The Indo-Pacific – Ports, Pearls, and Four Major Players


An Explainer Based on Four Maps


India, Australia, Japan, and the U.S. – four countries, scattered around the globe – have started to promote the concept of a «free and open Indo-Pacific».

What may sound like an odd geographical description is actually an effort to redefine Asia’s strategic center. To that end, the four countries have restarted the «Quad» (short for Quadrilateral Security Dialogue). What was a short-lived attempt in 2007 has picked up steam in 2017. What has changed in the 10 years in between? What are their goals with the «Indo-Pacific»? How are China and the ASEAN states reacting to the initiative? And what’s in it for each single country? 

At this explainer, Philippe Welti and Daniel Woker, two former Swiss diplomats, will guide us through the region using four maps. The new format will allow us to discuss the meaning and possible implications of the «Indo-Pacific» for the Asian power balance.

Philippe Welti

Philippe Welti is the former Swiss Ambassador to India and to Iran. He retired from the Swiss Diplomatic Service after an impressive career, during which he acted as Political Director of the Swiss Defence Ministry, in diplomatic postings in Bonn, London and New York. Before joining the diplomatic service in 1979, he served as liaison officer in the Swiss delegation NNSC to Korea in the DMZ. He is president of the Economic Chamber Switzerland-Iran (ECSI), member of the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) and co-founder of «Share-an-Ambassador – Geopolitical Coaching».  

Daniel Woker

Daniel Woker is the former Swiss Ambassador to Kuwait, to Singapore and to Australia. He studied in Geneva, Zurich and the US, and soon after joined the Swiss Foreign Ministry where he had postings in Belgrade, at the UN Mission in New York, in Stockholm and in Paris. Back in Berne he acted as Development Officer, Deputy Director for Europe and the first Director of the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP). His present publishing activities concentrate on the greater Asia Pacific and on an international perspective of Swiss foreign relations. He worked as a Senior Lecturer at the University of St. Gallen and is co-founder of «Share-an-Ambassador – Geopolitical Coaching».

Jeffrey Bohn

The event will be moderated by Jeffrey Bohn, Director of the Swiss Re Institute. Bohn has extensive knowledge about Asia, having served as the head of Risk and Regulatory Financial Services consulting practice at PWC Japan as well as having established the Portfolio Analytics and Valuation Department within State Street Global Markets Japan in Tokyo. He further served as head of Portfolio Analytics and Economic Capital at Standard Chartered Bank in Singapore.


Image on top: Duangphorn Wiriya on Unsplash / CC BY-SA 2.0


Event Details

Tue 25 Sep 2018
12 - 2 p.m.

Amboss Rampe

Zollstrasse 80

8005 Zürich


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