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Dr. Claude Béglé, Founder and CEO, Symbioswiss; Member of Swiss Parliament (2015-2019)

Dr. Claude Béglé, Founder and CEO, Symbioswiss; Member of Swiss Parliament (2015-2019)

Dr. Claude Béglé is a former member of the Swiss Parliament and the Founder and President of the Symbioswiss, a Club of Entrepreneurs with a business-oriented vision. He has a PhD in Economics, a Master of Law and of International Relations. He has held leading positions in prestigious organizations and companies, in numerous countries around the globe, like Nestlé and DHL Express. Dr. Béglé has been involved with a wide spectrum of sectors, such as support for innovation and start-ups, cleantechs and the environment.


Below are Dr Béglé's speaking points for his address:


  • Korean conflict = one of the last dinosaurs of the Cold War: Stalinism vs McCartism. But situation has evolved.
  • As we all know, South Korea embraced a democratic system and a Western economic model, which enabled them to do remarkably well in terms of freedom and economic development, although with a worrying external debt.
  • Regarding the situation in North Korea, it might be slightly different than what many people believe. What matters for the regime, like for the Chinese, is the pre-eminence of the Party, but not necessarily to stick to the initial communist ideology.
  • There are two conflicts in one:
    A local one: South vs North Korea
    A more global and actually the main one: USA vs China.
  • Koreans constitute a well defined nation, unlike many others, with strong culture and traditions. They have a legitimate right to reunite and to build a joint future.
  • But, apart from the military one, there is unfortunately a propaganda war, on both sides. It would be time to play it down and to plant the seeds of a better mutual respect, a so crucial value in this part of the world.
  • Koreans are Koreans. The are smart and hard workers. Not true that they work so hard it in South because they are motivated and in the North because they are forced. It is in their Korean DNA to be perfectionists.
  • There is a belief that the situation in North Korea is like in the Russia before the collapse of the Soviet Union. This is not what I have seen. Yes, they suffer from the sanctions. But they work hard to produce most of what they need. I did not observe in DPRK the lethargy which prevailed at the collapse of the Soviet Empire.
  • Both South and North Korea invest into knowledge economy. Very much in the South, but I was surprised by the effort of continuous education in the North. They both want to be part of a more technological future.
  • I do believe that North Korean leaders are considering as a serious option to open up. But it depends upon the conditions, for themselves and for the country.
  • North Korea nuclear program is a threat and deserves to be criticized. But it seems that the real intention behind it is not just so much military.
  • It is mainly for:
    A. Getting attention of the world / USA
    B. Internal mobilizing of public opinion behind their leader.
  • I believe that President Trump was right in trying to to open the door, as well expressed this morning by Vice-President Mike Peace. Why not to try? And as P.M. Olmert said this morning: Be prepared to modify and adapt your initial plan, if need be. It is important to take in consideration all aspects, including North Korea fears and that nobody looses face.
  • President Kim Jong-Un has just defined the economy as his main priority, this before the foreign policy.
  • I could observe that behind its military industry and its heavy industry, North Korea was giving a growing importance to the light industry and the the consumption. 
  • I do believe the the economy is now a key component of the solution.
  • They are strong potential economic synergies between both sides of Korea.
  • The need of the day are PLATFORMS FOR DIALOGUE, to gradually eliminate the misunderstandings which are cultivated by the propaganda on both sides and gradually establish MUTUAL
  • TRUST.  This is where The Universal Peace Federation has gained for itself a serious credibility and can plays a decisive role. Those are the SEEDS FOR PEACE, the first enablers of a
  • constructive dialogue. This phase needs to be INSPIRATIONAL and be based, as Min Yoshinori Ohno just said, be based on straight-forward HUMAN RELATIONS.
  • In parallel must be conducted political / diplomatic negotiations on disarmament, the lifting of sanctions and the future institutional model to be adopted, in my view a federal system. That will imply face-to-face meetings between the major protagonists: USA and China, South and North Korea.
  • But countries like Mongolia or Viêt Nam, which experienced a successful transition from the traditional communism to the open world system could offer useful tips.
  • And finally, please allow me to suggest that European Union or countries like Norway or Switzerland, could also play an interesting role in accompanying the process as facilitators.
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