Towards sustainable economic growth
The Swiss economy competes in a global market. Global economic structural change also requires our companies to adapt to constantly evolving challenges. The Promotion Activities Directorate provides Switzerland as a business location with targeted help in this adjustment process, thereby contributing towards a sustainable increase in the value added of the Swiss economy. The directorate’s priorities focus on the promotion in other countries of Switzerland as a location for business, on export promotion and export risk insurance, regional and spatial planning policy, the improvement of general conditions for SMEs and on tourism.
The founding or resettlement of leading technology companies broadens the spectrum of our economy. Stakeholders who are at a disadvantage in the adjustment process due to their size or structure benefit from the Promotion Activities Directorate’s SME policy, particularly in the shape of information flows or the creation of platforms intended to encourage cooperation. The regions receive support for their own, long-term independent economic development beyond cantonal and national borders. We strive to ensure that our economic policy measures include adequate incentive mechanisms.
Over 99 per cent of private sector companies in Switzerland are SMEs. In all they employ two thirds of the working population. Compared with large firms, SMEs are more heavily affected by administrative burdens and financing issues. We act as an intermediary between businesses and the federal administration, concentrating on two main tasks: Firstly, on reducing administrative hurdles for the companies, for example in the form of the SME compatibility test which is applied to test the compatibility of new laws with the needs of SMEs, or through practical and comprehensive information for existing SMEs and start-ups – for example via a specially created Internet portal for SMEs (www.kmu.admin.ch). The second area of emphasis is on corporate financing, e.g. by supporting the system of business-orientated loans for SMEs.
Export and Investment Promotion
We ensure a diverse range of services for export-orientated Swiss companies. Switzerland Global Enterprise (S-GE) carries out operational export promotion on behalf of the federal government. S-GE provides detailed information on foreign markets, helps the SME to find business opportunities abroad and lends support e.g. for attendance at key trade fairs. The Swiss Export Risk Insurance (SERV) provides Swiss companies with insurance against economic and political risks for their export business.
In terms of promoting the location, potential investors are given information and advice on all the important facts about Switzerland as a location for business and research. The federal government’s location promotion activities are conducted by S-GE and coordinated with those of the cantons.
Regional and Spatial Planning Policy
With the help of regional policy instruments we support the efforts of rural areas as well as mountain and border regions to introduce structural change and improve their competitiveness. We aim to improve the quality of the regions as a location for business through direct promotion in the form of contributions and loans for infrastructure investments, in particular incentives for cross-border collaboration in functional economic areas. By coordinating our activities with other, similarly-orientated federal tasks, we also strive to create synergies for projects in the assisted regions.
As the federal government’s centre of excellence for tourism we strive to ensure advantageous conditions for companies in the tourism sector. Within the framework of the Federal Act on Innovation Promotion, Cooperation and Knowledge Building in Tourism, Innotour (www.inno-tour.ch) and the Federal Act on the Promotion of the Hospitality Industry, we support the innovation and investment activities as well as cooperation and knowledge building in Swiss tourism. We also provide support for marketing Switzerland as a travel destination and represent our country in international tourism organisations.