• The environment

NEW MOMENTUM MEANS OPPORTUNITIES AS WELL AS UNCERTAINTY

Despite facing a number of challenges, the Swiss economy is proving to be surprisingly robust—but success takes a lot of hard work.​

The economic environment continues to be challenging in heavily export-oriented Switzerland. After shockwaves last year, the euro has calmed somewhat. The current euro exchange rate continues to be problematic, however.

Businesses that are in a position to move their production abroad are increasingly doing so. For Swiss tourism, the situation remains critical. Mountain regions, in particular, have found themselves in a difficult position. Nonetheless, the city hotel industry is benefiting from the trend for city trips and a growth in seminars and meetings.

The regulatory environment is continuing to tighten. This problem does not always originate in Switzerland. Many new regulations must be adopted from abroad so the economy can continue to operate across borders. However, the drive to be a role model appears to be rather high in this area too.

The rejection of Corporate Tax Reform III has caused uncertainty among international companies domiciled in Switzerland or considering setting up a base here. The federal authorities need to swiftly present a solution that shows how Switzerland intends to meet its international obligations with the OECD and the EU, and how current legal uncertainties can be resolved.

The global economic situation is characterised by dynamism, new opportunities and uncertainty. Firstly, there is the ever-increasing level of digitisation. This offers opportunities for new business models or for adjustments to old ones. Many companies, including well-established ones, are being forced to make significant investments to stay on top of things in the long term; it remains to be seen if and when these investments will pay off.

Secondly, parties that believe they have not benefited much from globalisation are making themselves felt politically. The TTIP transatlantic free trade agreement is off the table and a number of governments now include leaders who are against open markets. This trend is leading to uncertainty. Switzerland’s open economy has no interest in a closing-off of markets. Strategic priorities must be examined accordingly.

In this energised environment, BDO offers its clients stability and security when it comes to business management. BDO has advised and supported them over the past year with a high level of commitment, client proximity and pragmatism. In consulting, BDO can help its clients tackle the challenges they face thanks to a deep understanding of client needs.