The Swiss Embassy delighted guests with a glamorous show and meaningful dialogue on Swiss and Chinese fashion, design and culture as it celebrated its 65th anniversary of bilateral relations on September 14.
As one of the first Western countries to recognize the New China in January 1950, Switzerland has crafted numerous achievements with China in the past 65 years and has been enjoying stable, ever-growing and prosperous bilateral relations.
The official celebration, titled Shaping Visions, featured a fashion show with young Chinese and Swiss designers such as Julian Zigerli, enSoie, Cui Yingzi and CH’IN.
Student art from the Geneva University of Art and Design and China Central Academy of Fine Arts added charisma to the evening. The creative display of innovative Swiss technical textiles offered an insightful look into Switzerland’s long history, rich heritage and latest innovative developments.
Captivating Runway Show
The fashion show was produced by Mode Suisse, Switzerland’s leading platform for emerging fashion designers, in cooperation with Brand New China, a visionary concept store created by Hung Huang, one of China’s most influential fashion figures.
During the 30-minute catwalk, Swiss and Chinese designers showcased their fresh and bold interpretations of modernity and innovation through their latest collections.
“People might not necessarily associate a fashion event with a diplomatic occasion, especially one as important as the 65th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Switzerland and China. Yet, the dynamism, modernity, innovation and the intimate collaboration among all partners involved at our event are the best demonstration of the substantial Sino-Swiss relationship,” said Swiss Ambassador to China Jean-Jacques de Dardel.
Breathing Life into Textiles
In addition to the runway show, an exhibition of Switzerland’s textile technology demonstrated the country’s revolutionary involvement in the industry. Eastern Switzerland has long been known for its tradition and expertise in textiles, and a large number of Swiss companies have been in the business for well over a century.
When Asia became an engine for producing classic fabrics, Swiss textile companies began to specialize in high-tech and smart textiles to repeat their success in new markets.
The exhibition, produced in collaboration with the Swiss Textiles association, showcased how Swiss companies continue to innovate by applying state-of-the-art technologies for new applications and solutions in healthcare, mobility and sustainability.
Intensified Sino-Swiss Relations
Switzerland recognized the newly founded People’s Republic of China on January 17, 1950. The first Swiss representation in Beijing opened on September 14 the same year, marking the final step in establishing official diplomatic relations.
Since those early beginnings, the relationship between the two countries has strengthened and expanded steadily. The dynamism of the intensified bilateral relationship is underlined with numerous great achievements in the wide range of fields such as politics, economy, culture, education, science and technology, and more recently, the environmental field.
The latest intensive economic co-operation between Switzerland and China was marked by the successful implementation of a free trade agreement in July 2014. Switzerland also became a Chinese yuan hub and active participant in the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.
The bilateral trade between the two countries (including Hong Kong) came to $45 billion in 2014, and Switzerland became China’s eighth most important source of imports earlier this year.
Overnight stays of Chinese visitors in Switzerland set a remarkable new record of close to 1.2 million, and that figure is up by 33 percent in the first half of this year.