Category Archive: 3.) Swissinfo Business and Economy

Swiss think it’s vital that other people reduce CO2 emissions

A majority (70%) of Swiss believe it’s important to avoid emissions in their everyday lives, although fewer are likely to back up their views with action, according to a survey.

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Rising numbers of hikers and bikers boost Swiss economy

Numbers engaging in outdoor activities like walking, cycling or mountain biking continued to rise in Switzerland in 2019, the Federal Office for Roads (ASTRA) has reported. This is also good news for the economy.

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Why some wealth managers hate wealth

“How can we [ . . .] fight increased inequality?” railed Ralph Hamers in a recent interview. To be clear, Hamers is not the boss of Unicef, or Oxfam or the Social Mobility Foundation. He is chief executive of Swiss bank UBS, one of the biggest beneficiaries of the widening wealth gap.

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Credit Suisse reaches deal with former employee in spying case

The Swiss bank and its former top manager Iqbal Khan have agreed to end all pending criminal proceedings in a 2019 spying affair that toppled the company’s top brass. Speaking to the Reuters news agency, a spokesperson for Credit Suisse confirmed a report in the newspaper NZZ am Sonntag that, following an agreement between “all parties”, the matter was now closed.

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Tourism sector will take decades to recover from pandemic

The president of the national marketing body Switzerland Tourism says the year 2021 is on course to be even worse than 2020, with 5% fewer hotel stays expected. "This is not good news, because 2020 was the worst year in history" for the sector, Martin Nydegger told the newspaper SonntagsZeitung.

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Google challenges Swiss data cloud contract decision

Google has appealed a recent Swiss decision to award a cloud-computing contract to five other digital firms. The tender process has also come under criticism by defenders of data sovereignty.

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Honey production collapses in Switzerland

The short spring and wet summer means Swiss bees have produced ten times less honey than usual. As a result the price of honey is set to increase. After last year’s exceptional harvest, 2021 is looking very meagre: while a hive normally produces 15-20 kilos of honey, the current figure is 0-3 kilos, Swiss public radio, RTS, reported on Thursday.

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Has a new price premium on cocoa really helped struggling African farmers?

Farmers in Ivory Coast - the world’s largest cocoa-producing nation - are getting less for their cocoa despite the introduction of a payment that aims to secure them a living wage.  

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Inbreeding hits bearded vultures in the Alps

Switzerland is celebrating the reintroduction of 50 Bearded Vultures to the Swiss Alps. It’s 30 years since the programme began in the Swiss Wildlife Reserve near Melchsee-Frutt in central Switzerland. The Bearded Vulture used to be widespread in large parts of the Alps but was hunted to extinction towards the end of the 19th century. The wild population is growing in the cantons of Valais and Graubünden, but the raptors in central Switzerland...

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Central Switzerland braces itself for another ‘flood of the century’

Lakes and rivers in central Swiss cantons such as Bern and Lucerne have reached dangerous levels, and more rain is forecast for Thursday and Friday. On Wednesday authorities in canton Bern said water levels on Lake Thun, Lake Biel and in the city of Bern would significantly exceed flood limits in the coming days.

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Shares in Picasso painting go up for grabs in blockchain sale

Fans of Pablo Picasso will soon be able to own a share in one of his paintings for less than $6,000 (CHF5,500) – although that won’t actually buy them the right to see the work, which will be stored under lock and key in Switzerland.

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Bern braces itself for another ‘flood of the century’

Canton Bern expects water levels on Lake Thun, Lake Biel and in the city of Bern to significantly exceed flood limits in the coming days. On Lake Biel it’s possible the situation will be similar to the flood of the century in 2005.

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Swiss ‘Crypto Nation’ supports African blockchain ambitions

Sub-Saharan Africa is a key region for Swiss foreign policyExternal link and digitisation will play a major role in that strategy. To this end, “Crypto Nation” Switzerland is throwing its weight behind a public-private partnership to find blockchain solutions to some of the challenges facing the continent.

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Swiss Start-Ups Show Resilience Despite Covid-19 Pandemic

The number of Swiss start-ups launched has risen significantly in the first six months of 2021 while the number of companies filing for bankruptcy has decreased, studies have shown. In the first half of 2021 over 26,000 new companies were added to Switzerland’s commercial register, an increase of over 20% compared to the year before, a new report by Dun & Bradstreet has found.

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Toxic Metals Studies Add to Frustrations Surrounding Swiss-Owned Mine in Peru

Health concerns over toxic metals in remote communities near a mining complex in the Peruvian Andes are gaining ground after the publication of several reports. Glencore which owns the mine, points at natural mineralisation of the environment.

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Tax Deal: Small Countries ‘Should not be Forgotten’ says Swiss Minister

The interests of small innovative countries must be taken into account in international corporate tax measures, says Swiss Finance Minister Ueli Maurer, who has been attending the G20 meeting in Italy. Tax was a key issue at the two-day meeting of finance ministers and central bankers from the group of 20 major economies, which wrapped up on Saturday.

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Climate Scientist: More Urgency Needed over Climate Crisis

Climate change is causing extreme weather, also in Switzerland. A climate taskforce – like the Covid 19 science task force – makes sense, a leading Swiss climate scientist says.

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Human Rights Sports Body granted Upgraded Swiss Legal Status

An organisation set up in Switzerland to prevent sport from harming society and athletes has been granted full association status in Geneva. The Centre for Sport and Human RightsExternal link was awarded the status of an independent non-profit association under Swiss law on Thursday. It has been running since 2018 under a different legal status.

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Swiss Narrowly Miss CO2 Emission Targets

Switzerland has again failed to meet its goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, prompting a rise in CO2 taxes. Last year emissions from fuel, including heating oil and gas, were 31% lower than 1990 levels, according to data released by the Federal OfficeExternal link for the Environment on Wednesday. This is unchanged from 2019 and falls short of the required 33%.

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Why is Switzerland important in the commodity trading sector?

Tiny landlocked Switzerland is a big player in the commodity trading business. The country's involvement in this industry can be traced back to the 15th century, when its ideal central location had merchants from all over Europe meeting on its city square to exchange goods. Today, commodities are shipped around the world in huge container ships, and the trading mostly happens in climatised offices, far away from the mines and ports. Giants such...

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