The following characteristics make Switzerland a particularly attractive location from both a corporate and individual standpoint:
Switzerland is recognized as a center for international businesses. It is a key player in international financial markets and is host to a significant amount of international organizations, such as the United Nations, the World Health Organization and the World Intellectual Property. It also has leading edge competency in pharmaceuticals and biotechnology. It is home to more than 600 enterprises engaged in research and development of new IT products. A large number of international trading companies are also located in Switzerland, supported by a wealth of insurance companies, law firms, banks, fiduciary companies, forwarding companies as well as, surveillance and security firms.
As Switzerland has so many multinational companies, an international and multicultural environment has arisen wherein a wide variety of people live together in harmony. Furthermore, there are many international and English-speaking clubs and associations as well as international primary and secondary schools, whose quality is widely recognized as being outstanding. The public school system, is top-rated, as are Swiss universities which offer well recognized international orientated programs. As English is commonly used, employees and their families can settle in very quickly.
As a center for technology, the state-of-the-art telecommunications network is among the most advanced in the world and is constantly being upgraded to keep abreast of the latest developments in technology.
Because Switzerland is a relatively small country, travel by car or public transport is easy and efficient. The public transport system is modern, reliable, and relatively inexpensive. The Geneva and Zurich airports are regularly connected with other world capitals. Many low fare companies operate from and to Switzerland. Employees and their families can therefore easily maintain business and personal relations with the international community.
Switzerland has a reputation for having a high standard of living. Its natural surroundings allow for a wide range of recreational and sporting activities which include skiing, hiking, rafting, sailing, windsurfing, swimming, etc. In addition, it is rich in culture with many world-class music festivals, theaters and museums. Unemployment and crime are very low in Switzerland especially compared with other EU countries and the United States.
Swiss employees are known for their strong work ethic. In addition, companies can easily find the qualified labor and multi-lingual personal required to carry out their business operations in an environment where strikes are uncommon. Extremely flexible employment legislation gives employers a large amount of freedom when concluding employment contracts. Additionally, work permits can easily be obtained.
With regard to social security and pension obligations, Switzerland has one of the most advantageous and cost-effective systems in Europe. It also has a healthy network of social security agreements whereby expatriates can elect to maintain coverage in their country of origin during their secondment to Switzerland.
Swiss Federal and Cantonal authorities are always encouraging new companies with investments in Switzerland. They are also open to constructive ideas in the framework of the establishment process. For example, the department of the economic promotion often assists in cutting through some of the administrative issues faced by newly-established Principal Companies. The government also provides incentives for training workers in new skills and can make low-cost loans available.