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Western Switzerland welcomed 92 new foreign companies in 2018

The Greater Geneva Bern area (GGBa), together with the economic development offices of its six member cantons, contributed to the establishment of 92 new foreign companies in Western Switzerland in 2018.

Infographics on the number of established companies
The GGBa contributes to strengthening the local ecosystem through the establishment of value-creating companies.

Western Switzerland maintains its strong appeal for foreign enterprises. In a joint effort, the GGBa and the cantonal economic development offices supported in 2018 the establishment of 92 companies in the region. These newly established companies, mostly active in high-tech sectors such as life sciences, robotics and fintech, are expected to create 712 jobs over the next three years. The rising number of evaluation visits – 351 by 283 companies, as some visited more than one canton – also testifies to the attractiveness of Western Switzerland as a business location.

From the world to Western Switzerland

Among the 92 newcomers are coding school Le Wagon and e-health start-up Colnech Health, both from France; U.S. company WatchBox, specialized in luxury and watchmaking; global nonprofit startup Epic Foundation; medical and analytical technology company Trajan Scientific and Medical from Australia; and Chinese shipping group COSCO.

Focusing on future technologies

In 2018, the GGBa carried out specific promotion and prospecting activities in several sectors that are very promising for Western Switzerland, including drones and blockchain. It also worked with Swiss innovation stakeholders, such as CSEM, Idiap and PhytoArk, to strengthen the region’s positioning as a destination of choice for high-tech companies.

A new office in Shenzhen

Present in Shanghai since its inception in 2010, in March 2018 the GGBa inaugurated a new hub in Shenzhen, southern China. The Shenzhen region is regarded as the new Silicon Valley, with a multitude of high-potential start-ups, high-tech heavyweights and an ecosystem of venture capitalists. “The context is favorable to attracting Chinese companies,” said GGBa Executive Director Thomas Bohn in a press release, “with particularly good bilateral relations between Switzerland and China, and the unparalleled dynamism of the companies from the Shenzhen region.”

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