Our Mission: Foster Asia Competence in Switzerland
Asia Matters. For the last decades, the geopolitical and economical “center of gravity” of the world has continually shifted eastwards. Asia is no longer just a manufacturing hub, or a market opportunity – it is the world’s most populous and dynamic region. Asia, and what happens in Asia, influences Swiss society and businesses on every level. To navigate an “Asian Future”, it is crucial to develop Asia Competence. We define Asia Competence not just as knowledge and understanding on Asia, but as an actionable skill including the ability to understand different viewpoints, and to access local and international networks related to Asia. In short, Asia Competence is the ability to operate in an Asian context.
"To develop full Asia Competence, individuals, corporations, and governments in Switzerland need to be familiar with the countries of Asia in the same way that they have developed a granular familiarity with the countries of Europe. In Switzerland, when you think of people’s knowledge of France, Germany and Austria, the United Kingdom, the countries of Northern Europe and Southern Europe – that is the level of granular expertise which is now required to deal separately with the different cultures and civilizations of Korea, Japan, China, but also the unique and vastly different sets of cultures and civilizations in Southeast Asia, South Asia and Central Asia, for which we use the collective term of convenience “Asia”. The origin of the term “Asia”, it means: the East. That presupposes there’s a geostrategic center of gravity called “the West” – well, that is changing. So, for those in the West, the time has come to fully grasp the complexities and the opportunities of the East, starting with language, moving through culture, on the journey through history, and then the important fabric of interpersonal relationships."
— The Hon. Kevin Rudd, President and CEO of Asia Society
We deeply believe that only with increased Asia Competence and sustained engagement with Asia will Switzerland be able to continue to thrive in a multipolar world and play a constructive role in shaping the “Asian Future”. For this reason, we have made it our mission to foster Asia Competence in Switzerland. We do so by shaping the public discourse, providing insights to decision-makers, educating leaders on Asia, supporting the next generation and connecting Asia-minded people and organizations in Switzerland.
Read more about how we work here.
WHY OUR WORK MATTERS
- Asia Competence can no longer be delegated to a team, department, or specific office. Headquarters, leadership, and board of almost every company need continued Asia Competence to successfully navigate a new world.
- While not everyone will work on Asia in the future, we all need a broad understanding of the developments in Asia, and how they matter to Switzerland and the world.
- Increasing Asia Competence also helps to keep Switzerland open and connected to the world, and to make it an attractive place for people from all around the globe to work and live.