Switzerland is often seen as an oasis of calm, and rightly so, with the stability and security that characterize the country. Its army has not seen combat for 170 years. Politically, the Swiss model is based on consensus in order to satisfy a maximum of diverging opinions. Seven federal councilors from the main political parties of the country share executive power. They each take a turn at the presidency of the country, guaranteeing a productive continuity.
The currency – the Swiss franc (CHF) – is also a synonym for stability and has acquired safe-haven status. The labor market meanwhile is also known for its lack of volatility. Conflicts between unions and owners are generally settled around the negotiating table. Strikes are rare, and the last general strike was almost a century ago.
Security and Trust
Days lost to strikes by European comparison
(per year, per 1,000 employees, 2009–2015)
United Kingdom 23
Although it is not a member of the European Union, Switzerland has signed several agreements ensuring its total integration into the European market with its 520 million consumers. The State implements various measures to create an unruffled environment for businesses, most notably a complete protection system for intellectual property on a national and an international level. It also makes life easier for entrepreneurs, for example with its new drug approval procedure which is one of the quickest in the world. The authorities are also involved in the creation of digital safes designed to host companies’ sensitive data by converting former army bunkers into "data farms".
Flexibility for companies in recruiting/firing employees
Hong Kong 1
Furthermore, Switzerland’s small size and its highly decentralized political system mean that it is important to know that the Council of State (the Government and ministers on a cantonal level) is highly accessible and always ready to listen to entrepreneurs. Each member of the Council of State, in their respective department, makes a point of being approachable to the business community.