How to attract foreign companies in Switzerland and retain them?


Friday 28 April, 2017 (14:15 - 20:00) and Saturday 29 April, 2017 (9:00 - 12:30) 




To attract and retain foreign companies is an important activity and it is not only the job of state-financed economic development agencies.

Many private companies can and do play a decisive role in attracting foreign companies; by doing so, these private companies often convert occasional foreign-based clients into regular Swiss-based clients.

Press coverage 

• Article in Le Temps, 28 June, 2015

• Interview in Dukascopy TV

What opinion leaders think about this course: links

• Claude Béglé, Conseiller national, President of Symbioswiss, and former President of La Poste Suisse
Rolf Grobet, Directeur, Office de Promotion des Industries et des Technologies

Georges Kotrotsios, CSEM, Vice President

Daniel Gremaud, Senior Partner, PwC, Tax and Legal Services

• Dr. Benoît Dubuis, Director Foundation Campus Biotech Geneva; Development Director Wyss Center

• Laurent Borella, Responsable exécutif, TechnoArk / Sierre




Philippe Monnier was Executive Director (2010-2015) of the Greater Geneva Bern area (GGBa), in charge of attracting foreign companies to Western Switzerland. During this period, a  record number of more than 300 companies have been attracted. He is also the author of a book about economic development that has received a major media coverage.

Currently, Philippe works for an array of foreign companies based in (or about to come to) Switzerland as Board Member or Strategic Advisor. He also represents « Invest in Japan » in Switzerland. He is regularly interviewed by the Swiss and foreign press about economic development issues. For the business daily L'AGEFI, he regularly interviews CEO of large companies based in Switzerland. Previously, he was a senior executive at several multinational companies and lived in 10 countries (USA, Japan, China, Singapore, India, Mexico, German and French-speaking parts of Switzerland, etc.). 

Another expert (name to be confirmed) will be invited for part of the course.


Competencies acquired during the course


  • To be able to convince a foreign company to establish an affiliate in Switzerland and to stay in this country.
  • To analyze the main strengths of Switzerland and its competitors (Ireland, Netherland, Germany, Singapore, etc.).
  • To identify Switzerland’s weaknesses and to be able to mitigate them.
  • To know the details of the latest developments of the Swiss attractiveness factors (e.g. corporate tax reform 3, new immigration laws, strong franc, etc.).

Target audience

Private companies (law firms, accounting firms, banks, tax specialists, management consultants, etc.) that deal with foreign firms.

Executives at multinational companies interested in justifying their presence in Switzerland or considering establishing an affiliate in Switzerland.

Civil servants (e.g. economic developers) and politicians.

Pedagogical method

In this course, we will cover in detail the reasons why a foreign company should choose Switzerland for its new affiliate and stay in this country.


These reasons can be classified into three categories:

a) Reasons specific to key industrial sectors (or clusters) such as medtech, biotech, ICT, international trading, etc.

b) Reasons specific to functions such as European headquarters, international sales, logistics, R&D, intellectual property, procurement, etc.

 c) General and other reasons such as labor law, social security, costs, stability, taxation, regulatory aspects incl. technical norms, the “Swiss made” designation, etc.


The course material will be in English. The language of the course will be English as well unless ALL participants prefer the French language.




Prof. Michelle Bergadaà, Director of the Observatoire des Valeurs de la Stratégie et du Management (OVSM)

Practical information

Information & registration:   +41 76 355 55 45
Time and place: Friday April 28, 2017 (14:15 – 20:00) & Saturday April 29, 2017 (9:00 – 12:30), at Uni-Mail, room M 3220.
Fee: CHF 1'200.- for the OVSM Association members and CHF 1'500.- for others
Maximum number of participants: 10


D’autres acteurs de la promotion économiques seront également invités.