Promotion Activities Directorate

Swiss companies must respond to global competition on a daily basis. The Promotion Activities Directorate provides support to companies, benefiting the economy as a whole.

The Promotion Activities Directorate’s key responsibilities at a glance

  • SME policy 
  • Export promotion 
  • Location promotion 
  • Regional and spatial planning policy 
  • Tourism policy

Over 99 per cent of companies in Switzerland are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). They employ two thirds of the working population and are therefore often regarded as the backbone of our economy. SMEs are often heavily affected by administrative burdens and structural changes. The Promotion Activities Directorate helps improve the framework conditions for SMEs, facilitates access to financing and provides specific funding instruments to help boost their economic performance. In doing so, it seeks to harness the opportunities offered by digital transformation.

For exporters and investors

The Swiss economy is heavily dependent on foreign trade. The Directorate helps Swiss companies that export goods and services. Switzerland Global Enterprise (S-GE), mandated by SECO, supports SMEs in accessing and positioning themselves in foreign markets.

The Directorate also supervises the Swiss Export Risk Insurance (SERV), which provides Swiss companies with insurance against economic and political risks for their export business.

Switzerland requires good macroeconomic framework conditions to remain an attractive business location on the international stage and to help foreign companies locate to Switzerland (direct investments). These include a flexible labour market, a highly qualified workforce and a moderate tax burden. However, this alone is not enough. As part of its location promotion activities, the federal government and the cantons – via S-GE – provide potential investors with all the important facts about what Switzerland has to offer as a location for business and research, and advise them on sustainable location opportunities in Switzerland.

Promoting regions for a stronger Switzerland

The Directorate supports structurally disadvantaged areas in rural areas and in mountain and border regions, and strengthens their competitiveness. It provides grants and loans to promote projects linked to innovation, cooperation, knowledge transfer and key infrastracture in accordance with the New Regional Policy (NRP). The aim is to improve the quality of the regions as a business location. The NRP also sets out incentives for inter-cantonal and cross-border cooperation in functional areas to make better use of their potential for economic development. Regional policy thus contributes to coherent spatial development.

Tourism has huge significance for the Swiss economy, especially in the Alpine region. For this reason, the Directorate creates favourable framework conditions for tourism businesses. It supports innovation and investment activities as well as cooperation and knowledge building in the Swiss tourism sector. The Directorate also promotes the marketing of Switzerland as a travel destination through a mandate to Switzerland Tourism, and supports the hotel and lodging industry through a mandate to the Swiss Association for Hotel Credit.

Last modification 05.01.2021

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