Dear IBN Switzerland Members,
As another busy year comes to a close we can look back with pride on our achievements – 4 events – 1 each in Basel, Zurich and Geneva and a joint event in Basel for the Basel/Zurich chapter. We had a wide variety of excellent speakers starting in May in Basel with Prof. Ian Marison, National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training who provided a fascinating account of their short and very successful history. He was followed by Patrick Ramseyer owner of www.theram.ch on “Running a business in Switzerland from an Irish perspective”. Patrick has since joined the IBN core team in Switzerland and is revamping our website probono which will go live early January 2013.
The June Zurich event kicked off with a unique tour of ABB’s state of the art Gas Insulated Switchgear (GIS) factory in Oerlikon, and was followed by a glimpse from Niamh Kelly into Google Dublin and the new and latest technology currently available in the market. October in Geneva had Sonru CEO Fergal O’Byrne fielding lots of questions related to his online technology as well as Ivan Kearns, founder of Nations discussing trends and challenges in English-language training today. The final joint event held in Basel had a diversity of speakers including Declan Hayes of SIBA, Claudio Del Principe, representing Bord Bia in Switzerland and organizer of the Swiss branch of ‘Chef’s Irish Beef Club’, and Christian Mueller who gave an introduction to Steripack – offering medical packaging solutions for the healthcare sector. Each event was supported by either the Ambassador Martin Burke or his deputy Justin Dolan sharing news and of course the EI team with an update on the Irish economy and Enterprise Ireland.
The really good news is that exports from Ireland to Switzerland continue to grow. According to the CSO, ‘export grew from €2.7B to €3.7B over the first three quarters of 2012 and we expect a similar strong performance in the last quarter.’ So we as Irish professionals living in Switzerland and members of the Irish Business Network Switzerland can continue to provide assistance to Irish companies that are looking at the Swiss market at this crucial time. Throughout 2012 the network has facilitated many introductions to key decision makers here in Switzerland, which has become a key market for so many Irish companies, amounting to tens of millions of euros in exports from Ireland this year. This is making a vital contribution to the nation’s recovery.
Ultimately though, this network is about the members – over the last 12 months, the Network has continued to grow and has now reached over 300 members. We look forward to welcoming new members so pass on the website www.irishbusinessnetwork.ch or our LinkedIn Group.
Looking forward to 2013 – we plan a series of interesting events at each chapter – so let us know which topics are of interest to you. These themed events give you the opportunity to meet likeminded professionals based in Switzerland, hear from interesting speakers and also build your own professional network. In addition we will link up with the Swiss Irish Business Association based in Dublin thereby expanding both networks nationally and internationally. The revamped website will also go live opening up another channel to share information and news.
I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of the Irish Business Network Switzerland, to wish you and your families a very Merry Christmas. I would also like to thank you for your support for the Network in 2012 and we look forward to your ongoing support in 2013.
President of the Swiss Irish Business Network