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Foreign firms creating more jobs in Switzerland despite pandemic

Switzerland has remained an attractive destination for foreign firms © Keystone / Peter Klaunzer

Switzerland has remained an attractive location for foreign firms, creating more jobs last year than in 2019 – despite the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic, Swiss public television SRF and RTS have reported.

Foreign firms accounted for 11% more jobs in 2020, bringing the total to almost 1,200, even if the total number of companies moving to the country dropped (by 9%), SRF saidExternal link. Over the next three years, they are expected to drive the creation of 3,500 jobs.

“The workforce is very qualified, and taxation is favourable and Switzerland is in the middle of Europe,” saidExternal link Jim Fitzgerald, director of Tiffin Metal in SwitzerlandExternal link.

The company, which manufactures custom metal solutions for a wide range of industries, decided to open its first branch outside the US in Schmitten, in the canton of Fribourg.

Stability

The figures come at a time of general economic global woes brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. Switzerland’s economy shrank 2.9% last year as a result of Covid-19, the worst annual contraction since the aftermath of the oil crisis in 1975. But officials are optimistic that the Swiss economy will rebound.

Patrick Wermelinger, from Switzerland Global Enterprise, the Swiss export promotion agency, said Swiss stability had played a role.

“In a crisis year, stability, long-term planning, the economic security play an even more important role. This is in Switzerland’s favour. But we were surprised by just how many new jobs were created,” he told SRF.

Companies from China, the US and Germany created the most jobs.

Switzerland is also one of the few that have attracted more foreign investment in 2020, according to SRF. Only Ireland attracted more, the fDi Markets Financial Times report found.

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