Switzerland 2011/2012 â€“ The International Management Gateway to Europe. locationswitzerland.com
A Welcome from H.E. Manuel Sager, Ambassador of Switzerland to the United States. Washington, April, 2011 Dear Investor, Dear Friends of Switzerland: Switzerland Trade and Investment Promotion takes pleasure in presenting the latest edition of our brochure “The International Management Gateway to Europe.” In it you will find compelling reasons to consider our alpine nation in the heart of Europe as a location from which you can expand your business reach throughout Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and beyond. By choosing the right strategic location for your company, you are creating a decisive competitive advantage for you and your company in the global marketplace. As one of the leading business locations worldwide, Switzerland provides an ideal platform and innovative environment for forward-looking research, efficient production and top-notch service by future-oriented companies. In 2010 Switzerland was the recipient of at least 53 new and expanded investment projects originating in North America, adding to the more than 800 North American companies already located here. From their Swiss base these companies access the broader EMEA markets as well as our attractive internal market. In these pages you will find out why Switzerland is so successful in attracting foreign direct investment – including comments from some of our “happy customers.” Topping the list, I believe, is the Swiss federal and cantonal governments’ business friendly attitude and competitive tax regime. I also like to believe that Switzerland is successful because Switzerland works. As you peruse our Gateway brochure, you willl get a bigger picture of what Switzerland offers as a business location in Europe plus a sampling of some of our internationally recognized business investors. You’ll also be provided with contact information for our investment promotion professionals in North America and in Switzerland. Thank you for considering Switzerland as a business location. Kind regards, Ambassador Manuel Sager
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Title Goes Here Convincingly Attractive. “After scouting several locations in Europe we selected Switzerland for our EMEA headquarters largely due to its business friendly government, excellent institutions of higher education and multilingual workforce. We found Schaffhausen particularly attractive based upon its excellent logistics, efficiency of local services and access to a high caliber talent pool.”
Among the many international companies that have set up headquarters or significant operations in Switzerland are 135 Fortune 500 companies, including firms such as IBM, General Motors, Kraft Foods, eBay, Procter & Gamble, Dow Chemicals, Amgen, Baxter, DuPont and Google. Companies from the U.S. appreciate the many advantages offered by Switzerland as a headquarters location. More than 800 North American companies with a presence in Switzerland are located in the main business regions between German, French and Italian speaking Switzerland (see map on page 17). Switzerland’s attractiveness has increased further in recent years Several surveys have identified the main drivers for US companies choosing Switzerland as a location for headquarters. Apart from a central location, they point to a stable political
– Nick Cross, Vice President and General Manager EMEA, Cabot Corporation
and economic environment as well as a competitive corporate tax system. A liberal labor market and a highly educated workforce complement the country’s robust infrastructure. In addition, Switzerland’s academic institutions – with their world-class capabilities for research and innovation – support its well-established industry clusters such as financial services, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, medical technology and precision engineering.
Switzerland’s Performance Institutions Innovation
6 5 Business Sophistication
2 1 Market Size
Higher Education and Training
Financial Market Development
Goods Market Efficiency Labor Market Efficiency
Health and Primary Education
Innovation-driven economies Switzerand The chart shows Switzerland’s performance in the 12 pillars of the Global Competitiveness Index (red line) measured against the average scores across all the economies in the same stage of development (blue line). Innovation-driven economies must compete by producing new and different goods using the most sophisticated production processes and through innovation. Source: World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report 2010/2011 www.weforum.org
Title Goes Boost yourHere Competitive Edge.
WEF Global Competitiveness Index
Switzerland’s cantons are traditionally in a competitive economic situation with
Ranking of top 15 countries
respect to each other. As a result, while each region has unique business attractions,
all have business friendly tax regimes and legal structures that make Switzerland one of the most competitive business locations worldwide.
location places it between some of the largest economies in Europe including Germany,
France and Italy. This makes Switzerland an excellent starting point for business
Hong Kong SAR
combined with high company spending on R&D, ensures that much of this
research is translated into marketable products and processes, reinforced
Source: World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report 2010/2011 www.weforum.org
While not a member of the European Union, Switzerland is part of the European free trade and labor market comprised of over 500 million inhabitants. This provides Swiss-based firms with unrestricted access to the EU market. Moreover, its central
in Europe and a laboratory for gauging market acceptance of new products and services before broadly entering the European market.
“Fribourg provides a central location, a well educated, multi-lingual workforce and a business-oriented environment that make it ideal as a regional management center. This enables us to centralize key management activities to improve service, increase prod uctivity and lower operating costs.” – Roberto Perez, Chief Operating Officer, Pall Life Sciences
Switzerland continues to hold its 1st place position in the WEF Global Competitiveness Index. The report shows: • Switzerland’s economy is characterized by an excellent capacity for innovation and a very sophisticated business culture.
Switzerland In the Heart of Europe
• Switzerland’s scientific research institutions are among the world’s best. The strong collaboration between the academic and business sectors,
by strong intellectual property protection. • The strong innovative capacity is captured by the high rate of patenting. • Public institutions in Switzerland are among the most effective and transparent in the world.
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Title Goes Driving Force Here to Success. “Switzerland was our first choice for our international headquarters and the decision was further supported by its businessfriendly government, well-trained multilingual workforce, a high degree of productivity, excellent educational institutions, and a strong focus on R&D. Schaffhausen was selected as it offers specific tax benefits for non-residential business.”
Switzerland’s investment in education results in a highly skilled workforce, which also ranks among the most motivated in Europe. Moreover, EU citizens can work freely in Switzerland, and Swiss labor laws provide maximum flexibility to employers more on par with US than European norms. Switzerland’s multiculturalism stems from its four languages – German, French, Italian, and Raetho-Roman – and from its role as an intercultural melting pot: Nearly 24 percent of the population is non-Swiss. Adding to this rich blend of cultures and languages, throughout the country the language of business is English. This eases the assimilation of North American firms into the Swiss and European business environment.
International comparison of worker motivation (2010) (1 = low, 10 = high)
– Peter Sage, Principal Director, Space Energy Group
Hong Kong SAR
Source: International Institute for Management Development (IMD), The World Competitiveness Yearbook 2010, Lausanne (www.imd.ch/wcc)
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Where Great Ideas are Born.
Switzerland has a long industrial history. From its earlier textile, light machinery and clock industry base the Swiss skill-set expanded to include chemistry, pharma and health as well as precision engineering such as micro mechanics, electro mechanical engineering, and information technologies. The country’s world-renowned role as a leading research and development center has attracted many companies leading to the establishment of several technology clusters of global importance. The same applies to the service sector such as banking, insurance and reinsurance. Enhancing private innovation initiatives are research programs in public universities and science centers such as the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology in Zurich and Lausanne. The significant cooperation between public and private research is strongly supported by the Government.
“Switzerland is the best single entry point for a small company looking to expand in Europe and for a large company needing favorable tax treatment. Other plusses include a motivated, well-educated multilingual workforce, excellent transportation and communications infrastructure, a business-friendly government and the country’s own research and educational institutions.”
Switzerland repeatedly tops the list of innovation nations. The Innovation Union Scoreboard (IUS) 2010, in which the EU ranks countries for innovation, shows Switzerland is first
– Simon Jespersen, PhD, Managing Director, Fiberforge GmbH
in Europe with an above-average growth of more than 4% in its innovation performance.
Innovation Union Scoreboard IUS 2010 2010 1
Source: www.proinno-europe.eu, 2010
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Thrive and Prosper. “After 9 years in Saint-Prex, we relocated in 2009 to our modern, purpose-built regional headquarters and training center in Nyon. Over the past 11 years we have enjoyed Switzerland’s favorable business climate, organized and reliable infrastructure and good quality of life. Situated in the Lac Léman region of the country, a hub for healthcare companies and prestigious educational establishments, we have an ideal location for attracting and retaining the very best talent. Close to Geneva International Airport and in the heart of Europe, it is also a very practical venue for our training in heart valve surgery and critical care monitoring.”
Switzerland scores 1st out of 43 countries in the European region in the “2011 Index of Economic Freedom”. Here are some of the reasons cited: • Switzerland’s openness to foreign trade and investment continues to provide real stimulus for a dynamic and resilient economy. • A sound regulatory environment and minimal barriers to trade have contributed to the country’s status as one of the world’s most competitive and innovative economies. • Macroeconomic stability and a highly developed and competitive financial sector reinforce Switzerland’s position as a global financial hub. • Well-secured property rights, including intellectual property, promote entrepreneurship and productivity growth. • Flexible labor regulations and the absence of corruption also sustain vibrant entrepreneurship. • Inflationary pressures are under control. • The judicial system, independent of political influence, ensures strong enforcement of contracts. The “2011 Index of Economic Freedom” Switzerland
Austria Japan 68.0 66.0 Hong Kong SAR 10 Israel
– Patrick B. Verguet, President, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Canada Edwards Lifesciences
Source: 2011 Index of Economic Freedom A Product of the Heritage Foundation & the Wall Street Journal Promoting Economic Opportunity & Prosperity http://www.heritage.org/Index/ranking
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A Place to Feel at Home.
An outstanding quality of life and a safe environment are increasingly important factors for companies choosing an ideal business location. Mercer’s 2010 Quality of Living survey ranked three Swiss cities in the top ten worldwide – Zurich at no. 2, Geneva at no. 3 and Berne at no. 9. The fact is, today’s workforce demands a high standard and quality of life, an excellent education system, a healthy environment, a rich cultural life, an efficient bureaucracy and friendly people. Switzerland offers all this and more, making it the ideal location for your company’s headquarters, office, R&D or manufacturing facility.
Quality of Living 2010
“While we considered other major European countries we chose Switzerland and the Basel region in particular as one of the most dynamic economic regions in the world. There is an open-minded culture, an international environment, business friendly conditions and quality of life that fulfill the most stringent requirements.” – Dr. James Victory, President and CEO, Sentinel IC Technologies
Source: Mercer’s 2010 quality of living survey; Quoted on a New York = 100 basis http://www.mercer.com/qualityofliving
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Meet the Needs of the Future. “Switzerland’s role in environmental sustainability and energy technologies has earned its 2nd place in the 2010 Environmental Performance Index. This, and the fact we were seeking a central site in the heart of Europe for our data centre, made the canton of Vaud an obvious choice for us.”
Switzerland plays a leading role in environmental sustainability and energy technologies. Energy efficiency through the latest construction and electro techniques made in Switzerland helps reduce energy consumption. With a diversified energy supply and a large share of climate friendly resources such as solar and hydropower, Switzerland is less dependent on fossil fuels. The Environmental Performance Index ranks 163 countries and is based on 25 performance indicators covering environmental health, air quality, water resource management, biodiversity and habitat, forestry, fisheries, agriculture, and climate change. Switzerland’s No. 2 ranking shows that substantial investments in environmental infrastructure, pollution control, and policies designed to move toward long-term
– Scott Noteboom, Director of Data Center Operations for Yahoo!
sustainability have been successful.
Environmental Performance Index Iceland
Source: Yale Center for Environmental Law & Policy, Columbia Center for International Earth Science Information Network, with the World Economic Forum, and the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, Environmental Performance Index 2010, (epi.yale.edu)
Springboard to Europe.
Switzerland is host to more than 800 North American companies that use the country as a springboard to enter European markets. Most investors are fast growing small and medium-sized enterprises to which Switzerland offers the kind
of competitive and liberal business environment needed to succeed today. A good many US multinationals are also in Switzerland, and below are some examples of companies already established. Schaffhausen
French Speaking Switzerland
Polo Ralph Lauren
Procter & Gamble
Sentinel IC Technologies
Stemedica Cell Technologies
Take Two International
German Speaking Switzerland AUSTRIA
Zug Lucerne Neuchatel Berne
German Speaking Switzerland
Thomson Global Resources
Italian Speaking Switzerland
Abercrombie & Fitch
French Speaking Switzerland Lausanne
Italian Speaking Switzerland Geneva Lugano
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Setting up a Business in Switzerland.
Switzerland’s pro-business legal system makes it easy to start operations within the country. Incorporating in Switzerland can usually be accomplished within two weeks. There are two types of legal entity most common for business activities in Switzerland: joint stock companies (AG/SA) and limited liability companies (GmbH/SàrL). Other options for foreign companies doing business in Switzerland include branch offices or working with distributors/agents. No special permits are needed to purchase real estate for business purposes. Swiss labor law is widely recognized as liberal in comparison to the relatively overregulated system found in the rest of Western Europe. A company’s ability to hire and terminate personnel is very flexible. Social contributions are comparably small, working hours per week are high and strikes are virtually unheard of. These and other factors explain why more and more international companies decide to locate their operations in Switzerland. Hiring staff from outside of Switzerland or transferring executives to Switzerland is easy for a variety of reasons: • Work and residence permits are granted without restriction to all members of the EU upon presentation of an employment confirmation or an employment contract. For qualified personnel from non-EU or EFTA countries, flexible work and residence permit rules remain in place along with user-friendly procedures for obtaining the respective permits. • The high quality of life, first-class healthcare system and wide availability of Englishteaching international schools satisfies even the most demanding executives and their families.
Taxes The Swiss tax system is considered highly attractive by a broad spectrum of international investors. Taxes are levied on the federal, cantonal (state) and communal (municipal) levels. Tax rates are low by European comparison, both for corporations and for individuals. In Switzerland, there is a healthy tax competition between the cantons, whereby tax rates vary for corporations and individuals depending on their tax status and location. Corporate Taxes Switzerland is known worldwide for its attractive corporate tax regime. Tax rates are among the most competitive for international onshore locations. Switzerland enjoys an excellent reputation for the open and business-friendly relationships between tax authorities and taxpayers. Accordingly, companies are very much encouraged to enter into discussions with the tax authorities prior to investing to clarify uncertain tax issues and / or to obtain a ruling on rule specific tax practices. Solutions are generally reached in an amicable and timely manner. Under the general corporate taxation rules, companies are subject to tax at maximum rates that range between 11.6% and 24.4% depending on the canton and municipality of residence. Dividends and capital gains from substantial shareholdings are entitled to participation relief, thereby virtually eliminating tax on such transactions. Many companies that decide to locate in Switzerland may apply for a special tax status. Thus the tax rates mentioned above tend to apply mainly to operating companies conducting business activities in Switzerland primarily for the local market.
Tax Rulings Practice A tax ruling is generally recommended to confirm the tax status and to deal with any company specific issues. Such tax rulings are often obtained in Switzerland in particular for holdings, international trading companies, principal structures, headquarter operations, finance and IP activities to name just a few. The discussions with the tax authorities are mostly open and a written confirmation can in general be obtained within 2-4 weeks upon filing of the ruling. Individual Taxes Taxes for individuals are lower in Switzerland than in most other industrialized countries, leaving more disposable income available for individuals. A family with an income of U.S. $100,000, pays taxes ranging between 8% and 20% depending on the canton and municipality of residency.
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Statutory Tax Privileges Holding companies (i.e., companies holding substantial participations in other companies) are basically exempt from taxation on dividend and capital gains income from their substantial shareholdings. Other income, such as interest income and management fees are subject to tax only on the federal level at the effective tax rate of 8.5%. For companies with predominantly foreign business activities (i.e., at least 80%), statutory tax privileges may be available under the auxiliary (mixed) company regime. Such companies are subject to tax at effective rates generally ranging between 8% and 11% on foreign source income, while Swiss sourced income is subject to tax at normal rates.
Economic Investment Incentives Economic investment incentives (such as the granting of tax holidays and other financial incentives) are offered by most cantons for projects bringing new industry that create jobs in the respective region. The Swiss Confederation will also offer economic incentives (in specific designated areas) for certain types of projects. Investors are encouraged to check carefully into the potential options available. Economic investment incentives may most notably include tax holidays for up to 10 years on qualifying projects. The process is a political one involving the designated authorities in the respective canton as well as the Swiss Confederation (to the extent federal incentives are pursued). For further details see “Handbook for Investors” available under the “Publications” icon at: www.locationswitzerland.com
Switzerland and the U.S. The U.S. is the largest foreign investor in Switzerland The U.S. is the largest single destination of Swiss foreign investment The U.S. is the second-largest importer of Swiss goods (18.8%) after Germany (36.1%)
For high-net-worth individuals who decide to move to Switzerland and do not intend to pursue gainful employment, a special lump sum taxation status may be available, resulting in some of the most competitive tax rates worldwide.
Switzerland is the sixth largest investor in the U.S. 500,000 American jobs depend on more than $189 billion in Swiss investments in the U.S.
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And the “Tell Award” Goes To.
To discover if your company can benefit from the Swiss business environment, contact
Each year Switzerland Trade and Investment Promotion recognizes significant
representatives from Switzerland Trade and Investment Promotion, the official foreign
investment projects by US companies and honors them with the Tell Award,
investment agency of the Swiss Government. In close collaboration with our partners from
named after the legendary Swiss folk hero William Tell. The Tell Award is presented
different regions and cantons and from the private sector, we assist companies as they
under several categories.
plan their operations. Count on us for help related to: The winners for 2009 were: • Selection of ideal locations in Switzerland
Disney Research for the most significant technology project
• Contacts at regional and cantonal investment offices
Pall Corporation for the most significant headquarters project
• Legal and administrative requirements
Measurement Specialties for the most significant manufacturing project
• Collaboration with research centers and universities
Edwards Lifesciences for the most significant expansion project
• The Swiss tax system and incentives for investors • Partnering with Swiss firms in your area of business
The winners for 2008 were:
• Residence and work permits
CSL Behring for the most significant technology and innovation project Yahoo! Inc. for the most significant headquarters project
Our team of experienced, multilingual specialists in international investment
Baxter International Inc. for the most significant manufacturing project
in North America, Europe and Asia offer confidential, unbiased and cost-free services
AGCO Corporation and ALCON. Inc for the most significant expansion projects
and information. For contact addresses see pages 24/25 and back cover.
Medtronic, Inc. for long term commitment to growth and corporate citizenship The winners for 2007 were: Intuitive Surgical for the most significant technology project Albany International for the most significant headquarters project Merck & Company for the most significant manufacturing project Johnson & Johnson for long term commitment to growth and corporate citizenship The winners for 2006 were: Microsoft Corporation for the most significant technology project Electronic Arts for the most significant headquarters project Kyphon for the most significant manufacturing project Cemex for the most significant expansion project Autodesk, Inc. for long term commitment to growth and corporate citizenship The winners for 2005 were: VeriSign, Inc. for the most significant technology project Amgen, Inc. for the most significant headquarters project Stryker Corporation for the most significant manufacturing project IBM Corporation for the most significant expansion project
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See you in Switzerland! Contacts. Switzerland Trade & Investment Promotion The Swiss Federal Investment Promotion Agency supporting foreign direct investments www.locationswitzerland.com
Cantonal and Regional Offices in North America Greater Geneva Berne area (Berne, Fribourg, Vaud, Neuchâtel, Geneva and Valais) www.ggba-switzerland.ch
Daniel Bangser Director North America, Investment Promotion New York, NY 212 599 5700 ext. 1032 firstname.lastname@example.org
Mark White Director USA Newport Beach, CA 949 395 0642 email@example.com
Caroline Blaser North America Representative New York, NY 212 599 5700 ext. 1034 firstname.lastname@example.org
Valerie L. Van Sickle Director USA Menlo Park, CA 650 380 0254 email@example.com
Mario Brossi Senior Advisor, North America Washington, DC 202 745 7924 firstname.lastname@example.org
Matt Julian Director USA Austin, TX 512 301 3337 email@example.com
Martin von Walterskirchen Regional Director Americas Chicago, IL 312 915 4501 firstname.lastname@example.org
Stephen Cain Director USA Georgetown, TX 512 686 0426 email@example.com
Greater Zurich Area (Glarus, Grisons, Schaffhausen, Schwyz, Solothurn, Zug, Zurich, and the cities of Zurich and Winterthur) www.greaterzuricharea.ch Christoph Besmer Executive Director North America San Francisco, CA 415 912 5909 firstname.lastname@example.org Sirpa Tsimal Director USA East New York, NY 646 678 0949 email@example.com Douglas Ebert Senior Advisor Americas Erlanger, KY 859 282 8594 firstname.lastname@example.org
Swiss Science and Technology Offices in the U.S.
Michelle Abboud Washington, DC 202 296 3523 email@example.com
swissnex boston Boston, MA www.swissnexboston.org 617 876 3076
Vaud (Director Canada) www.dev.ch Philippe Ugnat Toronto, ON, Canada 613 262 3509 firstname.lastname@example.org Other Cantonal Representations in Switzerland
St. Gallen www.location.sg.ch Thurgau www.wiftg.ch Ticino www.copernico.ch Uri www.uri.ch Further Business Contacts
Aargau www.ag.ch Appenzell Inner Rhodes www.ai.ch Appenzell Outer Rhodes www.wifoeAR.ch Basel Area www.baselarea.org
Swiss American Chamber of Commerce www.amcham.ch Switzerland Tourism www.myswitzerland.com
swissnex san francisco San Francisco, CA www.swissnexsanfrancisco.org 415 912 5901 Embassies Swiss Embassy in the USA www.eda.admin.ch/usa 202 745 7900 Swiss Embassy in Mexico www.eda.admin.ch/mexico +52 55 91 78 43 70 Swiss Embassy in Canada www.eda.admin.ch/canada +1 613 235 1837
Swiss International Air Lines www.swiss.com U.S. Commercial Service – Switzerland Desk www.buyusa.gov/switzerland/en
Switzerland Trade & Investment Promotion Swiss Business Hub USA Consulate General of Switzerland 633 Third Avenue, 30th Floor New York, NY 10017 212 599 5700 ext. 1032 email@example.com New York Office Daniel Bangser Director North America, Investment Promotion 212 599 5700 ext. 1032 firstname.lastname@example.org Caroline Blaser North America Representative 212 599 5700 ext. 1034 email@example.com Washington Office Mario Brossi Senior Advisor, North America 202 745 7924 firstname.lastname@example.org Chicago Office Martin von Walterskirchen Regional Director Americas email@example.com
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Published on Jan 29, 2012