization.

Looking ahead, SwissCham will be a key participant under the Swiss Pavilion – hosted by Switzerland Global Enterprise (S-GE) and the Swiss Business Hub ASEAN – at Singapore Fintech Festival 2022. Running from 2 – 4 November 2022 at the Singapore Expo, the event is organised by the Monetary Authority of Singapore in collaboration with the Association of Banks in Singapore.

In recent years, Switzerland has become a vibrant hub for emerging technologies, such as fintech, blockchain, and distributed ledger technology (DLT). With regard to the new DLT Framework coming into effect in 2021, Switzerland became one of the first countries in the world to deliver advanced regulatory solutions and specific amendments for fintech and blockchain, among others.

In 2023, Swiss Cham will launch the 6th edition of its Business Excellence Awards in the first quarter of 2023. The award recognises excellence in the categories of People & Skills Development and Digital Transformation. More details on the awards will be made available at https://swisscham.sg/.

In the 2021 Awards, Swiss-based DKSH Singapore was chosen as the grand winner for the People & Skills Development Award 2021 by an independent jury of experts.

DKSH Singapore Human Resources Director Lee Yu Chuan then said “As a people-driven company, we seek to be an attractive employer known for our commitment to developing our talent, embracing diversity and inclusion, and offering a supportive work environment. This award is a great acknowledgment of the progress achieved through the outstanding efforts of our team.”

Another winner for the People & Skills Development Award in 2020 was Acronis, whose core business lies in protecting organisational data, applications, systems and productivity – safeguarding them against cyberattacks, hardware failures, natural disasters and human errors. The citation said that Acronis exemplified a corporate culture focused on making a positive impact on the lives of employees and the communities in which they operate.

Hashtag: #SwissChamberOfCommerceAndIndustrySingapore #SwissCham

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