Dignitaries raise glasses as Schweizer Bundesfeier observed in Taipei
By Ted Chen ,The China Post
August 2, 2014, 12:04 am TWN
TAIPEI, Taiwan -- A banquet took place yesterday evening in celebration of Schweizer Bundesfeier, the Swiss National Day commemorating the beginning of the Swiss Confederation in 1291, at Taipei's Grand Hotel.
Organized by the Swiss Association of Taiwan (SAT, 瑞士人在台協會) the event saw attendance from numerous international dignitaries, and Jost Feer, director of the Trade Office of Swiss Industries.
During his address at the beginning of the banquet, Feer called for a moment of silence in remembrance of the tragic loss of life in the Penghu plane crash, the gas explosion late Thursday evening, and those who perished in recent international armed conflicts. Feer noted that after 27 years of service in Taiwan, he will be retiring at the end of this year.
SAT President Gianna Abegg and Vice President Jean-Pierre Skalamera noted that this year's national day celebrations saw unprecedented sponsorships from Swiss companies including Nestle and the Zurich Insurance Group.
The event featured a recorded message from Swiss President Didier Burkhalter, who noted that the annual event taking place on Aug. 1 represents a celebration of the Swiss values of modesty and industriousness, while commending the efforts of the many Swiss nationals working and residing abroad.
Vice Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Vanessa Shih (史亞平) stated that Switzerland is among Taiwan's most important European trading partners, with bilateral trade reaching US$2.4 billion in 2013.