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 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 UNICE (Union of European Industry and Employers Associations) 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) and acts as secretary for 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
– Economic and monetary policies
– Public finance and taxation
– International economic relations
– Education and research
– Energy and environmental policies
– Competition policy
– Legal issues
In addition, economiesuisse handles issues pertaining to the following policy areas: regional and structural policies, transport, post, telecommunications and information society, issues concerning small and medium-sized companies, export promotion and financing, agriculture and security policy.
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 activly participating in public referendums. economiesuisse works closely with other organizations with similar interests to achieve all possible synergies.
– Demands concerning the tax policy and the new federal finance system
– European integration issues
– The «e-commerce» offensive
– Infrastructure liberalization needs
– Effective climate protection
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 Competition Commission, the Commission for Export and Investment Risk Guarantees, the Consultative Commission for Foreign Economic Affairs, the Customs Experts' Commission, the Forum for Small and Medium-sized Companies, «Presence Switzerland», 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 400 billion Swiss francs and a per capita income of SFr 46,000, 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.More information about the principles of Conduct
Who we are
Pascal Gentinetta, Chairman of the Executive Board
It 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.
After the European Union Innovation Scoreboard 2013 ranked Switzerland once again at the top of the most innovative countries in Europe the Swiss model could play an increasing role as a point of reference for Europe in the years to come. On 24 April 2013 economiesuisse organizes, together with SwissCore and the Mission of Switzerland in Brussels, an information briefing to discuss with European policy makers how to best foster innovation. more »
Despite various unfavourable indicators, Switzerland’s economy held up well in 2012 and defied both the euro crisis and the strength of the Swiss franc. But unfortunately, this difficult environment is unlikely to improve in 2013. The umbrella organisation for the Swiss business sector – economiesuisse – has noted with some concern that the will on the part of many of Europe’s heavily indebted states to implement reforms is already waning again. Under these circumstances, in real terms the growth of Switzerland’s gross domestic product is unlikely to exceed 0.6 percent in 2013, though the unemployment rate is expected to remain low.
The debt brake will be ten years old in 2013. It is the Swiss government’s most important financial policy instrument. It has led to the successful consolidation of the federal budget and is popular beyond the country's borders. As a transparent, binding yet flexible instrument, it possesses the properties that are essential for a rule-based financial policy. In other countries it is used as a model for similar safeguards, but in Switzerland it has faced a certain amount of criticism, even though it has proved to be effective in times of economic boom as well as in crises. Calls for adjustments are placing the further reduction of debt in question, and there are even some explicit calls for a withdrawal from the present-day stability policy and a return to new borrowing. This brochure focuses on the findings and results obtained with the debt brake, and discusses the various criticisms. A separate issue of “dossierpolitik” deals with the extension of the debt brake mechanism to social insurance.
On 22 July 1972 Switzerland signed together with Austria, Sweden, Portugal and Island the free trade agreement with the European Union (formerly known as EEC). Switzerland, represented by Federal Councillor Ernst Brugger, signed in the “Palais d’Egmont” in Brussels the treaty which laid the basis for a long-term and successful relationship between the two economic partners.
The Free Trade Agreement was concluded 40 years ago, yet it’s impacts continue to be widely felt today: Goods worth around 1 billion Swiss francs cross the border between Switzerland and the EU every day – goods that are used in a broad variety of industries and business sectors, as well as by EU and Swiss consumers in their homes and at their workplace. To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the free trade agreement between Switzerland and the EU economiesuisse published in cooperation with European business federation BUSINESSEUROPE a brochure with contributions from European leaders and politicians. Furthermore the brochure shows how the scope of trade between Switzerland and the EU, and how companies as well as consumers benefit from it on a daily basis.
Today, Switzerland is after the USA and China the third biggest trade partner of the European Union, leaving behind countries such as Russia, Japan or India. The yearly trade surplus of 40 billion EURO in goods and services makes Switzerland an attractive trade partner of the European Union. Pragmatic bilateral agreements made this fruitful economic relation possible. Moreover, Switzerland shares with the EU a vivid interest in a strong and competitive Europe.
On the eve of the Conference of Directors General of European Industrial Federations which has been organised this year by economiesuisse in Geneva, BUSINESSEUROPE and economiesuisse celebrated the 40th anniversary of the free-trade agreement between Switzerland and the EU and presented a joint brochure to mark the occasion. In addition, the Danish business federation presented the results of its “Global Benchmark Report” on the competitiveness of European countries. Each Director General highlighted the importance of free trade for Europe in order to improve its ability to compete in a globalised environment.
The Free Trade Agreement between Switzerland and the European Union was concluded 40 years ago, yet its impacts continue to be widely felt today. Goods worth around one billion Swiss francs cross the border between Switzerland and the EU every day. Our new brochure presents a variety of everyday situations to illustrate the scope of trade between Switzerland and the EU, and how companies as well as consumers benefit from it on a daily basis.
The confederate councils have settled their last disagreements of the «too big to fail»-bill. The Swiss parliament is widely following the recommendations of the commission of experts and has moved away from any inappropriate regulations. more »