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ZHAW Asia Study Trip to Singapore, 25 June – 1 July 2023

20 Swiss students in their final semester at the ZHAW School of Management and Law (SML) and five SML alumni embarked on the study trip to Singapore following attendance of the seminar “Doing Business in Asia”.

The objectives of the study trip were:

  • Explore the cultural heritage and learn how to do business in Southeast Asia
  • Understand the economic thrust of Singapore and its neighbouring countries
  • Learn the first steps on how to expand one’s individual business network beyond Switzerland
  • Expand the horizon for one’s future professional career

Singapore is a regional, continental and global hub for the management and operations of various multinational companies. The country's main exports include electronics, chemicals and services. Singapore is the regional wealth management hub and is positioning itself as the family office hub in Asia. The Port of Singapore is the second-busiest in the world by cargo tonnage and the busiest transshipment port in the world. Singapore’s strength lies in its strategic location in close proximity to other Asia-Pacific markets, along with its advanced connectivity and infrastructure, and its immigration policies in welcoming global talent.

Our heartfelt thanks go to all organizations, companies and business partners in Singapore who generously invited our SML student group. The Science Counselor of the Swiss Embassy explained the academic and economic activities of Swiss educational institutions and companies in Singapore. We had the opportunity to visit the three banks UBS Singapore, LGT Bank and Julius Baer. A panel discussion with financial and start-up entrepreneurs at the Swiss Club in Singapore demonstrated the wealth of job opportunities in this young and dynamic economy.

The CEO of the startup incubator & accelerator Tenity introduced us to the fast-moving fintech-startup ecosystems in Singapore and South East Asia. The students were able to get an impression of the back-of-the-house organization of Resort World Sentosa with its entertainment park and casino. We also visited the Protein Innovation Center, a joint venture between Bühler and Givaudan, which supports food processing companies, startups and university researchers in their quest to create innovative plant-based food products.

The visit of the Maritime Port Authority (MPA) and the Port of Singapore (PSA) was one of the many highlights. We learned how MPA monitors and parks ships in the narrow deep-water channel around Singapore. A construction engineer explained how an international three-party-consortium is building a smart, next-generation mega port at Tuas: 4 times 227 concrete caissons, weighing 13'000 tons each (!) are produced on-site and deployed into the sea in order to reclaim land equaling 335 soccer fields.

All in all, it was an impressive visit. We learned how strategically savvy, determined and fast this city-state plans and executes its industry policy. We are deeply grateful to have been able to meet and talk with so many experienced and successful executives such as Joel Brunner (Swiss Embassy), Chan Chee Pong (Resort World Sentosa, retired), Clement Cheng (Investor and Entrepreneur), Dominique Joye (LGT Bank), Daniel Odermatt (Julius Baer), Symon Tilberis (Family Office), Jonas Thürig (Tenity), Dr. Aparna Vankatesh (Bühler Group), Nicola Venzin (UBS), Frederick Wu (Maritime and Port Authority).

Moreover, we would like to thank the entire student group who co-organized this trip and in particular the core student organizing team Mario Dössegger (CEO), Andrea Zimmerli (CTO) and Matteo Mininni (CFO).

Dr. Markus Braun, Senior Lecturer
Andreas Bittel, Scientific Research Assistant