The Canton of Berne has been focussing on building up its financial services sector as part of its drive to make the canton better known as an ideal base for business. One major initiative is an investment of €1.65 million to upgrade the operations of the Cantonal Bank.
Urs Gasche, State Councillor for Finance for the Canton of Berne, explains, “Finance is not the most prominent sector in the Canton, and it has suffered in these current economic times, but the fact that it is so small has allowed us to protect and help this sector during the crisis. Our investment in the Cantonal Bank is aimed at increasing the attractiveness of the canton as a business base and helping local companies as well as ensuring customers of our support. The bank is now a very self-sufficient and vital motor of economic activities here in Berne.”
Strategic location in the heart of Europe
As a business location, Berne has it all: a very strategic location right in the heart of Europe, an international atmosphere with many foreign companies and residents from all over the world, a bilingual region where both German and French are spoken, exceptional quality of life, access to river transportation, a very lively cultural scene, and much more. In addition, the city is Switzerland’s capital, a key advantage for business services providers and companies working with the political sector. “People come here to do business but they also discover that Berne has a lot to offer as a place to live for individuals and families,” Urs Gasche says.
Major infrastructure investments in progress
The State Council for Finance has many projects in the works aimed at further stimulating the canton’s economic growth. These include significant improvements to the canton’s infrastructure. The rail network is being upgraded through a €65.8 million to €131.73 million investment, while around €2.31 billion is being invested in upgrading the road network, including building a ring road around Bern’s city centre. Urs Gasche concludes, “We want to show the world what the Canton of Berne has to offer. We welcome foreign direct investment to help us fund our current projects and to add to the strength of our business sector. We are working to improve the city’s image worldwide by showing people that Bern is an exceptional place to live and work.”