Facilitating the Sino-Swiss cooperation in the energy industry, the Center for Asia Business of the ZHAW School of Management and Law provided a study trip to Switzerland for a 25-person delegation from Zhenjiang Economic and Technological Development Zone (ZETDZ) of China from 13. – 17. February 2017 with a focus on “Low Carbon and Sustainable City Development”.
During President Xi Jinping’s state visit to Switzerland in January 2017, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in the field of energy had been signed between the Federal Department of Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications and the National Energy Administration of the People’s Republic China. The MoU emphasizes a close cooperation between Switzerland and China particularly in the fields of renewable energies, integration of electricity and nuclear research. A study trip, organized by the Center for Asia Business (CAB) tied in with a previously organized training for government officials of the city of Zhenjiang gave 25 guests from China a comprehensive insight into the topics of green and renewable energy, low-carbon urban development, green building architecture, sustainable agriculture as well as long-term industrial zone management.
For the study trip, CAB organized a symposium about Low Carbon City Development with specialists from ZHAW, Winterthur government and local enterprises, allowing a profound exchange of expertise among the participants. The City Counselor Mr. Stefan Fritsch and the head of ZETDZ Delegation Mr. Zhu Xiaoyang both addressed in their opening speeches the relevance and urgency of sustainable urban development. Winterthur which holds the European Energy Gold Award in addition to its Energy City Label can serve as a benchmark for the city of Zhenjiang. Having been nominated by the central government as a role model for sustainable and smart city development, Zhenjiang has set the goal to reach the status of a low-carbon city by 2020, which is ten year earlier than the national objective. As Mr. Zhu Xiaoyang emphasized: “We build our goals upon international cooperation in the areas of ecology, sustainability and education. Needless to say, Switzerland leads in these areas, with advanced concepts, technologies, products and solutions. It is our sincere expectation to exchange and cooperation with Switzerland. We anticipate our long-term partnership with ZHAW to support us in achieving our goal to become the leading low-carbon city in China”.
Upon returning back home, the members of the delegation immediately held a workshop to share their experiences with the leading representatives and officials of Zhenjiang. Furthermore, each of the delegates had to prepare a presentation and write an action plan on how to put the learnings from the Swiss study trip into practice. The cooperation between CAB and Zhenjiang will continue. The study trip was a starting point which allows ZHAW to take its role in education and research for a Sustainable, Low-Carbon Development, thus nurturing the ZHAW strategy of tackling global challenges and acting as a societal knowledge transformer.
Examples of the participants presentations (in chinese):
Contact: Markus Prandini, Center for Asia Business