Vontobel is partner of the 4th Horizon Forum 2019
On Tuesday January 29, Vontobel and Le Temps brought together the most cutting-edge experts in their fields to discuss the course of the Swiss and international economy in 2019.Some 150 people, including Le Temps readers and guests of Vontobel, took part in the debates, which were held on the Biotech Campus in Geneva.
The 4th edition of Horizon Forum 2019
A podium discussion with media partner Le Temps
As main partner of this forum since its creation four years ago, Vontobel seeks not only to reinforce its visibility in French-speaking Switzerland, but also – and above all – to position itself as an opinion leader and a key player in the region. The Horizon Forum sought to highlight the major economic challenges of 2019 and provide the participants and decision-makers with some points of reference to help them make good decisions for their companies. "In this way, we can show that we're close to entrepreneurs," explains Christoph Gloor, manager of Vontobel for French-speaking Switzerland.
The forum took place on the Biotech Campus in Geneva, the Swiss center of excellence in biotechnology and life sciences, which focuses on three priority areas: neurosciences/neurotechnologies, digital health and overall health.
Eight successive panels were held during the morning to tackle various exciting issues:
Economic policy – the geostrategic challenges for 2019: The French geopolitics expert Pascal Boniface opened the Horizon Forum. From his point of view, the Americans' fears of being overtaken by the Chinese aggravate tensions, and the scenario of an armed conflict between Washington and Beijing can't be ruled out.
Watchmaking – from the tradition to the Apple Watch: For Patrick Pruniaux, manager of Ulysse Nardin and Girard-Perregaux, "consumers must be able to imagine themselves in a family of products". Luxury lies in the experience that a brand can offer them, he explained.
Media – reinventing yourself to deal with the GAFA companies (US Internet giants): Louis Dreyfus, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the "Le Monde" group, told the story of the strategic choices of the group that he took over eight years ago.
Economic outlook for Switzerland in 2019: Eric Scheidegger, Vice President of the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, denied the risk of a serious recession. Cyclical risks, however, including internal risks, dominate the real estate market.
Biotechnologies – The next big thing: For Sophie Kornowski, specialist in biotechnologies, artificial intelligence harbors analytical skills that enable treatments to be precisely targeted on a patient-by-patient basis. The pharmaceutical industry and the digital giants have an interest in collaborating.
Microtechnologies – is Switzerland still and always Number 1?: Mario El-Khoury, Director of the Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology, presented the projects being pursued by the Center's laboratory. An exploration of a digital future that's not far off. According to El-Khoury, innovation may save both humanity and the Swiss economy.
Tourism – The mountains revisited: A round-table discussion brought out the challenges that mountain tourism must confront. Also shaken up by the entrance on the scene of the GAFA (the four US internet giants), this sector must move closer to its clientele and make itself more attractive.
Finance – Where are the reference points in a turbulent world?: Agriculture and health connected: Dan Scott, head of investments at Vontobel Wealth Management, recommended betting on sectors that "will remain independent of the volatility of the financial markets", and focused on megatrends, those great societal changes that offer investors exposure to structural growth.
You can also find, on the letemps.ch website, the conclusions reached during this morning-long session in texts and images, by clicking on this link: