Switzerland has one of the most rich, modern and stable economies in Europe and in the world. It has one of the smallest taxation fees of all developed countries. Its neutral status has helped retain its economic stability and the very low inflation rate ensures that the Swiss franc is one of the world's strongest currencies. Employees have one of the highest salaries per capita from Europe and therefore Switzerland's quality of life is rated among the best in the world.
In addition to all these, it provides investors with the opportunity of very generous interest rates and therefore convincing them to invest in the country.
Investments in Switzerland
Switzerland is an open gateway to European, African and Middle-Eastern markets, due to its strategic location. Its geographical location in central Europe offers the opportunity for an easy access to over 30 countries by car.
Switzerland offers well-developed infrastructures, as well as a competitive business environment. The Swiss market is a good testing ground for the introduction of new high technology and spends the most capital in the world in IT. Switzerland is also one of the world’s most advanced countries in research and development. Last, but not least, tourism is a key economic sector, generating 6% of the Swiss gross domestic product.
In 2002, Switzerland was ranked 15th in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitive Index, but by 2009, it climbed up the list to the first position.
Swiss Business Hubs
The Swiss Government created the Swiss “one-stop-shop” in order to attract entrepreneurs interested in doing business in various countries around the world and for foreign entrepreneurs interested in bringing their business to Switzerland. The group can help arrange initial contacts, find specific providers and manufacturers, and also find other useful information faster.
Switzerland is very open to foreigners and has a diverse population. 22% of the whole population is made up from residential and temporary foreign workers which make for a high educated multilingual employment force. It also provides the employers with the choice of four languages besides English and these are German, French, Italian and Romansh. They are highly productive and create high-quality products and services. The majority of Swiss managers have more international experience than average.
Switzerland presents one of the friendliest tax systems in the world. Many tax incentives are offered on both federal as well as cantonal level in Switzerland, in order to attract companies to establish operations and invest in their jurisdictions. In some cantons new investors can profit for a period of up to ten years of taxes free business. This possibility, of being able to benefit from partial or full corporate income tax breaks for up to 10 years is also possible at a federal level.
However, tax breaks are available for investment projects that meet certain requirements, for example creation of new jobs or non-competition with existing businesses. When it comes to cantonal level, business incentives are generally granted in connection with the creation of at least 10 to 20 new local jobs. The Government also offers subsidized loans up to 25% of financing packages in order to encourage infrastructural investment in tourist facilities, communications and training facilities.
Switzerland is one of the top 10 wealthiest countries in the world but it can be expensive to live in. However, the social benefits by far manage to outweigh the costs: the public transportation system is very good and it offers the best health care system in the world
It is viewed as one of the most appropriate countries to raise healthy, multilingual children due to its excellent education system, at the state school and academic level, also providing dual vocational training system. Children raised in Switzerland are provided with the opportunity to attend world-renowned universities, technical institutes or valuable R&D institutions.
The Swiss have a great respect for personal privacy and have no prejudice against wealthy people. The residents enjoy great political stability not being exposed to war since 1515. The country offers the highest personal safety in Europe and social harmony. Switzerland remains the country with the highest quality of living according to a governmental survey, and it also has no official religious state.
Switzerland became perfect destination for investors due to its bank secrecy and monetary security policies. Strategically located on the continent of Europe, Switzerland has an accessible and first-rate infrastructure network for international trades. Its stability is also provided by the agreements signed with the European Union that offer a similar business environment as inside the EU.
The Swiss franc has been rightfully viewed as a refuge through the years due to its stability over times. It was the currency of choice in the 1970s for Americans looking to escape rampant inflation because few other asset classes offered this much protection. Also nowadays, in a prolonged period of on-again off-again crisis, the Alpine country’s currency is viewed as one of the world's most popular safe-haven investment destinations.
Therefore judging from its political neutrality to its banking secrecy, the country has reputation for protecting valuables. But if adding strong economy, low national debt, low inflation, currency and price stability, low unemployment, efficient capital markets and a highly professional international banking system, Switzerland becomes a safe and appealing investment destination in its own right.