Sascha Zilger appointed new DC Business Ambassador

International entrepreneur Sascha Zilger has been appointed Diplomatic Council Business Ambassador. The festive inauguration took place on the occasion of the Diplomatic Council annual reception at the prestigious senate hall of the Vienna townhall.

This Diplomatic Council Business Ambassador is the highest-ranking position a member can hold at eye level with the accredited diplomat. The position includes a lifelong membership and is offered only to dignitaries who combine economic success with social commitment in an outstanding way and who share the visions and values of the Diplomatic Council. DC Business Ambassadors are men or women who assume responsibility for society and act according. Sascha Zilger’s company, TwentyFourSeven, as the first enterprise, is a founding member of the Alliance against Abuse which was official launched during the Vienna reception.

Laudatory speech for DC Business Ambassador Sascha Zilger

All people are unique. Many members of the Diplomatic Council are extraordinary but some stand out like a beacon not only shining bright but with their light and brightness are giving orientation to others. Such a beacon is Sascha Zilger, our new DC Business Ambassador.

Sascha is an exceptional entrepreneur. He flies to China, negotiates for 5 days and then returns with a 10-years contract for sales amounting to 60 Mio. Euro per year. The traditional industry would function as follows: The head of state and a delegation of 50 people travel to China and will most likely receive an order within 3 years.

While Sascha sits in a lounge in China waiting for his departure, a businesswoman from Los Angeles contacts him via social media asking for his products so Sascha flies to L.A. immediately and within 3 days, the next million dollar deal is made.

And besides doing business Sascha has changed a taxi driver’s life for the better. Being very satisfied with the fast service, Sascha posted the picture and telephone number of the the taxi driver called Julio in his social media network with the result that Julio is flooded with new orders.

This example shows: while doing big business, Sascha does no neglect what may be even more important: human relations. Hence, Sascha’s company TwentyFourSeven is the first company to join the Diplomatic Council Alliance for non-violent sport that was signed at the Vienna reception.

As a real businessman, Sascha not only runs one company but is heading several firms. So today we don’t see any cosmetics but ballistic underwear. You all know, maybe from the television or movies, the bulletproof vests that policemen wear. The ballistic underwear from Bonovi, protects you against firearms and knife attacks. You can wear them, quite discreetly, under your normal clothing so no one notices. They help protecting exposed persons such as bodyguards but also heads of states, governmental staff, diplomats and persons exposed to risks.

Whatever Sascha does in life – whether serious business or private activities, he acts and reacts quickly and determined. His cheerfulness is a big asset and he loves and enjoys life. He’s a real teaser and he makes no secret of this. His life motto is: „Life is a girlfriend – give her a kiss, hug her tight and dance with her!“. I wouldn’t consider this „political correctness“ but it is simply refreshing.

Sascha Zilger is cosmopolitan and liberal-minded person just as we expect our DC Business Ambassadors to be. He describes his view on world economy as follows: mercantilism is practiced by short-sighted people. Far-sighted people believe in free and fair trade.

With this in mind, we now wish to proceed with the inauguration of our new DC Business Ambassador for which he will take an oath on the lifelong membership in the Diplomatic Council.

Solemn Oath of DC Business Ambassador Sascha Zilger

I hereby join the Diplomatic Council lifelong as a Diplomatic Council Business Ambassador.

I acknowledge, respect and follow the charter of the United Nations which I consider a fundamental basis for my public speaking, my public actions and my public appearance.

I do solemnly swear, to my best knowledge and belief, that I will pursue the values of humanity and reason.

It is an honor for me to support the Diplomatic Council in its noble mission to better the world, which is driven by clear ethical values, as far as it is within my power. So help me God.

Inauguration Speech DC Business Ambassador Sascha Zilger

Your Excellencies, Members of the Diplomatic Council, Distinguished Guests,

Freedom and fairness are among the most precious values the human race owns. Yet all over the world, these values are violated and this is something that the Diplomatic Council and myself strongly oppose.

Restrictions to freedom happen not only in the event of a fence being built around a country, limiting the freedom of travel for the population. Freedom is also lost whenever the free flow of goods and services to and from a country is restricted. The strategy currently followed by many governments is to rather produce in their own regions instead of importing. At the same time, these governments strive for a strong export believing their own merchandise is of superior quality. This is wrong in my opinion.

I argue in favor of a free and fair trade and free means in this context: goods and services shall be delivered and supplied across domestic borders in an easy and unbureaucratic way with no trade barriers. If possible, with no customs duties imposed and also no subsidies.

The old-fashioned economic policy of mercantilism, which focused on the nation state, was dominant from the 16th to the 18th century. Today we should know better! Yet, it seems, mercantilism is currently experiencing a revival which is naïve, astonishing and dangerous. Already in the 18th century, Adam Smith has detailed in his book “The Wealth of Nations” that economic isolation and protectionism causes damages to the countries, in particular to the population. More than 200 years ago, economist David Ricardo has already proven that a free foreign trade would be a advantage for all economies.

Basically, the conclusion is simple: for a country it is most profitable to manufacture only goods that it can produce with a higher productivity than in other countries. All other products should be imported. In this way, all countries shall benefit from global trade. Free trade is not a zero-sum game but a win-win situation.

But why are we presently experiencing the revival of mercantilism? For the sake of the economies or even for the benefit of the population? Not at all! The current mercantilism is due to the widespread political populism and the increasing nationalism that we now face in many places in the world. Whoever returns to nationalism in his political view, will favor a 200-years old and outdated vision of how economies function.

Mercantilism is a means for populists to throw dust in the eyes of the people trying to cement their own political power. In clear words: mercantilism is practiced by short-sighted politicians. The far-sighted ones prefer free world trade.

Still, there are a number of short-sighted people and we’re not only talking about the protectionism tendencies in the USA. Let’s stay within the European Union. Due to government regulations, the European Union produces 50% more food then is needed for its own consumption.

Thanks to subventions, the surplus is distributed onto the world market – to the detriment of poorer countries, which could manufacture higher quantities at cheaper prices. This is neither FREE and nor FAIR. Because I was not only talking about FREE trade but also FAIR trade. Free is as important as fair.

Fair means to me, that rules and regulations are necessary in order to organize the free world trade. We have to ensure a win-win situation for all parties involved, both in the country of origin and country of arrival. What is mandatory is not a national but an international regulation. This is what a free trade agreement is about – this is why free trade agreements are so important. In the ideal case, we would have one single global free trade agreement covering all 193 UN member states!

And this is exactly what I am fighting for, in my function as a Diplomatic Council Business Ambassador – a free and fair world trade. There is no other organization more global and better suited to take over this huge task than the United Nations. Taking advantage of our consultative status with the United Nations, the Diplomatic Council will support the United Nations in achieving a global free trade agreement between this community of states. We will seek collaboration with the UN commission for trade and development, which is based in Geneva.

Ladies and Gentlemen, we won’t succeed with our plan by tomorrow but it won’t take forever either. This goes out to all the business men and women sitting in this room: entrepreneurship crosses all boundaries and overcomes domestic and competitive borders. I know it from my own experience. When I introduced a concept for a new cosmetic line four years ago, I faced only rejection. The position of the cosmetic groups was simple: cosmetics should feel good but it should not be effective: Why? Because the customers are supposed to buy the cosmetic again and again and again.

However, our concept was just the other way round: we wanted to create a cosmetic that would be extremely effective. But since the big groups have refused to work with us, we have established our own brand called TwentyFourSeven and are organizing our own production, marketing and distribution.

And we were right in doing so! I am heading to the USA tomorrow. Our cosmetic line is wanted so badly from people of all nations, we cannot produce enough currently. This was and is only possible thanks to an open and fair trade.

A cross-border exchange of goods and services also contributes to promoting international understanding and peace. Today, economic sanctions are decided against states that do not conform with the rules – although the effects are counterproductive. We have seen it in the case of Cuba or Russia. Unfortunately, today’s embargos against individual states will not make the countries surrender but rather strengthen them on the domestic front. It further empowers the cruel leaders of such countries. Or does anyone in this room really believe that we can solve the North Korea problem with economic sanctions?

I have met many South Korean people in Seoul during my business trips in the last weeks. There is no doubt: the biggest risk we are facing presently is North Korea’s dictator. I totally agree with UN Secretary General Guterres that only wise diplomacy can prevent the third world war, not a military strike.

We cannot allow a madman to lure us into a war. We need a well-fortified diplomacy, which is not easy in such a situation.

This is why I have become a member of the Diplomatic Council because we will always consider diplomacy the best option. Diplomacy should always be the solution to all problems. It is an honour for me to be a DC Business Ambassador!