Free Magazine Subscription
State Councillor for Economy for the Canton of Basel-Stadt
Basel Ranked Switzerland’s Fastest Growing Economy
Basel has earned the distinction of being the Swiss region with the fastest growing economy for the past 15 years. Christoph Brutschin, State Councillor for Economy for the Canton of Basel-Stadt, explains, “We have seen the most market growth of all Swiss regions, which is especially impressive because Switzerland is already at such a high level. Typically, we have an average growth of some 3% to 4% per annum across growth cycles. Basel’s growth is generally double the Swiss average.”
Basel is performing well even during the current global financial crisis, although it does not expect to register growth this year, its growth rate is just marginally negative, unlike in other Swiss regions and in other countries.
According to Christoph Brutschin, Basel’s stellar economic performance is primarily the result of its thriving life sciences sector. Banking and finance make up Basel-Stadt’s second biggest sector, followed by logistics, including its ports and airport activities. An additional plus for Basel is that “new technologybased sectors such as nanotechnology emerge due to the strong industrial base and the deep technological know-how in the region,” the State Councillor says.
The Canton of Basel-Stadt owns or has major stakes in the Basler Kantonalbank, the Port of Switzerland, the local utility, MCH Group (formerly MCH Swiss Exhibition), universities and hospitals, mostly giving autonomy to these organisations to ensure maximum efficiency.
Providing support for local companies
The cantonal government places a high priority on supporting the local private sector through attractive framework conditions, mixed office/lab space for start-ups and support for an effective knowledge transfer between companies and universities. Government is committed to being responsive to local enterprises and is keen to discuss key issues directly with CEOs and other managers.
The canton can also broker building space for companies looking to enlarge their operations. “Many companies based here are currently expanding, which shows that they believe in the future and capabilities of the Canton of Basel-Stadt. There is a pool of expertise and know-how present in the canton, which gives high-tech companies more added value than any fi nancial incentives we could provide,” Christoph Brutschin says.
Two major private sector investors in Basel are Roche and Novartis, both of which are currently expanding and upgrading their headquarters and centres for research and development in Basel. As Christoph Brutschin points out, these well-established and other newly arrived investors are attracted by Basel’s very highly skilled workforce, international environment, strategic location and value added attractions for business. Christoph Brutschin welcomes contacts with business leaders looking into opportunities in this dynamic Swiss canton.