Past Forums

The Switzerland – Japan Economic Forum is a joint initiative of the Embassy of Switzerland in Japan, the Swiss Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Japan and IMD Business School. Since 2018, the Forum has aimed at sharing experiences and perspectives from Japan and Switzerland on business and economic topics of mutual interest. The very first instalment in 2018 explored issues pertaining to competitiveness, innovation and health, while in 2019 speakers and panelists discussed how to leverage the values of sport for better internal and external corporate engagement. By bringing together high-level representatives from business, government and academia from Japan and Switzerland, the Forum contributes to strengthening relations and understanding between the two countries and economies.

PREVIOUS EDITIONS

SWITZERLAND-JAPAN ECONOMIC FORUM 2020

TALENT FOR BUSINESS IN A TRANSFORMATIVE ERA – EXPERIENCES AND IDEAS FROM JAPAN AND SWITZERLAND

OPENING ADDRESSES

Andreas Baum, Ambassador
Andre Zimmermann, President, Swiss Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Japan

KEYNOTE

Naoko Ishihara, Chief Researcher, Recruit Works Institute

PANEL 1

ACHIEVING TRANSFORMATIVE SYNERGY WITH YOUNG TALENT

Making the best of young talent has never been more important than today. Changes in technologies, values and communication styles we had already seen before the COVID-19 crisis have accelerated through the disruptive pandemic. Young talent has much to offer on how we see and rebuild our business and society. Adjustments, or even radical changes in management practice, could be required to ensure successful paths forward. The panel will tap into insights of young talent and senior executives from Swiss-based and Japanese companies to explore approaches for a creative future.

PANEL

Matthias Leuenberger, Country President, Novartis Switzerland
Chiharu Takakura, Member of the Board of Directors, ROHTO Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.
Keiko Tsuchiya, Head of Human Resources, The Adecco Group Japan
Ryo Umezawa, Principal, East Ventures
Moderation: Dan Slater, Director, The Delphi Network

PANEL 2

ENABLING BUSINESS TRANSFORMATION WITH EXISTING TALENT

Not long ago, we asked ourselves what digitalization, robotics and AI would do to our professional life and self-worth. The pandemic has added magnitude to this inquiry. How do we learn, unlearn, relearn, and still keep true to ourselves while transforming our businesses for a sustainable future? What can we do both at individual and at organizational levels to adapt to this new reality? The panel invites executives from Japan and Switzerland to elaborate on ways needed for transformation.

PANEL

Mutsuo Iwai, Deputy Chairman of the Board, Japan Tobacco
Miki Kanoh, Executive Officer, Head of Corporate Affairs Group, Nestlé Japan Ltd.
Alain Robert, Vice Chairman, UBS Wealth Management
Raizo Sakoda, President & Director, Hitachi Academy

Moderation: Chie Ishiyama, Journalist, TV & Radio Presenter

CONCLUSION

Naoshi Takatsu, Managing Partner (North East Asia), IMD Business School


SWITZERLAND-JAPAN ECONOMIC FORUM 2019

SPORTS VALUES FOR BUSINESS: EXPERIENCES FROM JAPAN & SWITZERLAND

OPENING ADDRESSES

Jean-François Paroz, Ambassador of Switzerland to Japan
Tsunekazu Takeda, President, Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC)

KEYNOTE

Dominique Turpin, Dean of External Relations, IMD business school

PANEL 1

SPORTS VALUES AND CORPORATE SPONSORING: FOR WHAT AND FOR WHOM?

Sports remain by far the leading sponsoring vehicle (well ahead of arts and cause-related marketing). Although not every company can afford to sponsor the Olympic Games, there are plenty of opportunities for firms to engage in sponsoring activities in various forms and budgets. This panel addressed questions frequently faced by business executives when considering sports-related sponsorship.

PANEL

Axel Kuhr, Managing Director, ABB Japan
Masafumi Ishibashi, Senior Managing Executive Officer, Nestlé Japan
Tom Toida, Professor, Juntendo University; President and CEO, Sports Think Tank Co., Ltd. 
Moderator: Dominique Turpin, Dean of External Relations, IMD business school

PANEL2

SPORTS VALUES FOR MOTIVATION AND PRODUCTIVITY

The values of sports is an important vehicle to help improve employees’ morale, unify or reinforce corporate culture and mobilize energies. This panel hosted executives and an Olympian todiscuss how sports can teach business executives to perform at his/her best ability individually, or in teams.

PANEL

Jean-Claude Biver, Non-Executive Chairman, LVMH Watchmaking Division
Miyako Tanaka-Oulevey, Consultant, Japanese Society of Sports Psychology / Olympic Medalist
Isamu Tatsuno, Founder and CEO, Montbell, Co., Ltd. 
Moderator: Makiko Eda, Chief Representative Officer, World Economic Forum Japan

CONCLUSION

Naoshi Takatsu, Managing Partner (North East Asia), IMD Business School


SWITZERLAND-JAPAN ECONOMIC FORUM 2018

PARTNERS FOR COMPETITIVENESS, INNOVATION AND A HEALTHEIR FUTURE

OPENING ADDRESSES

Jean-François Paroz, Ambassador of Switzerland to Japan
Naoshi Takatsu, Managing Partner (North East Asia), IMD Business School

KEYNOTE

Mauro Dell’Ambrogio, State Secretary for Education, Research and Innovation of Switzerland

PANEL 1

Advantages resulting from the cooperation between the two countries in terms of competitiveness and innovation were discussed. The favorable environment in Switzerland for Japanese companies was also highlighted with the example of the Sunstar Group, which moved its global headquarters to Switzerland in 2007 from Osaka. The challenges and opportunities resulting from aging societies both in Japan and Switzerland were also considered.

PANEL

Mauro Dell’Ambrogio, State Secretary for Education, Research and Innovation of Switzerland
Ryuhei Maeda, Senior Advisor, ANA Holdings Inc.
Wieland Noetzold, Executive Officer, Head of Corporate Planning, Sunstar Suisse SA
Moderation: Naoshi Takatsu, Managing Partner (North East Asia), IMD Business School

KEYNOTE

Florian Kohlbacher, Director, Economist Corporate Network, North Asia, The Economist Group

PANEL 2

Ageing means business.  While Japan is often discussed in terms of its rapidly aging demography, the rest of the world, including Switzerland, are not that far behind.  Despite the immense business potential lies in the growing silver market, not many leaders have come on board.  Academic experts, and business executives discussed their best practices at this event. 

PANEL

Florian Kohlbacher, Director, Economist Corporate Network, North Asia, The Economist Group
Sabina Misoch, Professor, Sociologist and Head of the Interdisciplinary Competence Centre for Ageing (IKOA) at the University of Applied Sciences St. Gallen 
Yuka Shimada, HR & GA Director, Unilever Japan Holdings K.K.
Takanori Shibata, Chief Senior Research Scientist, Human Informatics Research Institute, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology – AIST
Moderation: Michael Mroczek, Attorney-at-law, Switzerland

CONCLUSION

Claudio Mazzucchelli, Head of Swiss Business Hub Japan