Category Archive: 3.) Swiss Info

Switzerland excels at attracting talent, but can do better

For the sixth consecutive year, Switzerland clinched the top spot in the annual global ranking of the Lausanne-based IMD business school. The 2019 edition of the IMD World Talent Ranking ranked Switzerland highly in the three areas assessed. It came first in appeal, second in investment and development and second in readiness. Denmark, Sweden, Austria and Luxembourg rounded out the top five.

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Julius Bär takes CHF99 million hit on ailing Italian unit

Swiss wealth manager Julius Bär has downgraded its expectations for attracting new assets from rich clients and announced a CHF99 million ($100 million) write-down on its troubled Italian subsidiary Kairos. Julius Bär issued the warning on Tuesday, less than three months into the tenure of new CEO Philipp Rickenbacher.

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Things the UN does (that you might not know about)

What did the United Nations ever do for us? At the risk of a bit of cliched riffing on that famous scene in Monty Python’s Life of Brian, this month’s column is going to take a look at things the UN does that you may not know about. And one thing in particular: promoting fair and equitable access to the internet.

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Swiss retailers brace for ‘Black Friday’ sales as shoppers raise credit limits

The busiest shopping day of the year in the United States has become big business in Switzerland. But, some worry about the risks of consumers falling into debt and the pressure the Black Friday “holiday” puts on employees and the postal service.

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Ageing population threatens Swiss prosperity, study warns

Switzerland must do more to find employment options for older citizens and increase work productivity says the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (Seco). If not, prosperity for all will decline as the population ages. The median age of the Swiss population has risen to 43 compared to 32 in 1970. By 2060 this will rise further to 48-years-old going by current fertility rates.

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Additional funds set aside for transalpine rail transport 

The Swiss government has decided to earmark CHF180 million ($182 million) as part of a package to promote the transfer of heavy-goods transport from road to rail. In its bill to parliament, the government foresees an extension of payments to transport companies using freight trains until 2026 and a decrease in so-called track access charges with CHF90 million each.

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Time limit to exchange old banknotes eliminated

Banknotes as old as 1976 can soon be traded in at the national bank following a decision by the federal government to eliminate the 20-year time limit. The Swiss National Bank (SNB) issues a new series of banknotes every 15 to 20 years and removes the old notes from circulation. Six months later, the old notes don’t have a legal tender and therefore can’t be used as a means of payment.

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Telecom operator Sunrise to pay up for failed deal

Following shareholder pushback, Swiss telecom operator Sunrise has cancelled the purchase contract for the cable network operator UPC, officially burying the controversial deal. This is another failed attempt to challenge industry leader Swisscom.

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Cross-border workers entering Switzerland set record in 2019

The number of people from neighbouring countries commuting to Switzerland for work each day reached a record 325,000 this year. The increase was felt especially in cantons Ticino and Geneva. Following a slight drop in 2018, the Swiss job market is once again attracting cross-border workers in historically high numbers. Some 325,291 peopleexternal link entered the country each day in the third quarter of 2019, beating the previous record of 316,491...

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No Swiss citizenship for WEF founder Schwab, reports say

World Economic Forum founder Klaus Schwab will not be receiving honorary Swiss citizenship, despite the idea having being mooted earlier this year. Such an honorary conferral of the passport has no basis in Swiss law, the Federal Justice Office announced on Tuesday, after it was contacted by the daily Südostschweiz newspaper.

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Billionaires’ club shrinks as economy wobbles

The world lost 57 billionaires last year as economic woes and the unexpected strengthening of the US dollar wiped $388 billion (CHF386 billion) from their combined wealth. Switzerland had three fewer billionaires; the 33 who remain saw their bank accounts shrink by $16 billion.

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Demobilising Swiss merchant navy to cost another CHF100 million

Switzerland will incur a further CHF100 million ($101 million) loss as it continues to reduce its merchant shipping fleet. The ongoing bill for selling off ships and meeting their debt obligations has now risen to an estimated CHF300 million, the government has admitted.

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Using lake water to help reduce Switzerland’s carbon footprint

Swiss lakes offer huge potential as renewable energy sources that can be used to cool and heat buildings. Geneva is expanding a pioneering thermal exchange project to help meet its climate goals, while other regions are taking the plunge. After transport, the second and third biggest sources of national greenhouse gas emissions are Swiss industry (20% of total in 2017) and households (18%).

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Swiss train problems being solved, says manufacturer

Bombardier says it expects to deliver all 62 double-decker express trains ordered by Swiss Federal Railways by summer 2021. Deliveries should have been made as early as 2013 but have been fraught with technical problems. The trains were ordered in 2010 for a total of CHF 1.9 billion ($1.9 billion), making it the largest contract in the history of rail transport.

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Why is solar power struggling to take off in Switzerland?

Solar energy is the main source of renewable energy in Switzerland, after hydroelectric power. But its potential is far from being exploited, according to industry experts. In 1982 Switzerland became the first country in Europe to connect a photovoltaic plant to the electricity network. Ten years later it inaugurated what at the time was the continent’s largest solar power station.

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Nestlé accused of sourcing palm oil linked to forest fires in Indonesia

The environmental group Greenpeace claims that the Swiss food giant procured palm oil from suppliers linked to around 9,700 fire hotspots in Indonesia this year. A Greenpeace reportexternal link released on Monday examines the supply chain of four major food companies – Nestlé, Unilever, Procter & Gamble and Mondelēz – and compares them to palm oil suppliers that are under investigation for starting illegal fires.

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Would an Uber ban in Geneva push other cities to treat drivers as employees?

It’s not the first time Uber has faced some bumps on the road in canton Geneva. But the latest move requiring the ride-hailing company to treat drivers as employees could spell big changes for the company. Will Uber call it quits or set a precedent for other cities?

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‘Farinet’ local currency to be withdrawn from circulation

The Farinet – a local currency introduced in canton Valais in 2017 – is to be withdrawn from circulation at the end of 2019 after failing to stimulate the regional economy as hoped. Farinet banknotes were introduced in Valais in western Switzerland in spring 2017. But on Tuesday the association behind the currency announced it planned to withdraw it at the end of this year.

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Switzerland’s growth hampered by trade tensions, economic slowdown

Trade tensions coupled with a slowdown in Europe are likely to take a toll on the Swiss economy over the next two years, the OECD forecasts. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has revised its growth forecasts downwards for Switzerland. It also recommended Switzerland raise its retirement age.

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Why Nestlé won’t meet its zero-deforestation pledge

When it came under fire from environmental groups over its harvesting of palm oil, Swiss food giant Nestlé committed to eliminating deforestation from its supply chain by next year. But it will take another three years to come close to accomplishing that goal.

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