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The Competence Center China is a newly established knowledge-sharing platform between academia, business consulting and industry that provides insights into and a basis for further discussion on China-related business issues with relevance for Swiss SMEs.
We provide you with concrete, pragmatic, experience-based information and services about your business in China. Owing to our extensive experience and thorough understanding of both the Chinese as well as the Swiss market, our center is well positioned to bring the information together, analyze it and come back to you with up-to-date business insights and valuable business recommendations.
Our Center contains a Knowledge Center, offering you on-click access to information relevant to your business in China. It further features a Service Center, which allows you to see concrete solutions our center can offer you, be it in the market entry, during operations or for your Maintenance and Service needs.
Vision and Mission
The CCC’s mission is therefore to establish a knowledge-sharing platform between academia, business consulting and industry that provides insights into and a basis for further discussion on China-related business issues with relevance for Swiss SMEs. This provides a fertile environment for knowledge sharing and integrated learning.
In the mid- to long-run, the CCC attempts to provide relevant, topic-driven intelligence, and in such way facilitate an important discourse and become the chosen interactive knowledge and discussion platform for China-related business issues geared towards Swiss SMEs.
About the Center
The Competence Center China (CCC) for Swiss SME is an initiative of ZHAW School of Management and Law (Center Asia Business), Swiss SME China (the China Representation of the Swiss SME Association) and sim (selective international management) Group. By focusing on present and future business issues that particularly Swiss SMEs are faced with in their business undertakings in China, the CCC provides you with concrete, pragmatic, experience-based information & services about your business in China. Through the collaboration of academia and on-site consultancy with many years of experience in the Chinese market, our center is perfectly positioned to gather and provide you with up-to-date business insights and valuable problem solutions.
The Knowledge Hub will besides general information and monthly topic-driven Newsletters provide Swiss SMEs with a direct and thorough enough insight into the Chinese business environment as well as in the experience of other Swiss SMEs in similar situations.
The structure of each Newsletter is such that we give a brief introduction to the topic, discuss a particular case, and provide possible solutions and recommendations for Swiss SMEs. These Newsletters will be archived and constitute the basis of the Knowledge Hub.
The ASM Hub – the only one of its kind in China – operates with Swiss engineers based in Shanghai who are able to intervene for and on behalf of the company on an hourly basis. This way, Swiss SMEs can avoid struggles with local employees, partners or fly-in/fly-out engineers.
The Distribution Hub shall in the near future provide support to the SMEs in another topic of great current relevance in China, namely how to successfully distribute ones products in China’s large and diverse markets.
The Competence Center closely collaborates with its partners in business, consulting, governmental as well as education institutions. This combined with the Center’s own expertise in Chinese business conduct allows us to provide you with pragmatic solutions in developing your China business that are tailored to your particular needs.
We provide support in the strategic areas of entering and developing a product or market presence in China. This may include market research studies, working out the adequate market entry/expansion strategy, or establishing your company’s/product’s positioning in the right market. At the same time, and thanks to our long presence in China, we can help you with operational issues as well. These include company set-up, office solutions, finance & accounting, sourcing & quality control as well as import & distribution. Besides, we can arrange fact-finding missions and executive visits on request.
The Founding Partners
The ZHAW School of Management and Law (SML) is one of Switzerland’s leading business schools. Its internationally acclaimed BSc and MSc programs as well as its range of continuing education programs are scientifically grounded, interdisciplinary, and practically oriented. Devoted to the applicability of theoretical knowledge, ZHAW-SML’s research and consulting activities are theoretically sound and have practical value, focusing on immediate, efficient feasibility.
The Center Asia Business (CAB) is part of the International Management Institute at ZHAW School of Management and Law. The CAB is a preferred provider in Switzerland for high-value, applied business education, research and consultancy for Small and Medium Sized Companies to successfully develop and expand business between Switzerland and Asian markets. It enables current and future business leaders in professionally managing the business challenges in the Asia-Pacific region in order to generate sustainable effects on the bottom lines of their company.
SKV (Swiss Association of Small and Medium-sized enterprises) was exclusively represented by sim (selective international management) Co. Ltd in China. The representation officially started in September, 2015 and its kick-off event was hosted in November, 2015 which was opened by Mr. Alexander Hoffet, Consul General of Switzerland in Shanghai.
Swiss SME China focuses on addressing member companies and SMEs in different ways. Each year, Swiss SME China organizes workshops for active entrepreneurs to meet and develop their knowledge network with the aim of exploring new collaborations and potential synergies.
sim (selective international management) Co. Ltd. is a Swiss boutique consultancy with its main operations in Shanghai PRC, providing support to European and Chinese Companies. We provide transparent and pragmatic professional solutions to our clients with our internal and external experts through Management Consulting, Corporate Services and Project Management.
Established since 2006 sim acts as a bridge between Chinese and European projects, and is supported by internal and external experts in finance, accounting, legal, cross-culture, logistics and infrastructure and communication, to provide transparent and pragmatic professional solutions to our clients. Our strengths lie in the management of local operations and projects; we initiate, implement and operate ventures successfully with and for you.
Dr. oec. HSG
Markus Prandini is currently Professor of International Business at Zurich University of Applied Sciences/School of Management and Law (Switzerland). He has been working for over ten years in the field of management development at various international companies. He has also been the founder and managing director of an IT company specialized in e-Learning. At ZHAW School of Management and Law he developed the school’s Bachelor degree program in International Management, and after running it to great acclaim for five years he was appointed Head of the Center for International Business in 2010. Since January 2013, Markus Prandini has been acting as managing director of the Competence Center Asia Business. His lecturing, research, and consulting activities focus on the internationalization process of Small and Medium-Sized Companies to and from Emerging Markets with a focus on the Asia-Pacific region as well as intercultural training and education. In 2010, Markus Prandini earned the Credit Suisse Award for best teaching at ZHAW.
Lic. Iur – MBL / DESS
After obtaining his law degree at Neuchâtel University in the French speaking part of Switzerland, Michael Lehmann became a Trust Administrator at Barclays Bank (Suisse) SA in Geneva. He continued his formation during this time in both, Trust Law and International Wealth Management. After being accepted to the Master in Business Law Program of Geneva and Lausanne Universities jointly, Michael Lehmann obtained his Master degree. As part of the program, he took the chance to move to Shanghai, China in 2004. Michael Lehmann has been nominated Executive Director of the Swiss Chinese Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai, he became Business Development Director of sim (selective international management) in fall 2006, was promoted to General Manager in April 2008, became Partner in 2010 and owner of the company in 2014. Michael Lehmann remained Secretary General of the Board of Directors of the Swiss Chinese Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai until 2013 and is member of several Boards of Director of international companies.
M.A. Chinese-European Economics and Business
Michael Settelen is Project Manager/Research Associate at the Center for Asia Business of the ZHAW School of Management and Law, focusing on China-related business issues.
Mr. Settelen has a distinct business background in and with China. He set up the regional office of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China’s industrial hub Chongqing. Later, he acted as project manager for a Swiss consultancy firm and ran market access and market development projects with Swiss and Chinese clients, before moving to the government side where he worked in the capacity of Economic Officer at the Swiss Embassy in Beijing. Prior to that, he held several positions in Switzerland, among others in international controlling for a Swiss machine manufacturer. Mr. Settelen has a thorough understanding of business and trade issues in and with China, and his prior positions equip him with the relevant access to the private sector as well as the federal government. Mr. Settelen holds a BSc in International Business and a MA in Chinese-European Economics and Business.
Ms. Welsly Wu, BSc in international business specialized in hospitality, marketing and communication who lived and studied in Switzerland – will host a Knowledge Hub, an After-Sales & Maintenance (ASM) Hub as well as in the near future a Distribution Hub.
Ms. Wu has a strong background in international hospitality that she worked in Switzerland, USA and China in hotel management, event planning and communications. Since 2014, she has focused on the marketing and communication in Sino-Swiss business environment and acts as the Project Manager for Swiss SME China, the representative of SME Association in Switzerland.