top of page

Identitat Global Forum: The Changing World, Europe, and China

Identitat 全球论坛:变化中的世界、欧洲、和中国

China has emerged from the Financial Crisis of 2008 as the fastest growing world power. Its ascent is changing the prevailing world order. The ramifications of these changes are felt across the globe. The ensuing the U.S.A.-China trade frictions are only one precursor of the significance of these changes. In early 2019, Erasmus China Business Centre and Swiss-Asian Chamber of Commerce gathering colleagues from business, economics, politics, and academia to organize an Identitat-Global Forum. This forum aims to analyze the economic and geopolitical impact of these changes on the Global Economy. The view of this forum is not to be myopic and bilateral, the focus should rather be on Asia on the one side and Europe on the other, on the theme around The Changing World – Europe and China, with subjects such as the Trade War, Disruptive Technologies, The Changing World Order, The Belt Road Initiative, and further topics emerged in the run-up to the forum. This event takes place in Switzerland as the neutral ground for different voices of concerns and visions and as a uniquely positioned birthplace of a dialogue amongst protagonists of all stripes and colors.

The Report of IG Forum 论坛报告下载 


Zürich University, Aula (KOL-G-201), Rämistrasse 71, CH-8006 Zürich, Switzerland

09:00 – 18:00

Friday, 8 February 2019



08:30 Check-in 

09.00 – 09:10

Welcoming notes by Dr. Ying Zhang and Dr. Urs Lustenberger


09:10 – 10:40

Panel A: A world order in flux:  how does it change due to China?

·     Prof Dr. Bill Fischer, Professor of Innovation Management, IMD, Lausanne 

·     Professor Dr. Patrick Ziltener, Professor Sociology, University of Zurich 

·     Ulrich O. Birch, China & Asia focus - Interim Management & Advice, Basserdorf

Chair: Dr. Ying Zhang, Professor of China Business and Economics, RSM, Erasmus University 


Break and network 10.40 – 11.10 


11.10 – 12.30 

Panel B: Economic interdependence and mutual suspicion

Trade War and Technological disruption: influence by the world powers’ movement

●   Florin Baeriswyl, Professor of Brand Strategy & Design, Fudan SIVA, Shanghai/Zürich 

●   Sir Joe Bossano, Former Chief Minister of Gibraltar

●   Dr. iur. Karl Pilny, CEO, Asia21 GmbH, Küsnacht

●   Dr. rer. pol. Christian Etter, former Delegate for Trade Agreements of the Swiss Federal Government and Ambassador at SECO, Independent Consultant International Trade, Berne

Chair: Dr. Urs Lustenberger, Chairman of SACC


Lunch Break 12.30 – 13.30 


13.30 – 15.00 

Panel C: The Belt & Road Initiative – opportunity or threat to Europe?

·     Sir Joe Bossano, Former Chief Minister of Gibraltar

·    Pino Musolino, President, North Adriatic Sea Port Authority 

·    Dr. Changqi Wu, Professor, Huanghua Business School, Peking University

·    Dr. Philipp Boksberger, CEO of CEIBS in Zurich Campus & Board Member of SCCC

Chair: Dr. Ying Zhang, Professor of China Business and Economics, RSM, Erasmus University 


Break and networking 15.00 – 15.30 


15.30 – 17.00 

Panel D: Pushing back? Investment restrictions for Chinese investors in Europe and the difficulties of Europeans investing in China 

●   Tuck Seng Low, Senior Advisor EUTEC, Zurich

●   Marco Toni, Partner, attorney-at-law. LL.M., Loyens & Loeff Switzerland LLC, Zurich

●   Hannede Veringa, AXAIM, the Netherlands

Chair: Dr. Urs Lustenberger, Chairman of SACC 


17.00 Closing 

17.10 – 18:00 Networking and apéro


What We Learned from this Forum

The world is changing dramatically, at different levels and dimensions. Nationalism, divergence, and technology intelligence seem to start influencing the world,  even though the fundamental relationship (at the individual, economic and business level) are interdependent and positive. People, business, individuals from various sectors and each corner of the world are questioning what we are doing but at the same time enthusiastic to the positive consequences of the changing, such as more opportunities being created. Making an effort to collaborate, trying to learn from each other, and doing more self-critical thinking (rather than being critical to others) become the keywords from this forum.  In general, we learned quite a lot from this forum, including the points as follows: 

1.    The questions and fear/ threat that Europe felt about China come from our incompetence and incapability to understand the changing world, Europe, and China’s mechanism of development. Naming China as a threat should be switched to questioning ourselves firstly, and consciously reflecting what we can do better and especially play a better role in the world. 

2.    Numbers (statistics) do matter, and we need to learn to read the stories and the background of the stories by looking into the numbers (statistics). European statistics should be combined with China statistics/numbers. Single-data-source will not make us understand the world better. 

3.    GDP growth index is a self-killing index. We should look into a future-oriented sustainability index and apply it into the social-economic development. We need to try to use SDG as goals to guild our behaviors and sustain our planet. 

4.    The big engine of the Western World has consisted of capitalism and democracy; however, this engine has started to dysfunction. What happened now in the world--Economic nationalism---is a lose-lose formula. What innovation/new formula shall we do to make the world better? We need to think more about it. 

5.    Right now, experts usually do not do things right. We are right now in the political climate change. National interests are difficult to be defined, and we should be wise to fight against /for such an interest. 

6.    The problem of the world is not China has a plan (building such as Belt and Road). The problem is the rest of the world do not have a plan. We cannot only sit, see around, wait, and question others’ plans. In the past, we Europeans had plans; now we don’t. Now please try to do something, rather than Brexit. 

7.    Teaching listening is critical. We need to learn how to listen. We need to learn to listen to people especially those who might not communicate in the way we do or we were used to doing. 

8.    We need to learn from China “If you want to become rich, you have to be on the road (build road) first.”  BRI can be a tool, like a hammer that can either break our head or can help us achieve goals.  It only matters how we make use of this tool. We do not like to be “Europe does what the Americans told to do.” We do whatever we want and what is good for us.


The Executive Board of Identitat Global Forum 

March 8th,2019, Zurich

bottom of page