Switzerland is an attractive destination for foreign investors because of its economic and political stability, its transparent and fair legal system, its reliable and extensive infrastructures, and its efficient capital markets. Moreover, many tax incentives are offered by cantons (states), in order to attract companies to establish operations and invest in their jurisdictions. Some cantons go as far as to waive taxes for new firms for a period that can go up to ten years. The major laws governing foreign investment in Switzerland are the Swiss Code of Obligations, the Lex Friedrich/Koller, the Securities Law, and the Cartel Law. There is no screening of foreign investment, neither are there any sector or geographical preferences. The country experienced a marked increase in terms of FDI in-flow in recent years. However, because of the impact of the financial crisis and later the eurozone crisis, foreign investment has decreased significantly. In 2013, FDI declined by 98%, reaching only 0.2 billion USD.
|Foreign Direct Investment||2011||2012||2013|
|FDI Inward Flow (million USD)||26,590||10,238||-5,252|
|FDI Stock (million USD)||693,317||732,655||747,436|
|Performance Index*, Ranking on 181 Economies||31||-||-|
|Potential Index**, Ranking on 177 Economies||30||-||-|
|Number of Greenfield Investments***||130||131||94|
|FDI Inwards (in % of GFCF****)||19.5||8.0||-4.0|
|FDI Stock (in % of GDP)||104.3||115.0||114.8|
Source: UNCTAD - Last Available Data.
Note: * The UNCTAD Inward FDI Performance Index is Based on a Ratio of the Country's Share in Global FDI Inflows and its Share in Global GDP. ** The UNCTAD Inward FDI Potential Index is Based on 12 Economic and Structural Variables Such as GDP, Foreign Trade, FDI, Infrastructures, Energy Use, R&D, Education, Country Risk. *** Green Field Investments Are a Form of Foreign Direct Investment Where a Parent Company Starts a New Venture in a Foreign Country By Constructing New Operational Facilities From the Ground Up. **** Gross Fixed Capital Formation (GFCF) Measures the Value of Additions to Fixed Assets Purchased By Business, Government and Households Less Disposals of Fixed Assets Sold Off or Scrapped.
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Last Updates: October 2014