Switzerland

Switzerland (officially the Swiss Federation) is one of the world’s wealthiest countries, despite having a population of only around eight million. Read more

It is a leading member of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the World Bank, and is famous for hosting the annual meetings of the World Economic Forum, in Davos, which bring together international business and political leaders to discuss the burning issues of the day.

Switzerland’s highly successful economy is driven by low rates of corporate tax, an established services sector (led by financial services, including banking and insurance, and tourism), and a high-tech manufacturing industry, which mainly produces chemicals, health-related and pharmaceutical products, and instruments for scientific and precision measurement.

The country benefits from having a skilled workforce, and unemployment is low. The cost of living is high, but so are standards of living: Switzerland is regularly a top performer in quality-of-life surveys of expatriates. It also performs well in surveys of economic competitiveness.

The city of Bern, seat of the federal authorities, is Switzerland’s de facto capital. Many international businesses gravitate to the country’s largest city, Zurich, or to Geneva, a popular headquarters location for global organisations like the International Committee of the Red Cross and the United Nations (UN) thanks to Switzerland’s well-known neutrality.

Leading Swiss multinational corporations include Glencore, Nestlé, Novartis, Hoffmann-La Roche, ABB and Adecco. Other key players are Credit Suisse, the Swatch Group, Tetra Pak and Zurich Financial Services.

Switzerland prides itself on its diversity. Its structure of cantons (or regions), each of which is an autonomous republic with its own cultural identity, has led to its having four official languages, German, French, Italian and Romansh. This can be a challenge for expatriates, as can immigration requirements and the limited availability and high cost of rental accommodation.

In this section, we bring you the latest news, articles, tools and resources to help you achieve your business objectives and goals. With contributions from specialists across the global mobility and relocation industry and the latest perspectives from regional conferences, we analyse key trends influencing Switzerland’s relocation and global mobility scene.

We investigate the latest trends in inbound, outbound and domestic relocation – from key relocation destinations and industry sectors to immigration and talent management – as well as the full range of employee and family support topics, including residential property, serviced apartments, and education and international schools.

HR and global managers with international assignees will find practical advice and information. There’s also plenty of support for those setting up a business or a company office in Switzerland. 

See also our Enterprise and Mobility Industry sections. For details of suppliers of international assignment and recruitment services, as well as destination services providers and relocation management companies that support businesses on the move, see our Directory. Keep informed by subscribing to our newsletters and other publications, and look out for details of our latest study tours and fact-finding missions to destinations across Europe.

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News and features

Immigration

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Congratulations to 2023’s Think Global People and Relocate Awards winners

Celebrating excellence across global people management and mobility arenas, the ground-breaking Innovation Festival for Global Working played host to this year’s exceptional Think Global People and Relocate Awards ceremony.

Education

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Education in Switzerland

Switzerland has always ranked as one of Europe’s best destinations for education. The choices include a highly rated state system, bilingual and international schools and an elite boarding school network.
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Anglo-Swiss Deal to Boost Science R & D

The UK and Switzerland have signed up to a bilateral deal to boost cooperation in scientific research, after both nations were excluded from the European Union's Horizon programme. David Sapsted reports.
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International universities make the grade

International university league tables are still dominated by the UK and the US, but tertiary institutions from Asia to Australia are increasingly offering a quality alternative.

Short-and long-term accommodation

UK and EU Brexit

Brexit moved to EU much lower than expected

Far fewer jobs in financial services based in the UK have relocated to the European Union than originally anticipated in the wake of the Brexit referendum almost six years ago, according to the latest survey.
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