Flawless Operations

Switzerland stands out as an operation base thanks to three major factors. The first is infrastructure and logistics; a dense network of road, rail, and air connections combined with efficient utilities, postal services, and healthcare, ensures that the country is extremely well connected, both internally and externally. Secondly, Switzerland’s 31 free trade agreements (FTAs) with 41 partners ensure barrier-free trade with global partners. Thirdly, highly competitive corporate taxation rates mean that companies, especially those focused on innovation and R&D, can thrive. 

GGBA icons

Infrastructure and Logistics

Switzerland is closely integrated into the European transportation infrastructure thanks to a dense network of road, rail and air connections. Frequent and reliable connections guarantee the smooth and efficient transport of passengers and goods. The supply of energy, water, communication services and postal services is guaranteed at all times. A well-developed healthcare system ensures that the population has access to medical care without having to travel long distances.

With 5,323 kilometers of railways and 71,500 kilometers of roads, Switzerland has an extremely dense transportation network, allowing easy access to its neighboring countries.  For air traffic, the airports in Geneva, Zurich, Basel and Bern ensure efficient connections to European and worldwide airports.  As a result of bilateral agreements, Swiss products can be exported to the European Union and EFTA countries without paying customs duties.  The same is true for imports to Switzerland of products originating in these countries. 

Cantons highlighted are Bern, Fribourg, Vaud, Neuchâtel, Geneva and Valais – which constitute Western Switzerland and the territory covered by GGBa.


GGBA icons

Free Trade Agreements

In addition to the EFTA Convention and the Free Trade Agreement with the European Union (EU) of 1972, Switzerland currently has a network of 31 free trade agreements (FTAs) with 41 partners. Switzerland normally concludes its FTAs together with its partners Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, in the framework of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). Nevertheless, Switzerland has the possibility to enter into FTAs outside the EFTA framework as well, as it has been the case of Japan and China.

Switzerland’s extended network of FTAs results in significant customs savings and privileged access to export markets. 200 million Swiss francs are saved annually for pharma and chemical exports to Germany, France, Austria and the UK alone.

GGBA icons

Corporate Taxation

Switzerland has a modern system of taxation designed to respond to the needs of the economy. Consistent with the country’s federal structure, taxes are imposed at the federal, cantonal (state) and municipal levels. In Western Switzerland, statutory corporate tax rates are in the range of approximately 13-21%, which is highly competitive by international standards. An array of possible deductions are also available, with a focus on R&D and innovation. Additionally, companies that create jobs locally can take advantage of partial or full tax relief for up to 10 years at cantonal and communal level under certain conditions. At the federal level, an annual tax credit of CHF 95k per new job for up to 10 years can be granted in certain areas. Cantonal and federal incentives can be combined, bringing the tax rate close to zero based on IP amortization deduction and/or debt leverage.

Why do companies invest in Western Switzerland?

Skilled & Flexible Talent

Vibrant Life Sciences Environment

Ease of Setting Up a Business

Proficient Pharma Market

Successful Peer Companies

Quality of Life

The Region


HubsGoGlobal is a platform under the PharmaBoardroom brand that focuses on the competitive advantages of the Hub and its value proposition in terms of strategic, operational, financial, talent and lifestyle aspects.

PharmaBoardroom provides industry trends, news and reports from all over the world. This site is for senior professionals who want to understand local and global markets.


Greater Geneva Bern area is an initiative of the cantons of
Bern, Fribourg, Vaud, Neuchâtel, Geneva and Valais.

World Trade Center – Av. de Gratta-Paille 2
PO Box 252
1000 Lausanne 22 – Switzerland


Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this site maybe reproduced in any form or by any means, whether electronic, mechanical or otherwise including photocopying, recording or any information storage or retrieval system without prior written consent of PharmaBoardroom. While every attempt is made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this website, neither PharmaBoardroom nor the authors accept any liabilities for errors and omissions. Opinions expressed in this report are not necessarily those of the authors.

2021 © PharmaBoardroom