Swiss diplomat pushes for education exchangeChristian Hauswirth, the Swiss ambassador to Korea, couldn’t disguise his enthusiasm when the subject of football came up. When asked which team would win the match between Korea and Switzerland (paired in the same World Cup group), he would like Switzerland to win of course, he said. However, Mr. Hauswirth added that the best outcome would be if the two countries both reach the round of 16, showcasing his smooth, diplomatic skills.
He emphasized that Korean and Swiss football have many things in common, as he noted that both teams wear red and that although both teams lack international stars, they tend to win as a result of their teamwork.
Moreover, as Switzerland and Austria are set to host the 2008 UEFA European Championship, Mr. Hauswirth said that Switzerland plans to learn from the Korean-Japanese example during the 2002 World Cup.
Mr. Hauswirth said that Korea was not well-known by many Swiss, but after Korea’s success in hosting the 2002 World Cup and reaching the semi-finals, everybody in Switzerland became aware of the country. However, to Koreans, it seems that Switzerland is still an unfamiliar country, he said.
He then went on to introduce his country as the place in which Albert Einstein blossomed into a scientist and where Herman Hesse received the Nobel Prize for Literature and spent the rest of his life. Mr. Hauswirth added that present-day Switzerland is being recognized as a leader in science, technology, education and culture. He said he hopes more young people from Korea will develop their skills and be educated at Swiss universities and research centers.
To further this agenda, there are plans to expand business, media and cultural exchanges between the two countries. A round-table discussion involving government and civic organizations from both countries is set for early next month. On April 7, paintings of Paul Klee, a Swiss modern painter, will be exhibited in Seoul.
Mr. Hauswirth has worked as a diplomat for 30 years. He was the Swiss ambassador to Bosnia-Herzegovina and Guatemala before coming to Korea in 2004.
by Park Shin-hong