COVID-19: How to keep your international business going

Always up to date during the crisis: that is why we have compiled this compendium for you. The updates are now becoming less frequent, but the information remains accessible to you. We are now making this compendium available to you as a reference work; the last update was on 23th July 2020.

Travel and trade restrictions

Overview of travel and trade restrictions

An overview of travel and trade restrictions in the 23 most relevant markets for Swiss exporters.

Global overview

Switzerland Global Enterprise has a strong network of professionals in local markets. They know precisely what their local situation is and can bring the right specialist on board if need be. Get in touch with our country experts directly.

FAQ

We are ready for your questions

Our international team supports you with answers to operative problems and strategic questions. Quick, free of charge and safe, also during this pandemic: via chat, e-mail or phone

News from the markets
Webinars

Webinars

Webinar

How to enter the Japanese medtech market

Medtech in Japan
Japan is the fastest aging society. Its medical device market with an average growth rate of approx. 5% is therefore an interesting export target...
Webinar

How MEM companies can deal with travel restrictions

Travel restrictions for MEM companies
While the borders to some countries are reopening, difficulties are still to be expected in other markets. What travel restrictions still apply i...
Webinar

China’s cybersecurity law regulations

Cybersecurity China
Understanding Cybersecurity risks and paths to compliance is becoming increasingly important for doing business in China. Our experts and partner...
Webinar

South Africa: Medtech Business Opportunities

Medtech South Africa
Would you like to get some insights about new opportunities in the Medtech sector to grow your business in South-Africa? Watch our recorded webin...
Webinar

Central Europe: Opportunities for your Supply Chain Optimization

Polen
Have you been considering optimizing your network of buiness partners? Companies in the region of Central and Eastern Europe have a vast potentia...
Webinar

Japan: Digitization triggered by the crisis

Digitization
The COVID-19 crisis is speeding up Japan’s digitization. How does the crisis change business models and which opportunities arise for Swiss compa...
Webinar

ASEAN: How to boost your business through E-Commerce

E-Commerce
Is your company exporting to the ASEAN region and would you like to know how to use E-Commerce to your advantage? Watch the recorded webinar and ...
Webinar

Doing business with Italy in times of crisis

View over Rome
Italy was one of the first countries who had to deal with the COVID-19 emergency. How are the Italian economy and international businesses affect...
Webinar

Covid-19 Insights Germany: the crisis as an opportunity

E-Commerce as an opportunity
Where is the market in Germany heading and which opportunities does the current situation provide to Swiss companies exporting to Germany? Watch ...
Webinar

USA: Economic outlook and support for Swiss subsidiaries

NYC
Get a practical overview from USA experienced companies and experts: what’s the current impact of COVID-19 on the U.S. economy, what support can ...
Webinar

South Korea: Goods and passenger transport

Cargo ship
Are we going back to «normal»? In our webinar you can find out about the consequences for Swiss companies that transport goods and passengers to ...

Benefit from our market expertise

On our country pages we have compiled the most important information and links. Contact our team in Switzerland at any time for free information.

Tools and ressources

Tools and ressources for SMEs

Financial support

At the moment we are receiving numerous questions about the support of the economy due to the spread of the coronavirus. Here you will find an overview with relevant links and contact persons, which we update continuously:

  • Many companies are currently experiencing financial difficulties. During its meeting on 25 March 2020, the Federal Council addressed the issue of liquidity assistance for SMEs, which should have rapid access to credit facilities to bridge liquidity shortfalls caused by the new coronavirus pandemic. Companies are advised to apply for the credit facilities at their main bank. The corresponding ordinance enters into force on 26 March 2020, from which date credit applications can be submitted.
  • Credits of up to CHF 500,000 will be fully secured by the Confederation, and will be paid out quickly and with the minimum of bureaucracy. Zero interest will be charged. The credit application form is available on the website "covid19.easygov.swiss".
  • The cantons have put additional measures into place to support the economy. You can find the right addresses here.
  • Start-ups that were founded before 1.3.2020 and have not yet recorded turnover can also benefit from this.  As a supplement to the federal COVID-19 credits and cantonal support measures, the Confederation is planning to use the system of guarantees to shield start-ups from coronavirus-related insolvency.
  • On this overview page the Confederation is providing information on measures being planned. The most recent package of measures is described in the media release on March 20. SECO has set up a hotline where companies can obtain information: +41 58 462 0 66, Monday to Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 8.00 p.m. You can also send a message using the contact form or via email (coronavirus@seco.admin.ch).
  • Switzerland Global Enterprise supports Swiss SMEs in their international business. In these difficult times we and our partner network support our customers with targeted digital information and advice – such as this article – country-specific consulting and practical support in the target countries.

A clear distinction must be made between the above-mentioned guarantee of liquidity through loans and compensation for loss of earnings, which does not have to be repaid:  Companies can apply for short-time work, the self-employed can apply for compensation for loss of earnings of up to CHF 196 per day. Practical tip: Cantonal forms can also be used for both short-time work and compensation for loss of earnings.

 

PwC's COVID 19 Navigator and regular webinars

  • PwC's digital tool shows where your company stands in the face of Covid-19. This applies to crisis management and responsiveness; workforce; operations & supply chain; finance & liquidity; strategy & brand.
  • PwC's team of specialists has created a series of questions to help you understand and assess the potential impact on your business. They also hold regular webinars on COVID-19. 

BDO’s liquidity planning tool

  • Liquidity is essential for the survival of any company. This is especially true in the challenging and uncertain environment we currently find ourselves in. Working with a careful liquidity plan enables your finance function to identify liquidity bottlenecks at an earlier stage, take appropriate measures and inform creditors. And this creates trust both internally and externally.
  • To support you through this difficult period, BDO has created an Excel-based tool that offers clear liquidity planning at a glance and delivers the information you really need. "Liq Tool" empowers you to plan your companys liquidity easily, quickly and cost-effectively for the coming weeks and months. BDO is also offering a 20% discount on the advisory service for members of S-GE. Visit the BDO COVID-19 webpage to discover more about our liquidity planning tool and download our guide to liquidity and financing.

Credit Suisse: staying solvent, five tips for liquidity

Deloitte: measures in Europe under a magnifying glass

Swissmem: order referral service

  • Company supply chains can be affected by unforeseeable events such as the coronavirus, storm damage, delivery bottlenecks and so on.
    The order referral service facilitates a closer exchange between companies. Its aim is to refer available resources, services and products to the companies that need them in order to overcome delivery bottlenecks. This option is open to Swissmem and non-Swissmem companies from Switzerland and abroad.

Guidelines by International SOS

Our strategic partner International SOS, the world's leading provider of health and safety services for business travel and secondments, has produced a practical quick guide covering the following topics:

  • What is the coronavirus and how can infection be prevented?
  • What do your local employees need to know?
  • What should you consider when planning your trip?

Assessments of the situation and tips for business travellers can be found on the website. 

Learn from the International SOS network of experts how to resume business travel and what you should bear in mind. Register for the webinar here

FAQ by SERV: Insurance cover for business disruptions due to COVID-19

Which industries will experience a sustained upswing?

Assessment by BDO: industries have to evaluate their distribution channels. Especially those that do not pursue a dual strategy need to include online service. The following industries could benefit from an upswing:

  • Manufacturers of medicines, hygiene products, respirators, medical equipment
  • Online supermarkets such as LeShop, Coop@home, and suppliers such as Farmy, that advertise local products and do home delivery. Farmyard shops could also be sustainable winners, as the focus is once again shifting back to regionalism.
  • Online shops like Digitec/Galaxus, Brack, Microspot, Amazon, Ebay.
  • Delivery services like Uber or Eat.ch
  • Information technology/video conferencing providers such as Zoom or Skype.
  • Payment apps like Twint
  • Possibly also insurance companies that insure pandemic risks
  • 5G internet with high performance: this is considered a utility like electricity and water and the population wants high reliability and performance
  • Internet-based courses (languages, fitness or similar)
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