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Phone: +41 41 620 66 83
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SwissCham held its annual fall conference on November 10, 2004 at the Hotel Sofitel, Zurich. The event brought together 30 members from chambers as far and wide as Peru, Brazil, Hungary, Turkey, Morocco and a variety of other destinations for lively discussion and networking.

The Herbsttagung this year was devoted to "Initiatives". It focused on recent and planned SwissCham initiatives aimed at enhancing chambers' opportunities to provide services to the Swiss and international business communities. Forms of cooperation between the its members and other Swiss business promotion instruments were also addressed.

Jürg Schweri, SwissCham President, who moderated the conference, opened the proceedings with an overview of the board's efforts to understand the needs of its members and create the conditions for them to provide optimal services both locally and internationally.

In his presentation Daniel Küng, CEO Osec and ex-officio member of the SwissCham board, examined areas of cooperation between Osec and the chambers. This will be developed further in 2005 with service agreements between Osec and select chambers, and additional resources for financing and training. On a related topic, Dr. Urs Leimbacher, Director of Information and Knowledge Management, informed the chambers about Osec's "pool of experts".  Specialists from among the chambers' members can make their services known and available to Swiss SMEs within this framework.

Jürg Schweri pointed out that "just as the chambers can work effectively with Osec and the hubs, so they can collaborate well with private organisations." With this in mind Daniel Isler, CEO Fargate AG, presented his firm's offerings to Swiss SMEs active in global export. Developing the point further, Mr. Schweri emphasized SwissCham's intention to strengthen cooperation with other organisations such as LocationSwitzerland and the cantonal chambers of commerce.

The networking and dynamic exchange that typified the SwissCham fall conference continued the following day at the Forum of Swiss International Business (Forum der Schweizer Aussenwirtschaft) that took place on November 11 and 12 at Technopark, Zurich. As a Forum network partner alongside Osec, SOFI, SIPPO, erg and SIHK, SwissCham was involved in decisionmaking regarding concept and program, organisation and other key event-related issues from the project's inception.

SwissCham was also a visible presence at the Forum. A number of chamber representatives attended, and Susan Horváth, Board Member and Managing Director of the Swiss-Chinese Chamber of Commerce made a presentation on intercultural management as a competitive advantage. SwissCham had a stand where members' documentation was prominently displayed. This also functioned as a networking point where SwissCham representatives could inform visitors about its services and those of its chambers. ds

Jürg Schweri, President, SwissCham, moderates the conference. Left to right: Hans Peter Graf, SwissCubanCham; Dr. Christoph Etter, Latcam; Hugo Salvisberg, Chambre de Commerce Suisse pour les pays d'Afrique Centrale and Max Steiner, SEC.

Sushil Premchand, Swiss-Indian Chamber of Commerce (left) and Susan Horváth, Swiss-Chinese Chamber of Commerce. Daniel Küng, CEO, Osec.

Dr. Urs Leimbacher, Director of Information and Knowledge Management, Osec. Left to right: Gülin Arican, Swiss Chamber of Commerce in Turkey; Jean-Luc Peyrot, Swiss Chamber of Commerce in France and Corinne Schirmer, Swiss Chamber of Commerce in Peru.

Dietmar Kuck, IG-GUS (left) and

Beat Kälin, Member of the SwissCham and SEC Boards.

Daniel Isler, CEO, Fargate AG.

Left to right: Alejandro Campos Fischer, Asociación Económica Hispano Suiza; Dr. Bertram Schefold, Schweizerische-Deutscher Wirtschaftsclub e.V. Frankfurt am Main; Christopher Watts, Osec and Ariane von Wild, Swiss Chamber of Commerce in France. Franz Probst, Swiss-Indian Chamber of Commerce (left) and Martin Herb, Swiss-Japanese Chamber of Commerce.

Theodor Häner, Vereinigung Schweizerischer Unternehmen in Deutschland and Jürg Schweri, SwissCham. Gérard Salzmann, Chambre de Commerce Suisse au Maroc (left) talks to Roger Unterberger, SEC.

Csilla Halasz, Swisscham Hungary (left) and Corinne Schirmer, Swiss Chamber of Commerce in Peru. Paulo von Scala, Swisscam Brasil.

The Eastern Europe gang, left to

right: Miroslav Rehounek, Switzerland-Czech Republic Chamber of Commerce; Max Steiner, SEC and Jürg Würtenberg, Swiss-Baltic Chamber of Commerce.

Left to right: Csilla Halasz, Swisscham Hungary, Daniel Küng, Osec and Ariane von Wild, Swiss Chamber of Commerce in France.

The Forum der Schweizer Aussenwirtschaft at Technopark Zurich. Susan Horváth makes a presentation on intercultural management at the Forum der Schweizer Aussenwirtschaft.

The SwissCham stand at the Forum der Aussenwirtschaft where members' documentation was displayed.  

SwissCham, the Association of Swiss Foreign Trade Chambers since 1935, promotes Swiss exports and a Swiss economic presence abroad through its global network of member chambers.