2014 IPS-AS Seminar on "Singapore and Switzerland: Learning from Each Other"




Avenir Suisse, Switzerland, and the Institute for Policy Studies, Singapore, presented a seminar on 7 May 2014 in Zurich, the second exchange of ideas and experiences between two think-tanks. The first was held at Orchard Hotel Singapore on 4 October 2013. (More information on the event can here found here.) The 2014 Seminar was held in Zurich at the Swiss Re Centre for Global Dialogue.

The speakers focused on the policy experiences of Singapore and Switzerland in the following areas:

Mobilising talent for good governance

Switzerland has a militia system to mobilise its people to contribute to governing of the country and to provide some public services. In Singapore, there are formal as well as informal systems to ensure that some of the country’s top talent works in government. Former Head of Civil Service, Group President of GIC Private Limited, Mr Lim Siong Guan shared about talent management and governance principles guiding the Singapore public service and its impact on the rest of the country. Dr Samuel Rutz, Vice-Director of AS, was the discussant at this session.

Migration and integration – diversity and its strengths

Singapore and Switzerland are both immigrant societies that celebrate meritocracy, social mobility, inclusion and equity. What are the discussions on immigration and integration in Singapore about today; what are the leading ideas about social integration and what resonances do these have for Switzerland? Professor David Chan of Singapore Management University shared his analysis of the challenge of integration in Singapore and how these can be better managed. Dr Urs Meister, Project Manager at AS, was the discussant at this session.

Urban livability and sustainability

Both Switzerland and Singapore thrive on their dense urban cities. With population growth and urbanization, there is need to explore ways in which the benefits of agglomeration and globalization do not translate into congestion, environmental degradation and social stress. The Chief Executive Officer of the Housing and Development Board, Dr Cheong Koon Hean shared about the technological and social innovations that Singapore has adopted and is continuing to explore to manage these liveability issues in Singapore. Dr Marco Salvi, Project Manager at AS, was the discussant at this session.

The highlight of the Seminar was a luncheon attended by the Guest-of-Honour, Singapore’s President, His Excellency Dr Tony Tan Keng Yam and hosted by Mr Walter Kielholz, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Swiss Re.

The keynote speaker who delivered his speech titled ‘Creating Liveable and Sustainable Cities’ and took a question and answer session before lunch was served, was Dr Mohamad Maliki Bin Osman, Minister of State, Ministry of National Development and Ministry of Defence, Singapore.

The Singapore Presidential delegation included Mr S Iswaran, Second Minister for Home Affairs and Trade & Industry and members of Parliament, Ms Jessica Tan and Mr Patrick Tay.

Both AS and IPS are deeply honoured that the Presidential delegation chose to make a stop at and contribution to the Seminar as part of their tour to Portugal and Switzerland at the time.




Media Coverage


Wednesday, 07 May 2014