Economic promotion in French-speaking Switzerland remained vigorous despite the Covid-19 pandemic. After a 2020 financial year marked by 85 establishments, 86 foreign companies again chose to settle in the French-speaking part of the country last year.
Ultimately, the arrival of these 86 companies in our latitudes should lead to the creation of 955 jobs, according to indications provided on Tuesday by the Greater Geneva Bern area (GGBa), a platform which brings together the economic promotion of the cantons of Geneva, Vaud, Fribourg, Neuchâtel, Bern and Valais.
Settlements did not decline during the first two years of the health crisis, on the contrary since the GGBa had counted 79 in 2019. Health restrictions, however, complicated the task of prospecting. “A large number of clients were unable to travel to Switzerland, and therefore a number of projects did not come to fruition,” CEO Thomas Bohn told AWP.
These pandemic-related difficulties have nevertheless accelerated the digitization of economic promotion. “We have gained in efficiency, I think, with the development of tools such as (teleconferences) or even the organization of webinars”, notes Mr. Bohn.
The establishment in Friborg of Sun Genomics, a company specializing in research on the intestinal microbiome, was carried out in the absence of a visit to Switzerland, underlines the manager.
Among the other establishments cited as an example by the GGBa are the Belgian cybersecurity company Approach, which has set its sights on Geneva, the Italian Pielleswiss, which will develop its “sustainable textiles” from the Neuchâtel site Microcity, or the American group of Macher services, which has set up its European headquarters in Lausanne.
Russia abandoned in 2015
European companies remain the most numerous in the statistics in French-speaking Switzerland, representing 49 establishments out of the 86 carried out in 2021, for 420 expected job creations. The American continent and Asia-Pacific are far behind, with 16 and 12 locations respectively.
The GGBa evokes a 2021 financial year in the continuity of the previous one and a maintenance of all the indicators in green. “Western Switzerland remains clearly attractive, even if it remains difficult to assess the future impact of international conflicts, the tax reform initiated by the OECD, relations with the European Union or even the rise in the value of the franc” , he said in a press release.
The portfolio of projects for the current financial year is “solid”, despite the geopolitical context, assures the Romandie platform for economic promotion. It is stepping up its efforts in “promising industries” such as agri-food and biotechnology production.
The outbreak of war in Ukraine will not affect business, according to Thomas Bohn. “The GGBa has not been active in Russia since 2015, and therefore we are not concerned at this level.”
This article has been published automatically. Source: ats/awp