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Swiss Outlook for 2017

20 Feb 15:00 by Nick Broughton

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It’s safe to say that the political and economic actions of 2016 created uncertainty and instability across the globe. But as we now move further into 2017 it’s clear to see that this year is a positive one for doing business internationally – particularly in Switzerland.

In this article I hope to share with you an overview of working in Switzerland as a foreign business or individual and the great opportunities the country presents for those looking to expand internationally.

Which are Switzerland’s leading sectors?

Switzerland’s economy is incredibly healthy, and the country is constantly in need of skilled and experienced personnel. The most influential sectors include pharmaceutical, banking and IT, and these industries attract talented contractors from all over the world. For businesses operating within these sectors and looking to expand internationally, the Swiss market provides a healthy outlook for 2017.

Is fintech a big sector in Switzerland?

Fintech is growing everywhere, but nowhere more so than in Switzerland. In recent years we have seen Switzerland become a hub for dynamic and innovative fintech start-ups. These continue to thrive and have grown into some of the sector’s leading institutions which require talented foreign workers.

Earlier this month the Swiss Federal Council began its consultation on new fintech regulations which will reduce barriers to entry for fintech firms. This news means that we can expect to see even more foreign fintech businesses enter Switzerland in 2017. The sector is set to be one of the most country’s most influential industries this year.

Has the Swiss Immigration Referendum deterred foreign businesses from working in Switzerland?

In February 2014 Switzerland voted in favour of restricting immigration from EU countries. This move caused concern not only in Switzerland but also across the rest of Europe. Understandably this caused many EU citizens to question their ability to work in Switzerland in the future. As the 9th February 2017 deadline for Switzerland to impose the proposed restrictions has passed, it now seems unlikely that further action will be taken.

This news means that little will change for EU nationals wanting to work in Switzerland, and entry into the country is as easy as ever before. Needless to say foreign businesses have not been deterred by the political uncertainty in Switzerland as the Swiss economy and industries continue to thrive.

Is Switzerland an expensive country to live and work in?

In the Mercer 2016 Quality of Living Rankings, Zurich and Geneva ranked second and eighth respectively. Swiss citizens enjoy a very high standard of living, and 2017 is set to be an even more prosperous year for individuals living and working in Switzerland. While the country isn’t exactly cheap to live and work in, adjustments in the economy have made Switzerland significantly more economically viable and potentially lucrative for foreign workers.

According to the Global Property Guide rental property prices in Switzerland dropped by 1.28 per cent at the end of 2016. This, coupled with the 2.3 per cent rise in Swiss salaries, means that 2017 is an incredibly positive time to be working in Switzerland, where residents and workers can enjoy an unparalleled quality of life. 

If you are a contractor, staffing firm or company looking to work and do business in Switzerland please get in touch with the Capital GES team for more information.