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Center for Global Competitiveness

“EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) is one of the three largest regions in the world, alongside Asia and America. The unbelievable political, economic and cultural diversity must be carefully analyzed and used effectively.”

Dr. Florian Keller, Head of Center for Global Competitiveness

We provide relevant knowledge of the cultural, economic, and political aspects of the EMEA region and explain what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur in these countries.

Business in Europe

The centre follows the relevant economic and political developments throughout Europe and imparts well-founded knowledge in order to understand the interplay between politics and business.

Business in the Middle East

The markets in Europe are stagnating. As a result, an increasing number of Swiss companies are opening up new, more dynamic markets, with the Middle East and Africa offering promising opportunities.



The Center for EMEA Business investigated the nearshoring trend. Special emphasis was put in the optimal nearshoring location decision of Swiss IT firms. We developed a Nearshoring Index that indicates the attractiveness of different regions within Europe.

Foreign Affairs and Applied Diplomacy

As more and more players and private individuals interact on the international stage today, expertise in international relations and applied diplomacy is becoming increasingly important.

International Negotiation

The success of negotiations in an international context depends on many factors, including adequate communication, tactical negotiation skills, and correct interpretation of behavior.



Geo-Economic Showdown Over the World’s Largest Free Trade Zone

28 October 2021
With applications for membership from China, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom, the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) could soon represent one-third of global GDP. What does this dynamic expansion mean for absentee states like the United States and Switzerland? A contribution from Dominique Ursprung.

Report in the SML-Blog
Article in «Die Volkswirtschaft»

The Consequences of the Withdrawal from Afghanistan

08 September 2021
Christopher A. Hartwell and Dominique Ursprung explain in the NZZ why US President Joe Biden's foreign policy failures have made the world a more dangerous place: Not only in Afghanistan, but also in Ukraine, Belarus and Russia, the ongoing loss of importance of the United States is visible. This will not remain without consequences.

Article in the NZZ (German)
Article in the NZZ (online, Pay-Wall, German)

The UK Announces CPTPP Expansion Phase – Switzerland Must Now Show Its Colors

16 February 2021
The notification by the United Kingdom to begin the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) accession process could make this transpacific trade initiative into a global framework. Switzerland could benefit from the groundwork done by the British, but the Swiss Federal Council has to act now, before the United States puts this issue back on the agenda. Background analysis by Dominique Ursprung in NZZ.

Article in the NZZ(PDF 2,0 MB) (German)
Article in the NZZ (online, Pay-Wall, German)

Digital Storytelling for Tertiary Education in the Era of Digitization

01 February 2021
SML senior lecturer Khaldoun Dia-Eddine is well known for implementing new innovations in his courses and once he had obtained the SML learning and teaching award in 2017 he also started to look at ways to digitize parts of his lectures. He presented in a recent publication his innovative approach to online teaching with digital storytelling.

Report in the SML-Blog

Becoming a diplomat for fugitives

01 December 2020
A portrait of Christina Gräni, responsible for PR at Powercoders and Alumna of CAS Foreign Affairs and Applied Diplomacy.

Report in the ZHAW Impact(PDF 91,4 KB) (German)

Current State and Outlook for Swiss-EU Relations

27 November 2020
H.E. Petros Mavromichalis, Ambassador of the European Union to Switzerland talked at the International Business Podium to students and faculty of SML about Swiss-EU relations and current developments in Brussels.

Report in the SML-Blog
ZHAW Business Podium


05 November 2020
A portrait in the Handelszeitung of ZHAW lecturer Dominique Ursprung and his journey to the ZHAW School of Management and Law via Tokyo, Shanghai, and Seoul.

Article in the Handelszeitung(PDF 259,5 KB) (German)

Analysis of the EU’s Response to COVID-19

29 April 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic is a major challenge for many states around the world. The ZHAW International Management Institute and its unit for Foreign Affairs & Applied Diplomacy have invited experts to discuss how the European Union is responding to this crisis.

Report in the SML-Blog
ZHAW Business Podium

Swiss Companies Expect the Crisis to Peak at the End of July - ZHAW Manager Barometer Study

27 April 2020
A survey of over 200 Swiss companies conducted by the ZHAW shows: Most of them assume that the worst is yet to come. According to the ZHAW Manager Barometer study, it is primarily economically strong companies that benefit from the corona aid provided by the federal government.

Report in the SML-Blog (German)
ZHAW Managers Survey - COVID-19

Conspiracy theories are triggers for radicalization

18 March 2020
ZHAW lecturers Mirjam Eser Davolio (School of Social Work) und Khaldoun Dia-Eddine (School of Management and Law) both act as intermediaries between cultures. They talk about far-right and jihadist terror as well as how to prevent of radicalization and dealing with returnees.

Article in the ZHAW Impact (German)

ZHAW Senior Lecturer at the 2019 Kuala Lumpur Summit

19 Februar 2020
At the invitation of Malaysia’s Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, several heads of state and government met at the 2019 KL Summit last December. Khaldoun Dia-Eddine, a senior lecturer at ZHAW, was invited to present his research on the digital revolution and Muslim countries.

Report in the SML-Blog

What is the Role of the Visegrád Four in Europe?

30 September 2019
Highlevel representatives of Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia participated in the first ZHAW International Business Podium event in Winterthur.

Report in the SML-Blog

Foreign Policy Discussions in the Volkart Building

6 September 2019
Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis wants the work of his diplomats to be better anchored and understood by the people. On 3 September, the extensive tour of the Suisse led 10 FDFA employees for a day to their home canton of Zurich, or more precisely to Winterthur. 

Report in the SML-Blog (German)

Swiss Diplomats Visiting Winterthur

3 September 2019
For Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis it is essential to anchor Swiss foreign policy more firmly in domestic policy. A Tour de Suisse under the motto "Meet the Ambassadors" is now to stimulate exchanges between Swiss diplomats and the population in their respective home cantons.

Report in the SML-Blog (German)

Donald Trump Quotes Study by ZHAW SML Faculty Member

28 June 2019
Current U.S. trade policy can be potentially positive for the U.S. economy - but only under certain conditions.With his study «Who is Paying for the Trade War with China?» senior researcher Benedikt Zoller-Rydzek has attracted the attention of no less than the President of the United States of America.


Report in the SML Blog (German)

Understanding the Mechanisms of Diplomacy

28 May 2019
In early 2019, the fourth CAS in Foreign Affairs & Applied Diplomacy took place over the course of two months. Participants from various industries and disciplines used the opportunity of this program to address the issue of international relations.

Report in the SML Blog (German)