Table of contents
Your Ideal Location
The Canton of Zurich is a business, research and finance centre in one. It is also an important driver of growth for the Swiss economy. Zurich’s more than 116,000 companies form a dynamic network made up of large international corporations, innovative medium-sized companies and highly specialised small enterprises. With an annual GDP volume of over 120 billion Swiss francs – which is more than twenty per cent of Switzerland’s GDP – Zurich accounts for the greatest economic performance and value added in Switzerland.
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- A host of Zurich-based companies, research & educational institutions, specialised organisations, public sector institutions and creative personalities are contributing to shaping the future through innovation.
- The Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH) has kept its top position and is still the highest-ranking university outside the English-speaking world. Four other Swiss universities are also ranked within the world’s top 100.
- Zurich has held a top position in international quality of life and standard of living rankings for many years.
- The City of Zurich took the top slot in the renowned Mercer Quality of Living Survey for seven years in a row. It has held second place since 2009.
The Mercer Survey compares 230 cities based on 39 evaluation criteria, including:
- Political and economic situation
- Medical and health considerations
- Consumer goods
- Schools and education
- Housing and natural environment
- In a new index which, for the first time, is also taking inclusive economic and social prosperity into account, Zurich is ranked in first place of 113 cities. The »Prosperity and Inclusion in Cities Seal and Awards Index” measures not only economic growth but also chiefly the quality of economic growth and which share different population segments have in it. Zurich scored particularly well in the factors work, housing, recreation, safety, and education. Vienna ranks in second place, followed by Copenhagen, Luxembourg, and Helsinki.
- According to a national ranking of Swiss cities, Zurich takes the top slot and Winterthur is in third place.
- Beautifully situated on the shores of Lake Zurich and within close proximity of the Swiss Alps, Zurich is not only an outstanding business location, but also a highly attractive place to live with a wide choice of recreation areas and abundant opportunities for leisure activities.
- Zurich’s international airport is just a few miles from the city centre and can be reached by train, S-train or car in just 10-30 minutes. There are non-stop flights to more than 206 destinations departing from Zurich: 19 to North America, eight to South and Central America, eight to the Near and Middle East, 15 to the Far East, 15 to Africa, and 141 to other European destinations.
- Public transport in Zurich is fast, clean, safe, punctual and easy to use. A uniform fare system applies to the entire coordinated network of trains, S-trains, cableways, buses, boats and trams throughout the region.
- Zurich is a major railway junction offering fast connections within Switzerland and to Europe’s major cities. There are direct trains from Zurich to the Swiss cities of Basel, Bern, and Geneva departing every thirty minutes. Furthermore, the high-speed trains ICE (Germany), TGV (France) and Pendolino (Italy) run several times a day from and to Zurich.
- Switzerland has one of the densest motorway networks in the world, making Zurich easy to reach by car as well.
- Zurich offers an attractive tax climate thanks to tax competition.
- Taxes are levied on three levels in Switzerland (federal, cantonal and municipal). To clarify the tax situation of your company, contact the Division of Business and Economic Development or get in touch with the Cantonal Tax Office directly.
- The Swiss labour market offers one of the most liberal labour laws in Europe and has a low level of regulations.
- Few conflicts between employers and employees, which translates into high productivity: 1st place in the WEF Global Competitiveness Report 2017-2018: »Labor Market Efficiency”.
- The dual-track education system (apprenticeship) that includes highly relevant on-the-job vocational training. As a result, unemployment, especially youth unemployment, is low.
- A good overview of the Swiss labour market is provided in the handbook for investors entitled »Switzerland as a Business Location” published by Switzerland Global Enterprise (SGE).