Switzerland has lost importance on the international scene in recent years compared to other countries, notes Philipp Hildebrand. It does not have the necessary instruments to shine in a more complex world, adds the former president of the SNB, in an interview published on Sunday by the NZZ Sunday.
The formation of blocs and the extraordinary development of Asia over the past 20 years, especially that of Singapore, have contributed to this change, says Philipp Hildebrand. Gone are the days when Switzerland could count on good offices, he notes. “Today, other countries also offer such services. It is no longer a unique selling point ”.
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Philipp Hildebrand calls on Switzerland to urgently ask itself how the country will still be able to protect its interests in 2040. “This is of strategic importance”. EU countries have a great advantage in this regard, as they act internationally as a community, he notes.
Singapore, a model
“But we will not be part of the EU during this generation,” notes the vice president of the American investment management firm BlackRock. On the surface, everyone is friends with Switzerland, he says, but in the end, only national interests matter.
For him, Switzerland must admit that it has a problem. Then she has to develop a plan. She should first and foremost engage in financial diplomacy, given her wealth, he continues.
Singapore is a model, believes the former chairman of the Swiss central bank. The city-state shows how a small country can exert enormous influence thanks to its financial power, he adds. “We need a long-term strategic plan similar to Singapore’s.” This would also include a reflection on a sovereign fund.
Philipp Hildebrand was running for the post of secretary general of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), but withdrew his candidacy on Thursday. He cited a lack of support from members of the organization, especially from Europe.