International Trade Forum
Back to growth

Back to growth 2021

International business in the «new normal»

Once the pandemic is largely under control, the «new normal» will take hold in international business. The International Trade Forum – the big annual meet-up for companies in international business – offers you more than two hours of inspiration plus the tools that will get you ready to get back on track as quickly as possible.

The International Trade Forum is the ideal place to engage in individual discussions with experts from global markets and to acquire practical knowledge.

Economists expect 2021 to be the year in which the global economy picks up. So now is the time to thoroughly assess your own international business situation and prepare for the new normal.

Together with our partners we are offering you two hours of inspiration and orientation, digitally and safely, with:

  • Keynote: Ignazio Cassis, Federal Councillor
    Federal Councillor Cassis explains how Swiss foreign policy provides the geopolitical framework for your international business – from relationships with the EU to global trade policy.
  • Keynote: Aude Pugin, CEO of APCO Technologies SA and President of Vaud Chamber of Commerce and Industry
    Aude Pugin shares her view as CEO of an SME and President of the VCCI on the internationally oriented Swiss economy of tomorrow.
  • In the break-out sessions you can choose from a wide variety of digital panels and webinars to find the topics that promise the biggest profit for you and your business – for example, optimizing your value chain.
  • The International Trade Forum offers you the unique opportunity to establish and build relationships with other companies operating internationally, our country specialists and our partners.

Do you want to grow successfully in the new normal? The International Trade Forum supports you – register today!

Guaranteed not to miss anything that interests you
The main programme of the Forum and the panel discussions will be simultaneously translated into French, German and English.

To make sure you don't miss anything, we will provide you with recordings of all program elements following the forum.

You will receive an access link to the forum by e-mail one day prior to the forum start.




iCal Download
Target audience Swiss and Liechtenstein SMEs already exporting products or services, or those that want to launch their business internationally
Organizer Switzerland Global Enterprise
Event language





Online (CET/MEZ)

Cost of participating S-GE Members: free of charge / Non-Members: CHF 90.-
Registration deadline

Invitation from Simone Wyss Fedele



Program (Subject to change)


BY Simone Wyss Fedele, CEO Switzerland Global Enterprise

Welcome interview

with Andreas Gerber, Head Corporate Banking, Member of the SUB Management Committee and Member of the Management, Credit Suisse (Schweiz) AG and Martina Gmür, Head of Export Promotion and Member of the Executive Committee of Switzerland Global Enterprise

Keynote: Impulses for tomorrow's economy

Aude Pugin, CEO of APCO Technologies SA and President of Vaud Chamber of Commerce and Industry in conversation with with Simone Wyss Fedele, CEO, Switzerland Global Enterprise and Sylvain Jaccard, Head of S-GE Suisse Romande, S-GE

Break / Networking

Wide range of break-out sessions

More details about the break-out sessions to be find under «Break-out session overview»

Break / Networking

Wide range of break-out sessions

More details about the break-out sessions to be find under «Break-out session overview»

Break / Networking

Wide range of break-out sessions

More details about the break-out sessions to be find under «Break-out session overview»

Break / Networking

Keynote: Switzerland between the USA, China and Europe - a classification

by Federal Councilor Ignazio Cassis, Head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs

Q+A with Federal Councilor Iganzio Cassis and Closing

by Ruth Metzler-Arnold, Chairwoman of Switzerland Global Enterprise

End of program

Breakout Sessions

Break-out Session Overview

You find below the overview of the break-out sessions. You can find more information about the speakers in our speaker overview. The breakout sessions will be recorded and available to you as a recording after the event.


Find more information about the speakers in our speaker overview


International business between two world powers: Do Swiss companies have to choose between the USA and China?

With Andrea Berlinger Schwyter, President, Berlinger Group | Martin Naville, CEO, Swiss American Chamber of Commerce | Felix Sutter, Swiss-Chinese Chamber of Commerce SCCC
The disagreements between China and the USA are having a marked effect on the global economy. Our guests in the TV studio discuss what consequences this will have for internationally active Swiss companies – ask your questions live on air: What does the dispute mean in terms of the demand for Swiss goods and services? Is it still economically viable for a company to be active in both markets? Will we have to choose between Chinese and Western suppliers?


15.45 - 16.15h, German with simulaneous translation into English and French

#geopolitics #longsession


International business in Europe in transition: Brexit, institutional agreement and success factors for Swiss companies

With Jane Owen, UK Ambassador to Switzerland and to Liechtenstein | Martin Hirzel, President, Swissmem | Sebastian Ramspeck, International correspondent and moderator, SRF Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen
Switzerland concluded a free-trade agreement with the UK before it left the EU. But the bilateral agreements with the EU enable Swiss companies to be much more closely involved in the domestic European market. Our high-profile speakers in the studio will be discussing: Opportunities, disadvantages and success factors of the new UK deal | What can we expect from the framework agreement with the EU – and will Brexit help or hinder progress? How do we handle the uncertainty?


16.35 - 17.05h, English with simulaneous translation into German and French

#geopolitics #longsession


Crisis-proof procurement: Experience and advice from practice

With Eugen Peterhans, CEO and Delegate of the Board of Directors, Howag Kabel AG | Dr. Tomasz Gonsior, Partner, OptiBuy
Howag Kabel AG produces cables for ventilators in China and Bulgaria. You will hear from the CEO how the company managed to ramp up production in Bulgaria in no time at all and get some useful advice on preventive diversification – plus you can ask questions live.


15.45 - 16.05h, German



Is your international business ready for the next shock? Tips by two CEOs on how to design your value chain

With Pierre-Yves Bonvin, CEO, Steiger Participations SA | Gregoire Metz, CEO, DECISION SA
Take part in the inspiring CEO Talk with two Chief Executives from the automotive and MEM industries. They explain why it is essential for every sector and company to constantly adapt its value chain. The subsequent panel discussion offers you the opportunity to ask your own questions on the theme.


16.15 - 16.35h, French



Expert talk: Effective tactics to promote products and services online

With Giuseppe Maffei, Founder, DEVELED Sagl
Though business trips or a trade fair participation are still difficult, it is definitely possible to remotely make a product or service well known in the shortest time and at the lowest cost possible. How? Let’s discover the Growth Hacking techniques!


16.45 - 17.05h, English



Artificial Intelligence - Considering IT security and risk management

With Klaus Haller, Senior Security Architect, AXA
Companies digitize and optimize their business processes with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and improve their decision-making. However, wide-spread AI platforms in companies open up new ways for hackers and cyber criminals to attack these companies. What are the consequences for IT security + IT risk organizations - and the senior management?


15.45 - 16.05h, German



Breakout Session: Currency hedging in uncertain times

With Chris Leuenberger, FX Sales Corporate & Institutional Clients, Credit Suisse AG
At the start of January, Credit Suisse published what is already the fifth edition of the annual FX study. More than 1,000 corporate clients were asked about their market expectations and how they deal with currency risks. We look at the most important results and present innovative hedging solutions. 


16.15 - 16.35h, German



Minimise risks. Maximise exports.

With Carsten Böhler, Head of Client Acquisition and SME Underwriting, SERV
How can I insure my export transactions in old and new markets after the restart? How can SERV help me to make my bid more attractive? How can SERV help me deal with liquidity shortages when that big contract comes in?


16.45 - 17.05h, German



Which market is better for you? Italy vs. France

With Swiss Business Hub Italy | Swiss Business Hub France
Italy against France – two of the offices of Switzerland Global Enterprise (Swiss Business Hubs) go head-to-head to compete for your favors! Find out more about trends, strengths and clichés, and get an overview of the two markets, in a fact-packed 20-minute session. You cast your vote live to decide which is the better market for you.


15.45 - 16.05h, English


Indien Indonesien

Which market is better for you? India vs. Indonesia

With Swiss Business Hub India | Swiss Business Hub Indonesia
India against Indonesia – two of the offices of Switzerland Global Enterprise (Swiss Business Hubs) go head-to-head to compete for your favors! Find out more about trends, strengths and clichés, and get an overview of the two markets in a fact-packed 20-minute session. You cast your vote live to decide which is the better market for you.


16.15 - 16.35 h, English


Chile Brasilien

Which market is better for you? Chile vs. Brazil

With Swiss Business Hub Chile | Swiss Business Hub Brazil
Chile against Brazil – two of the offices of Switzerland Global Enterprise (Swiss Business Hubs) go head-to-head to compete for your favors! Find out more about trends, strengths and clichés, and get an overview of the two markets in a fact-packed 20-minute session. You cast your vote live to decide which is the better market for you.


16.45 - 17.05h, English


SA Nigeria

Which market is better for you? South Africa vs. Nigeria

With Swiss Business Hub South Africa | Trade Point Nigeria
South Africa against Nigeria – the offices of Switzerland Global Enterprise (Swiss Business Hubs) go head-to-head to compete for your favors! Find out more about statistics, strengths and clichés, and get an overview of the two markets in a fact-packed 20-minute session. You cast your vote live to decide which is the best market for you.


15.45 - 16.05h, English



Crisis as an opportunity: The story of Disigel: a long-lasting hand sanitizer.

With Andreas Schmocker, CEO und Co-Founder, Lumendo AG
During the first lock-down the young company Lumendo had to close their labs for three weeks. The team decided to brainstorm how to use their technology portfolio to fight the Covid-19 pandemic. Within two weeks Lumendo submitted an application to InnoSuisse and the Gebert Rüf Foundation, and started developing molecules for a long-lasting hand sanitizer. In this interactive session Lumendo's CEO offers insights into how to move quickly and how to benefit from difficult situations.


16.15 - 16.35h



Modern financing options for startups in the expansion phase: Overview and practice interviews

With Andreas Roth, Leiter TOP 100 Startup Cooperation, Director, Credit Suisse AG | Mike Leupi, Senior Corporate Client Advisor SME / Vice President, Credit Suisse AG | Stefan Steiner, Co-Managing Director, Venturelab AG
The ideal workshop for startups and other companies that want to expand. You gain an overview of the options for funding your expansion phase and get useful tips in practical interviews with successful entrepreneurs – including time and space for your own questions.


16.45 - 17.05h



Efficiency gains in export processing

With Thomas Munsters, Managing Director SGS MACO Customs Services, SGS | Philipp Muster, Managing Partner, efreight AG
Complicated and time-consuming logistics processing with delivery notes, i.e. physical papers, manual stamping and long waiting times at customs, are still part of the everyday reality – but could soon be a thing of the past. With its ‘DaziT’ project, the federal government is advancing a digitalisation effort. Implementing this, however, requires the appropriate IT infrastructure. This event will examine what DaziT is and what solutions are available on the market for its implementation.


15.45 - 16.05h, German



Artificial Intelligence And The Value Of Data: The Four Ways To Grow

With Dr. Simon Hefti, co-founder and chairman, D ONE
The swiss industry is renowned for precision, efficiency and innovation and constantly needs to prove its position - even more so after the financial and production challenges of 2020. In this talk, we discuss real-life examples from the Swiss industry - logistics, manufacturing, services - every CEO needs to know. The examples explain the four ways to generate value with data and AI: by increasing the top line through value-add services; by increasing the bottom line through automation; by reducing risk through customer loyalty; by capturing opportunities through new income streams. The common theme of these examples: data, machine learning and artificial intelligence are deeply integrated “must haves” of your offerings.


16.15 - 16.35h, English



Air travel in times of Corona

With Martin Knuchel, Lufthansa Group Pandemic Coordinator, Swiss International Air Lines AG
Passenger safety and connecting Switzerland to the world are top priorities for SWISS. In this breakout session, Martin Knuchel, Lufthansa Group Pandemic Coordinator, will give insights into his work and provide information on the current situation. Be part of this interactive session and ask your questions about air travel.


16.45 - 17.05h, German


Break-out session overview download


Keynote and Panel Speakers

Ignazio Cassis

Federal Councilor, Head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA)

Ignazio Cassis

On 20 September 2017, the United Federal Assembly elected Ignazio Cassis (FDP) to the Federal Council. He took up his post as head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs on 1 November 2017.
For the two years prior to his election to the Federal Council, Mr Cassis, a doctor of medicine, was president of the parliamentary group of the FDP.The Liberals, of which he was a member since his election to the National Council in 2007. From 2015, he chaired the National Council's Social Security and Health Committee. He was also vice-chair or chair of various parliamentary groups. His political career began in 2004 with his election to the legislative authority of the Ticino municipality of Collina d'Oro.


Photography: © Markus Jegerlehner

Aude Pugin

CEO APCO Technologies SA and President of the Cantonal chamber of industry and commerce Vaud

Aude Pugin

Aude Pugin is CEO of APCO Technologies SA, an industrial company based in Aigle. APCO Technologies is active in various sectors of the industry, particularly in the European space market and the energy market in France.


After 10 years practice in law, she has joined APCO Technologies since 2009 as a representative of the second generation of the family business. She is also Vice-President of the Federal Commission for Space Affairs and President of the Vaud Chamber of Commerce and Industry.


Photography: © Pierre Vogel

Andrea Berlinger Schwyter 

President Berlinger Group

Andrea Berlinger Schwyter 

Andrea Berlinger Schwyter was the sixth generation of her family to enter the textile trade when she joined her parents’ firm, Berlinger & Co. AG. There she held a wide variety of positions before completely taking over the company, together with her husband, in 2008. She was co-CEO until 2018 and has been Chair of the Supervisory Board since that time. As a result of the skilled reconfiguration of its core business areas, the parent company Berlinger & Co. AG has progressed from the original textile company to become one of the leading manufacturers of temperature monitoring devices. Its customers include almost all the major global pharmaceutical companies, vaccine manufacturers and aid agencies, such as UNICEF. Berlinger Special AG was founded in 1998. It specializes in the manufacture of ultra-secure seal systems. These are used for the secure transportation of top athletes’ urine and blood samples. As a result of takeovers and the creation of new companies, the Group has now established footholds in the USA and the Netherlands and is gearing up for the future with new business ideas as an integrated system provider in the area of temperature monitoring, with around 120 employees worldwide. The Group’s export ratio is around 95%, distributed across 170 countries. 
Andrea Berlinger Schwyter is also on the Board of St. Gallen’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IHK) and she advises other family-owned companies, in some cases holding a seat on their supervisory boards. She is married to Daniel Schwyter -Berlinger. They have two adult children together.

Martin Naville

CEO, Swiss American Chamber of Commerce

Martin Naville

Since 2004, Martin Naville has been CEO of the Swiss-American Chamber of Commerce, a leading business organization that forges and maintains economic policy ties between the US and Switzerland for its 1,800 members (Swiss and US companies) and promotes optimal business location conditions for Swiss and foreign multinationals in Switzerland. Previously, he spent 16 years with The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) in Munich, Zurich and New York, serving as a partner since 1995. Martin Naville started his career in 1984 as a corporate banker at JP Morgan in Zurich and New York.

Naville holds a degree in law from the University of Zurich (Uni ZH). He is President of the Zurich Zoo, a member of the Board of Directors of Swissquote, the leading Swiss e-banking provider, Senior Advisor at Morgan Stanley (Switzerland), a member of the Global Advisory Board of ETH Zurich and President of the Komitee Weltoffenes Zürich. He is married, has two grown-up sons and lives in Küsnacht ZH.

Felix Sutter

President, Swiss-Chinese Chamber of Commerce SCCC

Felix Sutter

Felix Sutter serves as the President of the Swiss Chinese Chamber of Commerce (SCCC) since 2015, he was instrumental in repositioning SCCC and restructuring its Board to address todays and the chamber’s future needs. 

Felix Sutter has been a Partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Switzerland for more than 19 years. During this period Felix worked with domestic and international clients and gained in-depth understanding of some of the most prominent emerging markets in Asia. 

Felix has been nominated in November 2017 as one of only three “Visiting Leaders” at the China European International Business School (CEIBS) Shanghai Campus.

In 2019, Felix has been asked to join China Construction Bank Trust’s “Global Family Wealth Strategy Advisory Committee”. 

Last year, Felix Sutter has founded SUCCEED Consulting GMBH with a Chinese partner. The company’s mission is to connect innovative Swiss and Chinese companies, entrepreneurs and investors.

Recently he has joined AMROP Hoer Tan in Singapore as a partner and will be active in leadership consulting activities as well as being a x-culture mentor for business executives in Asian and European Markets. 

Jane Owen

UK Ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein

Jane Owen

Jane took up her post as Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the Swiss Confederation and the Principality of Liechtenstein in December 2017. She served as British Ambassador to Norway from 2010-2014, and subsequently as the Chief Operating Officer of UK Trade and Investment (UKTI), the government body responsible for promoting Britain’s commercial and business relationships around the world. Jane has held senior positions in the British High Commission in India, and British embassies in Japan and Vietnam, as well as working in the European Union department at the Foreign Office in London.

Martin Hirzel

President, Swissmem

Martin Hirzel

Martin Hirzel became President of Swissmem in January 2021, and has worked in Swiss industry for more than 20 years. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Bucher Industries AG, Dätwyler Holding AG and two privately owned SMEs. He is also a member of the Regional Economic Council of the Swiss National Bank, and chairs the Advisory Board of ZHAW School of Management & Law. He was CEO of Autoneum Holding AG for nine years up to the end of 2019. Prior to this, he managed the market region South America, Middle East & Africa for four years, mainly from its headquarters in São Paulo, Brazil. Between 2000 and 2007 he lived in Shanghai, China, where he was responsible for establishing the local presence of Rieter Holding AG. A native of Zurich, Martin Hirzel started his career by doing a vocational apprenticeship before going on to study business management with a focus on industry and international production at ZHAW. He then completed the GMP at Harvard Business School.

Sebastian Ramspeck

International correspondent and moderator, SRF Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen

Sebastian Ramspeck

Sebastian Ramspeck, 46, grew up in the city of Zurich. He studied international relations in Geneva, European law in Zurich and is a graduate of Hamburg’s Henri-Nannen School of Journalism. Ramspeck began his professional career in the Swiss federal government, first in the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) and later in an administrative department of the Federal Council. As a journalist he has worked for various media companies in Switzerland and abroad, including time as a correspondent at Der Spiegel in Dusseldorf. From August 2014 until February 2020, Ramspeck was EU correspondent for Swiss broadcaster SRF in Brussels. Today he works for SRF in Zurich as international correspondent and host of the international news show #SRFglobal.



Member *

Free of charge


CHF 90.-

* New members registrations until April 22, 2021 can benefit as well from the cost advantage.

Further details about the S-GE member benefits can be found here.

Your hosts

Simone Wyss Fedele

CEO of Switzerland Global Enterprise

Simone Wyss Fedele

Simone Wyss Fedele has been CEO of Switzerland Global Enterprise (S-GE), the official Swiss organization for export and investment promotion, since October 2019. With a PhD in economics, she has worked as a management consultant for internationalization issues, developed new business models for the international market and accompanied companies such as Helvetia Insurance, Takeda Pharmaceuticals and Novartis through macroeconomic and political challenges.

Ruth Metzler-Arnold

Chairwoman of Switzerland Global Enterprise

Ruth Metzler-Arnold

Ruth Metzler-Arnold has been Chairwoman of Switzerland Global Enterprise (S-GE) since 2011. She is a former Vice President and member of the Swiss Federal Council (1999-2003). She is Chairwoman of Fehr Advice & Partnrs, Deputy Chairwoman of AXA Switzerland and sits on several boards of directors, among them are Bühler AG Uzwil, Reyl & Cie. SA and Swiss Medical Network SA. In addition, Ruth Metzler-Arnold presides the Board of Trustees of the Pontifical Swiss Guard Foundation and is a member of the Board of Trustees of Avenir Suisse and SVC Unternehmerstiftung.

In previous years, Ruth Metzler-Arnold was member of the Cantonal Government (Department of Finance) of Appenzell Innerrhoden. As a lawyer and certified public accountant, she held leading positions with Novartis and PricewaterhouseCoopers during her career in the private sector.


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