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Swiss Business Federation
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Welcome

Our Mission
economiesuisse's mission is to create an optimal economic environment for Swiss business. In order to achieve this, it aims to preserve entrepreneurial freedom for all businesses, to continuously improve Switzerland's global competitiveness in manufacturing, services, and research, and to promote sustained growth as a prerequisite for a high level of employment in Switzerland.

Our Organization
Our activities are based on the decisions of the general assembly of our members, the full board of directors and the committee of the board of directors. Permanent commissions, ad hoc working groups and various expert committees ensure the ongoing integration of the expertise of the respective associations and businesses into economiesuisse's position on the issues. economiesuisse has offices in Zurich (head office), Geneva, Berne, Lugano and Brussels, and employs some 55 people. Through our BUSINESSEUROPE (Confederation of European Business) membership and our participation in its working groups, our federation has close links with other top European economic associations. economiesuisse is also a member of the BIAC (Business and Industry Advisory Committee of the OECD) hosts ICC Switzerland, the Swiss chapter of the ICC (International Chamber of Commerce).

 

Areas of Activity
As mentioned in our mission statement,
our work is centred around the following
political issues:

  • Economic and monetary policies
  • Public finance and taxation
  • International economic relations
  • Education and research
  • Infrastructure, energy and environmental policies
  • Competition policy
  • Regulatory affairs 

Our Work
economiesuisse maintains close and regular contact with the Swiss government, the administration and parliament. It is our task to recognize important economic policy issues at an early stage and to lobby intensively at all stages of the legislative process. In practice this means participating in various commissions and working groups of experts, preparing legislation, participating in the legislative approval process, continuously monitoring governmental and parliamentary decisions and actively participating in public referendums. economiesuisse works closely with other organizations with similar interests to achieve all possible synergies.


economiesuisse, a partner in business, competently represents the interests of its members on numerous federal committees such as the Federal Commission of Economic Policies, the Federal Commission for the Universities of Applied Sciences, the Federal Competition Commission, Swiss Export Risk Insuarance (SERV), the Consultative Commission for Foreign Economic Affairs, the Customs Experts' Commission, the International Development Co-operation Commission, the Federal Statistics Commission, Consumer Affairs Commission, etc.


The Swiss Economy
With a nominal gross domestic product of around 600 billion Swiss francs and a per capita income of SFr 74,000, Switzerland is one of the most prosperous countries in the world. Switzerland has excellent qualifications for continued success in the global economy of the future. Growing international interaction between countries has increased the challenges facing economic decisionmakers at both national and international levels. We are here to help meet those demands: in the future, Switzerland must remain one of the most competitive economies in the world. That is our vision.


Principles of Conduct
economiesuisse engages in matters in the common interest of its members and the Swiss economy in general. In its activities, it strictly observes all applicable rules and regulations. As a matter of principle, no exchange of competitively sensitive information takes place at meetings and in other activities of economiesuisse (including information among competitors on price, customers, production data, competitive strategies or plans, or on any other non-public, competitively sensitive information) due to the focus on general economic policy.

 

Who we are

Monika Rühl, Chairwoman of the Executive Board 

economiesuisse is the result of a merger between the Swiss Federation of Commerce and Industry (Vorort) and the Society for the Promotion of the Swiss economy (wf). economiesuisse's direct membership includes 100 trade and industry associations, 20 cantonal chambers of commerce and several individual companies.

The following sectors and industries are represented by economiesuisse: advertising, advisory services, banking, cement, chemicals and pharmaceuticals, communication and media, construction, energy, engineering, food products, hotel and tourism, information technology, insurance, machinery, electrical and metalworking industries, packaging, paper and cardboard, plastics, telecommunications, textile and clothing, tobacco, trading, transport and distribution, watchmaking.

economiesuisse works conjointly with the Swiss Employers Association and maintains close contact with the Swiss Association of small and medium-sized enterprises.

Latest News

01/12/14
An important No-vote to the dangerous Ecopop initiative economiesuisse on the results of the vote on November, 30th: Three times «No» strengthens Switzerland as a location for business.

On Sunday, December 30th, Swiss voters have rejected the initiative «Stop overpopulation» (Ecopop initiative) by a clear majority of more than 74%. This is a highly important signal for Switzerland as a business location. The radical proposal would have massively damaged the framework for Swiss business in the years to come. A majority of the Swiss supports regulation of immigration, but is opposed to writing rigid quotas into the federal constitution, which do not take account of the economies´ needs. The future migration policy of Switzerland will have to incorporate these two important signals. Accordingly, the Mass-immigration initiative must be implemented sensibly and with regard to the will of the people. For economiesuisse the bilateral ties with the European Union are paramount and must not be compromised. Therefore, it is vital, that the Federal Council may proceed with the internal implementation and the difficult talks with the EU without further obstruction.

The Swiss people fortify the national bank’s independence
On Sunday, December 30th, Swiss voters have demonstrated their trust in the Swiss National Bank with seventy-seven per cent no against the “Save our Gold” initiative which would have forced the national bank to hold 20% of its assets in gold. The initiative would have also required the national bank to repatriate all its gold held abroad and prevented any sales of gold ever held by the national bank. economiesuisse is pleased with this clear verdict. Thereby, the Swiss people have made clear that the Swiss National Bank should continue its very successful mission to stabilize the currency without political interference. This is also recognition for the work of the national bank in the past years. Switzerland has only made it through the financial and economic crisis successfully, due to the national bank’s decisive action in 2011 when the Swiss Franc rocketed against the Euro within a few weeks thus threatening the important Swiss export sector. The target rate for the Franc has ensured planning reliability for businesses and saved countless jobs. After this Sunday, it is clear: The national bank will be able to fulfil its core function without shackles.

A clear signal in support of federalized taxation
The Swiss business federation is also pleased with the clear rejection of the initiative to abolish lump sum taxation by 59 per cent of the voters. By their clear vote, the electorate has underlined that the competence to decide if and how they want to make use of this taxation instrument should remain with the cantons. The initiative would have resulted in painful tax and income shortfalls in many communities.  Especially in mountainous or brink regions, lump sum taxation has proven successful in attracting wealthy taxpayers. These individuals invest in those regions and thereby support the preservation of jobs and the local economy. Furthermore, other countries offer attractive tax regimens as well. There were no grounds to abandon the lump sum tax without an emergency and to weaken Switzerland’s position in the international competition of tax locations.


29/09/14
Since it was introduced in 2002, the “Swiss Code of Best Practice for Corporate Governance” has strongly influenced the development of corporate governance in Switzerland and has proven to be an effective instrument of self-regulation.

Various developments in the past few years have made it necessary to modify the “Swiss Code”. The revised version takes into account the changes that have resulted from Article 95 (3) of the Federal Constitution. It emphasises in particular the concept of sustainable corporate success as the lodestar of sensible “corporate social responsibility”. It also prescribes specific modifications to the composition of the Board of Directors (including representation of women) and to risk management (incl. compliance). The “Swiss Code” provides companies with recommendations on designing their corporate governance and information that go beyond what is stipulated by law. It also ensures that companies retain their organisational flexibility. This has proven to be an important locational advantage of Switzerland. Each company should retain the option of putting its own ideas on structuring and organisation into practice. However, if their corporate governance practices deviate from the recommendations of the “Swiss Code”, they now have to provide a suitable explanation (principle of “comply or explain”).

"Swiss Code" has served as a guideline for Corporate Governance since the year 2002 and has been a significant influence on the development of corporations. The chan-ging environment has made it necessary for the "Swiss Code" to be amended following the first revision in 2007. economiesuisse will publicly present the proposed amendments by the end of June, and invites any interested parties to give their comments on them.

Download PDF:
Swiss Code
Compliance