Tag Archive: Business

Switzerland Remains in Top Five for Competitiveness Despite Fall

Switzerland has dropped from second to fifth place in an annual ranking of the world’s most competitive economies, whilst the United States have moved up three places to the top. Switzerland’s fall is due mainly to “a slowdown in exports, job growth and international investment”, says the Lausanne-based IMD business schoolexternal link, which compiles the 63-country ranking.

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Swiss pharma suspected of delaying generic competition

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published Thursday a list of pharmaceutical companies that include Basel-based Novartis and Roche, all of which are suspected of hindering the development of generic versions of their own medicines. Over 150 complaints were filed.

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Alpine tunnel closure causes major holiday traffic disruption

Traffic queues of up to 28 kilometres were reported at the northern entrance to the Gotthard tunnel on Saturday, owing to a long weekend and the closure of another major Alpine road tunnel because of a fire. The San Bernadino tunnel in southeast Switzerland was closed on Friday afternoon after a German tourist bus caught fire in the tunnel, leaving two people with minor injuries. It is expected to remain closed over the Pentecost weekend, since the...

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Rapid escalation in Swiss fines for freight trucks

An increasing number of heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) are being pulled over for motoring offences at border crossings. Customs officials have reported 83% more violations in the last eight years, rising from 17,997 on 2010 to 32,967 last year. A further 24,464 fines and cautions were issued against HGVs according to the SonntagsZeitung newspaper.

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Government defends Swiss Post-Amazon deal

The government has defended the deal struck that will see Swiss Post delivering packages for retail giant Amazon. There is no question of preferential treatment, it said. The response by the government came in response to a parliamentary question raised by politician Olivier Feller (Liberal-Radical), querying the deal that will see Swiss Post delivering Amazon packages within a time frame of 24 hours.

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Swiss economics minister upbeat about Mercosur free trade deal

Switzerland is close to concluding a free trade agreement with the four Mercosur countries – Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay – within the framework of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), Swiss Economics Minister Johann Schneider-Ammann told reporters in Bern following his South America visit. Schneider-Ammann has just returned from a seven-day visit to the four South American countries, accompanied by 50-strong delegation of Swiss...

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Switzerland remains top international wealth management hub

Switzerland remains the world’s largest wealth management centre for international assets, but the air is getting thinner at the top and other financial hubs are gaining ground, according to a global report. A total of $1.84 trillion (CHF1.85 billion) of international assets were managed in Switzerland at the end of 2017, says the latest Deloitte Wealth Management Centre Rankingexternal link, published on Friday. This is around 7% less than in 2010.

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International trade unionists stage Glencore demo

On Wednesday, some 40 trade union members from as far as Australia and Africa protested the Swiss-based commodities giant’s treatment of workers. The demonstration took place on the occasion of Glencore’s annual general assembly in Zug, and included protestors from Colombia, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Canada, Australia, as well as other countries, according to a statementexternal link (in French) by Swiss trade union Unia.

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Nestlé and Starbucks agree million-dollar tie-up

The Swiss food giant Nestlé is set to pay Starbucks $7.1 billion (CHF7.1 billion) to market the American firm’s products outside Starbucks’ coffee shops. Under the alliance deal, announced on Monday, Starbucks and Nestlé have agreed to work together on marketing strategies and innovation.

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Demand for organic food grows strongly in Switzerland

One in ten fresh food items sold in Switzerland last year was organic, according to the Federal Office for Agriculture. The market share of organic products rose from 4.6% in 2007 to 9% in 2017, while the share of fresh organic food sold in Switzerland rose from just under 6% to 11.5% over the same period, the agriculture office reported on Tuesday.

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French strike limits rail links with Switzerland

Rail services between Switzerland and France are limited on Saturday, owing to a strike by French workers against railway reforms. Most high-speed train (TGV) services have been cancelled, with the exception of six return journeys between Paris and Zurich (2), Paris and Geneva (2) and Paris and Lausanne. A similar service is planned for Sunday.

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One in four Swiss tenants wants to move, but can’t

More than a quarter of tenants in Switzerland are unhappy with their accommodation, but are unable to move – especially for financial reasons. A survey published by online price comparison portal comparis.chexternal link on Thursday has found that 26% of Swiss tenants consider their housing situation to be unsatisfactory. Of the 4,000 tenants surveyed, 67% said that they could not afford to move to a better place.

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Swiss authorities allowed isopropanol exports to Syria

Switzerland authorised the export to Syria of five metric tons of the chemical isopropanol in 2014, which can be used to make sarin gas, Swiss public television, RTS, reports. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) announced in May 2014 that Syria had destroyed its stock of 120 metric tons of isopropanol.

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Swiss finance minister sees ‘clearly improved’ ties with US

Relations between Switzerland and the United States have improved under the Trump administration, Finance Minister Ueli Maurer told Swiss public radio, SRF, on Saturday. Maurer is heading a Swiss delegationexternal link, together with Economics Minister Johann Schneider-Ammann and Thomas Jordan, Chairman of the Swiss National Bank, which is attending the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group spring meetingsexternal link in...

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Weakening franc approaches symbolic mark

As the Swiss franc weakens towards the threshold CHF1.20 exchange rate, the likelihood remains slim that Switzerland’s central bank will alter monetary policy any time soon. On Thursday morning a euro cost CHF1.198 francs. In February, the price of a single euro fell to under CHF1.150. The greater the number of francs needed to buy another currency signals a weaker franc, and vice versa if the exchange rate declines.

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Sika stand-off with family heirs continues unabated

During another stormy annual general meeting, the majority stakeholders of Swiss chemical manufacturer Sika were once again controversially denied the chance to vote in a new chairman who would support their plans to sell the company to a French rival. At Tuesday’s AGM, the family heirs of Sika’s founder faced a familiar pattern of having their votes restricted when it came to electing board members.

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Geneva hotels are the most expensive in Europe

Staying in a hotel in Geneva costs more than anywhere else in Europe, according to an international survey. The €242.90 (CHF288 or $300) average charge per night puts Geneva ahead of Paris (€232.30), while Zurich is listed as the third most expensive destination at €203.90. The Hotel President Wilson in Geneva reportedly boasts the most expensive overnight tariff in the world, charging around CHF80,000 ($83,300) to stay in its royal penthouse...

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SR Technics to cut jobs at Zurich airport

Aviation support company SR Technics has announced plans to cut a net 200 jobs at Switzerland’s main airport as part of a business review. The company, which is part of China’s HNA group, announced that it could reduce its workforce in aircraft services by as many as 300 positions while adding more than 100 jobs in engine services.

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Nine out of ten Swiss want to buy less, survey finds

A World Wildlife Fund (WWF) survey published on Monday has found that the majority of people in Switzerland are considering shopping less, and young people are particularly likely to take a critical look at their buying behaviour. The Swiss consume “as if there is no tomorrow”: they fly twice as frequently as their neighbours, buy the heaviest cars in Europe, and produce more waste per capita than in any other nation on earth, the WWF said in a...

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Swiss corporate tax rates ‘likely to fall’ in some cantons

Impending corporate tax reforms are likely to reduce rates in higher tax cantons, such as Geneva, Vaud and Basel City, according to KPMG. Overall, the business consultancy group expects Switzerland to remain an attractive location for multinational corporations.

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