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VU has firm roots in Asia and China in particular. The school is dedicated to improve the relationship between the dynamic economies of growth in Asia and the technically advanced economies of Europe. In order to enhance these ties, VU has established the China Europe Institute for Economic Studies in Neuchâtel (CEIES). CEIES wants to develop a strong friendship with China and promote business, scientific and cultural exchanges. The Institute will closely cooperate with Peking University in Beijing.

CEIES's vision is to become recognized as a unique Swiss institute that stimulates outstanding China-related teaching and research initiatives as well as interdisciplinary collaboration. The Institute will be the umbrella organization for all China-related activities at VU. CEIES will engage in research and outreach activities that seek to better understand and improve Sino-European relations. The focus is on the deeper structure of the bilateral relationship and its dynamics.

From Neuchâtel, CEIES wants to promote China studies throughout Europe. In order to improve Sino-European relations, the Institute seeks to strengthen interdisciplinary knowledge of China. CEIES aims to promote China-related initiatives and scholarship and supports new teaching and research activities between China and Europe. In addition to sponsoring lectures and colloquia, the Institute aims to convene a variety of conferences, symposia and retreats that bring together a broad array of business, government and academic leaders. The Institute will also host visiting scholars and postdoctoral fellows and will facilitate visits of Chinese delegations and other China-related activities. CEIES also provides information to people at VU regarding external opportunities such as internships in China.