Category Archive: 3) Swiss Markets and News

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Record number of new e-cars on Swiss roads

With 10,329 registrations so far this year, Switzerland and Liechtenstein have more new electric passenger cars than ever before. This is the first time the total hit the five-figure mark. The numbers reflect a 136.6% increase over last year’s fleet of new, completely electric passenger cars. What’s more, now e-cars represent 3.7% of all new cars in Switzerland and the principality next door, reported importer association Auto-Schweiz on Tuesday.

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China No Longer Needs US Parts In Its Phones

China was once very dependent on US chips for its phones. The latest Chinese phones have no US parts. The Wall Street Journal reports Huawei Manages to Make Smartphones Without American Chips. American tech companies are getting the go-ahead to resume business with Chinese smartphone giant Huawei Technologies Co., but it may be too late: It is now building smartphones without U.S. chips.

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Swiss foreign work permit quotas maintained for 2020

Every year, Switzerland sets quotas for the number of work visas it issues to citizens outside the EU and EFTA. This week the government announced it would maintain the quota of 8,500 permits that was in place in 2018. In addition, it confirmed an earlier deal it struck with the UK to issue up to 3,500 work visas to British citizens in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

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Switzerland’s dark business with Ukrainian coal

Pro-Russian separatists are financing their war in Ukraine with coal deliveries to the West. Now the role of Swiss companies in Zug and Geneva is being investigated, according to a report in the SonntagsZeitung. Fontus AG describes itself on its website as a “reliable and responsible supplier of high-grade solid fuels”, selling “coal of Russian and Kazakh production”.

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1 in 10 Swiss hospitals facing financial difficulty

Around one hospital in ten in Switzerland could end up in financial difficultly, according to a report by PWC. In addition, 37 of the 44 hospitals surveyed will not be profitable enough to remain competitive over the next five to ten years, predict the authors of the report.

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Zurich airport company wins huge Indian deal

Flughafen Zürich AG, the operator of Zurich airport, has been selected to design, develop and operate a new airport near the Indian capital after outbidding local companies. The companyexternal link said in a statement on Fridayexternal link it would develop and operate the new Noida International Airport at Jewar in Uttar Pradesh state under a 40-year concession.

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Skilled worker shortage worsens in Switzerland

The shortage of skilled workers on the Swiss job market has become even more acute this year, according to a survey. Finding suitable engineers, technical workers and fiduciaries is particularly difficult. The skilled worker shortage index(PDF), compiled annually by Adecco Switzerland in collaboration with the University of Zurich, measures the occupations in which the number of vacancies is particularly large compared with the number of job-seekers.

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Number of jobs reaches all-time high in Switzerland

Unemployment rose in the third quarter of 2019, however, there have never been more jobs in Switzerland. The total number of jobs in Switzerland rose to 5.137 million at 30 September 2019, a level never seen before. The figure was 1.3% higher than at 30 September 2018 and 0.3% higher than 30 June 2019.

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Federal Council paves way for VAT refund on Billag fee

At its meeting on 27 November 2019, the Federal Council set out its plan for the refund of value-added tax (VAT) on Switzerland’s radio and television licence, formerly known as Billag. Between 2010 and 2015, VAT was charged on Swiss television and radio licences.

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Import duty on cars, clothes and other products may be scrapped

Import duties on various products including cars, clothes, and household appliances are set to be removed in Switzerland. If parliament approves the plan, the measure will enter into force in 2022. Finance Minister Guy Parmelin announced the plan on Wednesday after what the government described as a very positive consultation process with stakeholders.

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Report: it pays for companies to have apprentices

Firms in Switzerland may benefit annually by over CHF3,000 ($3,000) per apprentice when they train their own apprentices, a report has found. The fourth cost-benefit studyexternal link conducted by the Observatory for Vocational Education and Training of the Swiss Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (OBS SFIVETexternal link), published on Tuesdayexternal link, revealed that most companies with apprenticeship programmes found it...

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Non-EU foreign worker quotas unchanged for 2020

Switzerland will issue 8,500 work visas to non-EU citizens next year – the same number as in 2019. The Swiss government also confirmed an earlier decision that 3,500 British workers will be welcomed in the event of a no-deal Brexit situation.

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Internet-shunning shoppers are almost extinct

Only 3% of adult internet users buy nothing online, with the elderly most likely to stick to bricks-and-mortar shops, according to a survey. Online comparison service Comparis.ch said on Tuesday that whereas 6% of those aged 56-74 were yet to place an order online, the number of abstainers among 18- to 35-year-olds was less than 1%.

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Lugano Airport gets financial lifeline

Lugano authorities have approved a series of loans to help save Lugano Airport in southern Switzerland, allowing it to operate for at least one more year. The regional airport has struggled since the bankruptcy of Darwin Airline and collapse of Adria Airways in September.

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Swiss bankers fined over 1MDB dealings

Two bankers who worked at Coutts private bank in Zurich were fined by the Swiss authorities for failing to report suspicious transactions linked to the sovereign wealth fund 1MDB scandal, it was reported on Sunday. The Sonntag Zeitung and Le Matin Dimanche newspapers reported on Sunday that two Coutts bankers who had dealt with Jho Low, the Malaysian financier allegedly at the heart of the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal, were fined by...

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The $31 million watch and other Swiss price world records

A CHF640 ($645) bar of chocolate is a sign of either the end of civilisation or a healthy market economy. Whatever your view, Switzerland holds several world records when it comes to expensive goods. “As the hammer came down on $31 million (CHF30.6 million), the audience leapt as one to its feet, erupting in wild cheering and thunderous applause,” the Financial Times wrote on November 11 as a world record was set in Geneva for the highest price of...

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Green light for ‘democratic piloting’ of Geneva Airport

Voters in Geneva have backed a local initiative calling for controlled development of the airport. According to initial results, 55.81% of voters said “yes” on Sunday to the constitutional initiative calling for the “democratic piloting of Geneva Airport”.

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Swiss prosecutors search Vitol and Trafigura offices as part of Car Wash probe

Swiss investigators have executed searches at the Geneva offices of commodity traders Vitol and Trafigura at the request of Brazilian federal prosecutors as part of Brazil’s Lava Jato [Car Wash] corruption probe. In a statementexternal link on Thursday, Brazilian federal prosecutors said Swiss investigators had executed “search and seize warrants” at Geneva addresses linked to Vitol and Trafigura on Wednesday.

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Switzerland must ramp up green energy efforts to meet targets

Switzerland is on track to meet its short-term greener energy goals, but the government warns that more work needs to be done to meet more ambitious mid-term targets by 2035. The alpine country plans to be carbon neutral by 2050.

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Swiss president continues on his ‘autocrat world tour 2019’

Ueli Maurer, who holds the rotating Swiss presidency this year, was set to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Thursday. It is Maurer’s fourth foreign visit this year that has raised eyebrows in Switzerland.

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