The Swiss Centers are delighted to invite you to


















Dear Friends of Swiss Centers,


Our annual Swiss Business Confidence Survey in China highlights that the lack of understanding from the headquarter has been ranked among the top 3 internal challenges that Swiss subsidiaries in China face.


This reality is even more prevalent since international travel and exchanges have been disrupted by the pandemic. At the same time, while China remains an extremely attractive and important market for many companies, developing business there is increasingly complex and less than straight-forward.


For these reasons, the Swiss Centers and the St. Gallen Institute of Management in Asia (SGI-HSG), in partnership with the Chambre neuchâteloise du commerce et de l'industrie (CNCI), join forces this year again to offer a one-and-a-half-day workshop dedicated to the Swiss companies having or planning to set up a business in China, and who wish to improve cross-border management methods between Switzerland and China.


On the basis of our practical expertise supporting more than 100 subsidiaries in China and combined with our research, we have developed a program to equip each participant with a comprehensive view and practical approach to handle a business in China.


We will also explain cultural and political issues that have an undeniable influence on the development of business in China such as the “dual circulation” strategy, the trade wars and tensions with the USA and Europe.


The program includes a practical workshop session where the participants have the opportunity to present concrete cases and questions, and to practice working out answers and implementable guidelines with the support of the experts giving the seminar.






Date & Time:

September 30th – October 1st, 2021


Beau-Rivage Hotel Neuchâtel*****

Esp. du Mont-Blanc 1

2000 Neuchâtel




Language: English




CHF 1'650.-/participant: with 1 night in a single room.

CHF 1’350.-/participant: for a second participant from the same company and with 1 night in a single room.

(Includes: 1.5 days seminar, 1 breakfast, 2 lunches, 1 dinner, VAT).



The seminar will be limited to 20 people and will be confirmed upon the reception of the payment.


Please send an E-mail to Mr. Romain BARRABAS, Customer Relations Executive of the Swiss Centers: by indicating the following information by August 31st: Full name, Company name, Job title, Email address, Phone number.




*A 10% discount will be given to all Swiss Centers and CNCI members. Please mention clearly if you are affiliated to one of these 2 organizations.


DAY 1 - September 30th

08:30 – 09:00

Meeting at Beau-Rivage Hotel Neuchâtel

09:00 – 09:30

Opening and participants introduction

09:30 – 11:00

Understanding China’s environment today

by Zhen Xiao, CEO of the Swiss Centers


Through an overview of its history, geography and culture, understand the key similarities and differences between Western and Chinese mentalities.

Get insights about China’s political system and its influence on the economy and the development of business.


11:00 – 12:30


An overview of China’s post-COVID business environment

by Nicolas Musy, Founder of the Swiss Centers and Founding Partner of China Integrated


Understand important specificities of Human Resources, in terms of dealing with partners and motivating employees.

Learn concrete inputs about the features of Chinese market and the new ways, challenges and opportunities to do business with China.


12:30 – 14:00


14:15 – 15:15


Doing business with China and in China - between free trade and industrial policy

by Patrick Ziltener, Prof. Dr. phil., University of Zürich, researcher partner with the University of St-Gallen


China officially stands for free trade and has concluded many bilateral and regional Free Trade Agreements (FTA).


At the same time, China practices an industrial policy with the mid to long term goal of creating Chinese companies able to lead globally in strategic sectors.


Since 2014, Switzerland has an FTA with China - does it work for Swiss companies?


15:15 – 16:00

Coffee break

16:00 – 17:00


The Chinese Legal System & Foreign Businesses: Friends or Foes? 

by Dr. iur. Clarisse von Wunschheim, practicing lawyer and partner at the law firm Altenburger


China adheres to the principle of "rule by law", in contrast to the principle of "rule of law".


What's the difference? What is the role and reliability of China's laws and regulations, which keep increasing in number and complexity?


In short: What can you – as foreign investor - expect from the Chinese legal system? Will it protect your business or simply cause you more headaches?


17:00 – 17:10

Coffee break

17:10 – 17:30

Debriefing of the day

17:30 – 19:30

Visit and wine tasting at “Caves de la Ville de Neuchâtel”




DAY 2 - October 1st


08:30 – 09:00


How to establish and manage your subsidiary in China?

by Nicolas Musy


Learn concretely all the steps: Which type of structure? How do you find and select the right employees? How to develop your business and partnerships?


09:00 – 09:45

Coffee break

09:45 – 11:30


Case studies

Moderated by Zhen Xiao & Nicolas Musy

A maximum of 3 case studies all the participants will work on and try to find solutions and concrete inputs. 

11:30 – 12:15


Final debriefing


12:15 – 13:30

Stand-up lunch (or brown bag lunch for those who has to leave earlier)


Nicolas Musy
Founder of the Swiss Centers & Founding Partner of China Integrated

Nicolas Musy holds a MSc. in Physics Engineering from the EPFL (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne). He has won his university’s first Special Alumni Award for demonstrating outstanding innovative and entrepreneurial spirit. He has been responsible to establish EPFL’s presence in China and his Alma Mater cooperation with Chinese top universities and the Chinese Academy of Science. In addition, he developed and ran the 2-week China Module of the EPFL EMBA in entrepreneurship.

Exclusively involved in China trade, investment, research, strategy and project management, he has resided in the Shanghai area since 1988. He founded the Swiss Centers, co-founded the first Swiss industrial SME in China, Suzhou 2-ply Co. Ltd and is the Managing Director of LX Precision. As Founding Partner of China Integrated (Shanghai) Co. Ltd., Nicolas has successfully supported a number of multinationals and over 100 mid-sized companies for their legal set-up, market entry, operations management, business acquisition, conflict resolution and restructuring.


Profile photo of Zhen Xiao

Zhen Xiao
CEO of the Swiss Centers

Zhen Xiao obtained his engineering education from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. He then worked in Singapore and in Switzerland for more than 20 years as an engineer, researcher, and manager. He has been working with the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne from 2005 to 2012 as China Relation Coordinator. Over the past 10 years, he has supported and advised many Swiss companies in business development in China, and successfully expanded the Swiss Centers  with new facilities and service.


Patrick Ziltener

Patrick Ziltener
Prof. Dr. phil, University of Zürich, researcher partner with the University of St-Gallen

Dr. Prof. Patrick Ziltener is also Director of a research project sponsored by the Swiss National Science Foundation. Patrick Ziltener has analyzed multi and bilateral Free Trade Agreements for more than 15 years, in cooperation with Switzerland Global Enterprise, Chambers of Commerce and other trade-related organizations. From 2006 to 2009 he was State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) Senior Advisor for Economic Relations with East Asia and Secretary of the Free Trade and Economic Partnership Agreement Switzerland‐Japan negotiations. Patrick Ziltener studied in Basel, Berlin (Free University) and Zurich Economics and Sociology and received a Ph.D. from University of Zurich in 1997.


Profile photo of Clarisse von Wunschheim

Dr. iur. Clarisse von Wunschheim
practicing lawyer and partner at the law firm Altenburger with offices in Zurich, Geneva and Lugano

Dr Clarisse von Wunschheim is Partner at Altenburger and the head of its China-Switzerland Business Advisory Services.


Born in Mexico, raised up in Germany and Switzerland and having spent 9 years living and working in Beijing, Clarisse is specialized in international and cross-cultural dispute resolution, in particular international arbitration and commercial mediation and with a focus on the European and Chinese market. Her main areas of practice include general contract law, agency and distribution, sales, joint ventures as well as other forms of foreign investment.


Clarisse is described by Who's Who Legal as a "fast, smart and solution-oriented lawyer" and is particularly appreciated by her clients and peers for her strategic thinking and inspirational mindset.


Romain Barrabas
Customer Relations Executive of the Swiss Centers

Graduating in 2013 with a Multidisciplinary Master in Asian Studies (University of Geneva, Graduate Institute Geneva), Romain is currently based in Switzerland where he works as a Customer Relations Executive for the Swiss Centers China, a non-profit organization that has been supporting Swiss companies wishing to expand into China for over 20 years.


He spent most of the last decade in China: first in Nanjing to perfect his Mandarin and then in Shanghai in event management and communication for the watch manufacturer Breguet. He then spent more than 6 years in Beijing, at the Swiss Chamber of Commerce (SwissCham Beijing) as Marketing & Events Manager and then General Manager. Romain was then employed by the Embassy of Switzerland as Deputy Head of the Culture & Media Section. Finally, he chaired the Swiss School of Beijing for more than 3 years where he still serves as a member of the Board of Directors.


In Switzerland, he has held positions in communication and sales for the watch brands Baume & Mercier and Girard-Perregaux.



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The Swiss Centers are invested and developed by Foundation Swiss Centers, a non-profit foundation registered in Neuchâtel, Switzerland.









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