Category Archive: 3.) Investec

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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Most Swiss prefer home grown eggs, meat and dairy

Recently published statistics suggest most Swiss prefer home grown animal products. Three quarters (75%) of those surveyed said they preferred Swiss eggs and more than half preferred Swiss meat (51%) and dairy products (59%).

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More than 100 members of Extinction Rebellion convicted in Switzerland

In September 2019, groups of people belonging to the group Extinction Rebellion blocked two road bridges in Lausanne. Local police cleared the bridges by removing, in some cases carrying, protesters away. On 7 November 2019, 117 of the people involved in the bridge protests were convicted and fined for breaking Switzerland’s penal code, according to RTS.

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Geneva to ban Uber if it doesn’t change its operating model

After a legal analyis the government of the canton of Geneva has decided that drivers of the ride hailing service are employees rather than independent contractors, effectively banning Uber from operating under its current model. In an interview with RTS, Mauro Poggia, a lawyer and Geneva state councillor, said that Uber is a transport company and as such must employ its drivers.

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Minimum Swiss internet speed to triple in 2020

The Federal Council, Switzerland’s executive, has confirmed a decision made by parliament to raise the minimum speed of broadband internet connections in Switzerland. From 1 January 2020, the minimum download speed specified in Switzerland’s universal service agreement with Swisscom will rise from 3 to 10 megabits per second (Mbits/s) and the minimum upload speed will rise from 0.3 to 1 Mbit/s.

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Swiss commission supports new laws to protect whistleblowers

A commission of the Council of States, Switzerland’s upper house, is in favour of new rules to protect whistleblowers. The proposed rules, which would help to protect those who expose secretive information or activity that is deemed illegal or unethical, were supported by 6 commission votes to 2 with 4 abstentions.

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Swiss central bank makes 388 million from negative interest rates

The Swiss National Bank (SNB), Switzerland’s central bank, has earned CHF 388 million from negative interest rates since introducing them in 2014 to tame the rising strength of the Swiss Franc, according to the newspaper SonntagsBlick.

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Zurich homes market in highly overvalued territory, says UBS

Every quarter UBS, a bank, publishes its real estate bubble index, a report that covers real estate prices in 24 cities around the world. In the third quarter of 2019, Munich was listed as the most overvalued housing market in the world. Bubble risk was highest in Munich, Toronto, Hong Kong and Amsterdam. Frankfurt, Vancouver and Paris.

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Why Switzerland ranks near the top of the 2019 global competitiveness ranking

Switzerland made the the top 5, after dropping from 4th to 5th, in this year’s World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Competitiveness Index. Switzerland’s decline was largely due to a down weighting of a factor where it is strong, according to WEF’s Saadia Zahidi. The Global Competitive Index measures performance in 114 areas that influence a nation’s productivity.

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EU removes Switzerland from tax haven list

In December 2017, the European Union (EU) set up a blacklist and a grey list of tax havens, countries it deemed were being used to help companies and wealthy individuals reduce their tax bills. Switzerland ended up on the grey list. Nations on these lists faced reputational damage and stricter controls on financial transactions with the EU.

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Switzerland faces looming shortage of workers

As more baby-boomers – born from 1946 to 1964 – retire, Switzerland will faces a shortage of workers, according to Credit Suisse, a bank. Economists at the bank estimate that 1.1 million people in Switzerland will retire over the next 10 years, a figure which includes nearly 800,000 people currently working.

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The remarkable rise of GDP per capita in Switzerland

In 1998, GDP per person in Switzerland was CHF 59,693. Recently published statistics put the figure at CHF 80,986 in 2018, a rise of 36%. When Swiss GDP per capita is expressed in globally comparable US dollar terms its rise is even greater. In US dollar terms Swiss GDP per capita grew from US$ 41,497 to US$ 82,839 between 1998 and 2018, a rise of 100%.

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Swiss Research Leads to Cancer Break Through

Researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute recently deciphered the structure of the CC chemokine receptor 7 (CCR7), a signaling protein. Cancer cells use CCR7 to guide themselves into the lymphatic system, spreading cancer throughout the body. The resulting secondary tumors, called metastases, are responsible for most cancer deaths.

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Switzerland has highest underemployment in Europe

In 2018, 830,000 people in Switzerland were unable to find the work they wanted, according the Federal Statistical Office. While 243,000 were looking but not immediately available and 231,000 were unemployed, most (356,000) were underemployed – working but unable to find as many hours of work as they’d like.

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Swiss apprenticeships – too many places, not enough takers

Figures on unfilled apprenticeship places show the difficulty of matching supply and demand in the labour market. This year there were 12,000 unfilled apprenticeship positions in Switzerland. Switzerland’s apprenticeship model, which helps match workers’ skills with employer demand, is one driver of Switzerland’s low unemployment (4.9%) – 2018 ILO basis.

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UBS warns of a looming shortage of workers in Switzerland

The Swiss bank UBS estimates there could be a shortfall of 500,000 workers in Switzerland in the coming 10 years as the baby boomer generation retires. However, the bank predicts the shortfall will not be even across all industries. Some sectors are expected to stagnate. Workers in these industries might find it harder to find work.

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Swiss exports to the US significantly exceed those to Germany for the first time

According to an analysis by the Swiss broadcaster RTS, Switzerland’s EU exports have declined in recent years. Over the first quarter of 2019, for the first time, exports to the US exceeded those to Germany by more than CHF 1 billion reaching CHF 15.7 billion. Exports to the US have risen from 8.3% to 16.3% of total Swiss exports over the last 30 years.

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Switzerland’s upper house wants incentives for people who work beyond 65

The gap between Switzerland’s official retirement age – 65 for men and 64 for women – and average life expectancy is long. Life expectancy at 65 is 20 years for men (85) and 23 for women (88). More and more people are questioning the viability of living for two decades or more without working, particularly when the population is aging and the pension system is crumbling.

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Swiss-EU friction rises in lead up to expiry of stock market equivalence

In 2018, Switzerland and the EU struck a deal to extend Swiss stock market equivalence until 30 June 2019, a date fast approaching. Stock market equivalence makes a trade on the Swiss stock exchange equivalent to a trade on an exchange in an EU country. This allows trades to be pooled across countries, something that supports global trade and improves international market liquidity, a win-win for all traders.

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Swiss restaurant ranked best in the world

A ranking by Elite Traveler placed the restaurant Hôtel de Ville de Crissier first in a list of the world’s 100 best restaurants, eight places higher than last year. The ranking is based on the votes of readers of the magazine, which is distributed to private jet companies around the world.

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