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SWI – the international service of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Since 1999, has fulfilled the federal government’s mandate to distribute information about Switzerland internationally, supplementing the online offerings of the radio and television stations of the SBC. Today, the international service is directed above all at an international audience interested in Switzerland, as well as at Swiss citizens living abroad.

Articles by Swissinfo

Chinese companies choose Switzerland over US and UK to raise money overseas

22 days ago

Zurich has less-demanding requirements over the transparency of company audits © Keystone / Walter Bieri
Chinese companies are flocking to Switzerland to raise capital after being discouraged from listing in the US by geopolitical tensions and in Britain by tougher audit standards.
Nine Chinese companies floated in Zurich last year, raising $3.2 billion (CHF3 billion) in the European country, according to SIX, the operator of the Swiss stock market. That far outstrips the $470 million they raised in New York, data from Dealogic stated.

Their shift of focus to Switzerland comes in response to months of tensions between Beijing and Washington over standards for Chinese companies on US markets. The US sought greater access to listed companies’ financial audits but

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Former top Credit Suisse shareholder Harris Associates sells out of bank

24 days ago

© Keystone / Michael Buholzer One of Credit Suisse’s longest-standing shareholders has sold its entire stake in the scandal-hit Swiss bank after losing patience with its strategy amid persistent losses and a client exodus. US investment manager Harris Associates, whose deputy chair and chief investment officer David Herro was for years among the Swiss bank’s …

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Swiss banks accused of hiding data behind secrecy laws

February 20, 2023

For journalists and historian, Swiss banking data remains behind locked doors. © Keystone / Gaetan Bally

Swiss banking secrecy used to be the bane of foreign countries trying to catch tax cheats. Now it’s the turn of Swiss journalists and historians to cry foul of laws that can hinder their work.

When not covering fintech, cryptocurrencies, blockchain, banks and trade,’s business correspondent can be found playing cricket on various grounds in Switzerland – including the frozen lake of St Moritz.
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| English Department

The Bank Secrecy Act was tightened in 2015 following a spate of stolen data being bought by foreign tax authorities.
+ Bank secrecy vs freedom of the press
Financial historians complain that banks now

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Switzerland sees surge in numbers of foreign workers

February 18, 2023

The number of new foreign workers moving to Switzerland on long-term contracts increased by a quarter last year compared to 2021, according to official statistics.
In 2022, 166,919 foreign workers immigrated to Switzerland, comprising 76,286 people (+15%) for temporary work and 90,633 workers (+26%) on longer contracts.
+ Switzerland’s allure for wealthy foreigners
The increase in longer-term stays was driven by job vacancies mainly in the industrial, construction and service sectors, such as consulting and IT, hospitality and healthcare.
“The higher demand for workers is an expression of the dynamic recovery of the domestic and foreign economy as well as the catch-up effects after the corona pandemic,” stated the Federal Statistical Office on Thursday.

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Hefty fines against Swiss pharma giants lifted

February 17, 2023

Age-related macular degeneration is an eye disease that can blur your central vision. It happens when aging causes damage to the macula — the part of the eye that controls sharp, straight-ahead vision. (Symbolic photo) Keystone / Martin Ruetschi
An appeals court in France has overturned a record fine imposed by the French competition authority against the Swiss pharmaceutical companies Novartis and Roche.
The verdict was announced by a court in Paris on Thursday.
Both firms were given a fine totaling €444 million (CHF438.9 million) in 2020 for following allegedly abusive practices, notably in the sale of the eye disease drug Lucentis at the expense of the Avastin drug treatment, which is up to 30 times cheaper.
Novartis was accused of conducting a communication

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Glencore sees earnings reach new highs in 2022

February 16, 2023

Coal piled up at a thermal power plant in Berlin. Glencore says it benefited from large coal price moves last year. Keystone / Clemens Bilan
Profits at Swiss mining and trading group Glencore last year were boosted by the explosion in commodity prices. Thanks to a more than threefold increase in net profit, the Zug-based giant wants to double its shareholders’ remuneration, in particular through a share buyback.
“The unprecedented developments in global energy markets were material drivers for both our marketing and industrial businesses,” said CEO Gary Nagle in a statement on Wednesday, underlining the record profitability achieved by the group in the past financial year.
+ How the Ukraine war impacted Swiss commodities traders
According to unaudited figures,

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Swiss government plans to strengthen ties with Asia-Pacific region

February 15, 2023

The government wants to boost relations with ASEAN countries (Archive photo from 2017 with Swiss foreign minister and representatives from ASEAN countries). © Keystone / Peter Klaunzer

The Swiss government has for the first time adopted a regional strategy for the Asia-Pacific region for the period 2023-2026.
The move takes into account the growing importance of the southeast Asia region and complements the government’s China strategy, according to a government statement published on Wednesday.
The 11 countries that make up the region together form the fifth largest economy in the world. Their natural and cultural wealth, as well as their economic potential, represent opportunities for Switzerland to diversify its relations on the Asian continent, the

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Six numbers that show why Credit Suisse has little leeway

February 15, 2023

Under pressure: Credit Suisse headquarters in Zurich. © Keystone / Michael Buholzer

Disappointing results leave no more room for accidents as the bank carries out restructuring.
It has been a year since Axel Lehmann took over as chair of accident-prone Credit Suisse and about half that since Ulrich Körner became chief executive. But they have yet to stem the problems at Switzerland’s second-biggest bank, caused by a succession of historic scandals and mismanaged risk – from the blow-up of the Archegos family office to the Greensill supply chain finance affair.

Anyone hoping for uplifting signs in Credit Suisse’s annual results announcement last week will have struggled to discern them. Many of the data points were weak. Six were downright horrible, or at

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Quantum technology enjoys first commercial successes

February 14, 2023

Nicolas Gisin in his lab at the University of Geneva in 2013. The president of the new Swiss Quantum Commission is also co-founder of ID Quantique, which markets quantum systems for encrypting computer messages. Keystone / Salvatore Di Nolfi

Quantum physics is moving out of the lab and into the marketplace. Switzerland, a strong researcher in this field, doesn’t want to miss out and is launching its own quantum initiative. For now, though, it will have to make do without Europe.

After some years in the regional print and broadcast media in French Switzerland, in 2000 I joined Radio Swiss International, which then became Since then I have been writing (and producing short videos) on a variety of subjects, from politics to business, and

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Swiss pharma industry wants to reduce dependence on Asia

February 14, 2023

Swiss chemists are running low on some medication Keystone / Expa/ Stefanie Oberhauser

The Swiss pharmaceutical industry should be less dependent on active ingredients from Asia, says the president of the industry umbrella organisation, pharmaSuisse. Martine Ruggli has called for new drug companies to be built in Europe.
If a drug runs out in Switzerland, it’s not available in the whole of Europe “in an extreme situation like the present one”, she said. With Europe, Switzerland must now prepare for the future, Ruggli said in an interview with newspaper Blick on Monday.
She pointed out that the only European company for antibiotics, for example, is in Austria. Building up new locations would take time, she said, but was possible. “Sources need to be

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Switzerland’s ‘cash initiative’ – what’s at stake?

February 13, 2023

Swiss citizens look set to vote on a people’s initiative to try to ensure their economy never becomes cashless. What do the campaigners behind the idea really want?

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Cash is widely used in Switzerland, much more so than in many other countries. In Sweden, only 9% of people still pay with notes and coins; in the United States the figure is around 60%. Meanwhile, 97% of people in Switzerland still keep some cash at home or in their wallets.
But some Swiss citizens are worried about this cashless trend, and the Swiss franc could well become a hot political issue again. Campaigners have collected enough signatures to try to force a nationwide vote to ensure the Swiss National Bank and government always maintain a sufficient

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Shortage of workers cited as top obstacle to Swiss economy

February 13, 2023

© Keystone / Christian Beutler The president of the Swiss Employers’ Association wants to increase the potential workforce in Switzerland by 300,000 people. To achieve this, women, young people, the elderly and refugees must be integrated into the labour market or be given more work, said Valentin Vogt on Swiss public radio SRF on Saturday. …

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Where did it all go wrong for Credit Suisse?

February 12, 2023

Widespread analysis of what went wrong at Credit Suisse converges on a constant theme: an international bank that lost touch with its Swiss roots, led by people who put profits ahead of prudence.
This has resulted in massive financial losses and a restructuring drive that will see 9,000 staff lose their jobs.

Credit Suisse CEO Ulrich Körner is leading a major restructuring of the bank. © Keystone / Michael Buholzer

What happened?
Credit Suisse has lurched from one scandal to another: spying on a former employee, a criminal conviction for allowing drug dealers to launder money, entanglement in a Mozambique corruption case, a chairman violating Covid lockdown rules and a massive leak of client data to the media.
+ The financial consequences for Credit Suisse in

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Commodities trader Trafigura stung by ‘CHF500 million fraud’

February 12, 2023

[caption id="attachment_994215" align="alignleft" width="400"] The Swiss commodities trader is taking legal action. Keystone / Martial Trezzini[/caption]
Swiss commodities trading company Trafigura says it has been defrauded to the tune of $577 million (CHF530 million) by fake nickel shipments.
The firm has launched legal action against a Dubai-based metals trader and the group of companies he runs out of the Middle East emirate.

“The fraud concerns containerised nickel in transit during 2022 and involved misrepresentation and presentation of a variety of false documentation,” Trafigura said in a statement on Thursday.

Random checks of these containers found they contained no nickel at all. Most of the shipment is still in transit awaiting inspection.

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Public sector workers strike in western Switzerland for higher wages

February 11, 2023

Demonstrators in Lausanne on February 9: Vaud is the third-largest (by population) of Switzerland’s 26 cantons. © Keystone/ Valentin Flauraud
Around 3,500 public sector workers in the western Swiss canton of Vaud took part in a strike on Thursday. They are calling for wage indexation to keep up with inflation and rising living costs.
Thursday’s demonstration in Lausanne is the fourth in two months by public sector workers. It comes after an even bigger gathering in the city on January 31 (some 5,000 people, according to police) and another similar-sized event on January 24.
Demonstrators came from various public sector areas, notably teachers, nurses and police officers. The Vaud education department said 1,500 teachers across the canton had taken part in

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Not enough clarity in recycling sector, Swiss oversight body says

February 10, 2023

Won’t go to waste: but plastic in Switzerland is not always so well recycled. Keystone / Urs Flueeler

The Federal Audit Office says there needs to be more transparency around the various fees and taxes which fund Switzerland’s recycling system.
The auditors wrote on Wednesday that CHF176 million ($192 million) in recycling taxes and fees were collected in 2019: these included state-organised prepaid disposal fees on glass and batteries, and voluntary, private sector-run contributions on PET packaging, aluminium, tin cans, electrical appliances and light bulbs.
However, consumers do not have enough information about whether their waste is “simply collected, burned, or actually recycled”, the auditors say.
+ How (well) the Swiss recycling system works
They also

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SWISS to resume regular passenger flights to China

February 8, 2023

SWISS will again operate regular flights to Shanghai from March 3 and boost services to Hong Kong. © Keystone/Christian Beutler

Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) says it will resume passenger flights to the Chinese city of Shanghai early next month following an easing of travel restrictions.
In a first step, the national flag carrier will schedule one flight a week before increasing the frequency to three flights a week in April.
SWISS stopped operating regular passenger flights to mainland China last April as a result of travel restrictions introduced by the Chinese authorities during the Covid pandemic.
SWISS said it was also boosting weekly airlinks to Hong Kong from five to six.
However, there are currently no plans to resume regular passenger flights

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The most critical questions about the Swiss central bank’s huge losses

February 7, 2023

The Swiss National Bank (SNB) booked a CHF132 billion ($143 billion) loss in 2022 and suspended profit-sharing transfers to the Confederation and cantons. What does that mean exactly? And how does the SNB fare in international comparison?
Last year, the SNB lost more money than ever before. And it is not alone: central banks around the world also recorded heavy losses. As a consequence, money from central banks in many countries ceased to flow to governments.
Have other central banks suspended profit sharing?
Yes. Besides the SNB, the central banks of Germany and The Netherlands will not pay out profits this year, along with most regional branches of the United States Federal Reserve. Britain even expects £230 billion (CHF260 billion) to flow in the opposite

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Russian supermarket shelves are full of Nestlé products like Nescafé: report

February 6, 2023

Illustrative photo taken at the Nestlé Shop in Kemptthal, Switzerland. Soguel
In response to Russia’s war on Ukraine, the Swiss multinational Nestlé announced that it would reduce its range of product in Russia to “essential” goods such as baby milk. But supermarket shelves in Moscow paint a different picture, according to the NZZ.
The world’s largest food and beverage company continues to sell and produce a wide range of food products, as well as recruit staff in Russia, the Swiss German-language newspaper reported on Saturday.
The newspaper’s Moscow correspondent observed a broad range of well-known products from the Swiss consumer goods group at Russian supermarket shelves. The article also noted that there is no shortage of foreign

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Swisscom revises policy to boost privacy of customers

February 6, 2023

© Keystone / Ennio Leanza Switzerland’s largest telecommunications operator, Swisscom, is changing its approach to data disclosure in order better protect its customers. The operator reserves the right, after examination, to “seal” the electronic correspondence (e-mails) of its customers until a court has decided otherwise, the NZZ am Sonntag newspaper reported. To date, the public prosecutor’s office …

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How to access information in censored countries

February 5, 2023

Keystone / Richard Jones

China, Russia, Iran and other countries with dictatorships and strict regimes are increasingly blocking access to the free internet and are using the web to collect data. This guide explains how to avoid online censorship and use the internet safely and anonymously.

A Swiss-American journalist mainly covering education, migration and youth issues – plus the occasional story on cheese, given her roots in Switzerland and Wisconsin. She also produces podcasts and works on the social media team.
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| Editorial Board

How to access blocked websites: proxy servers and VPNs
Static proxy servers used to be the answer – IP addresses that forwarded internet traffic. But now, many censors have become aware of such

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Banking secrecy exception proposed for Swiss media

February 5, 2023

Swiss journalists say they have less freedom to report on the financial sector than counterparts in other countries. © Keystone / Gaetan Bally

Swiss journalists could in future receive leaked bank data without fear of criminal prosecution if a parliamentary motion is incorporated in banking secrecy legislation.
On Thursday the government supported a proposal from the House of Representatives that the media would be exempt from prosecution if their reporting is deemed in ‘good faith’.
+ Read how the UN condemns Swiss ‘criminalisation of journalism’
Swiss media have been banned from accepting leaked bank data since the banking secrecy act was tightened up in 2015.
The law change has been condemned by Reporters Without Borders and the United Nations for

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Swiss medicine sales to Russia hit 30-year high

January 25, 2023

Pharmaceutical exports in nominal terms increased by 40% since the Ukraine war began. However, export volume increased only slightly. © Keystone / Christian Beutler
Swiss exports of pharmaceuticals to Russia, which are not subject to sanctions, reached a 30-year record last year, buoyed by high prices.

Roche, Novartis and the other Swiss pharma companies brought in CHF2.1 billion ($2.3 billion) from the export of pharmaceuticals to Russia in 2022.
In 2021 the Swiss pharma industry sold drugs worth CHF1.5 billion to Russia. This means sales increased by 40% since Russia invaded Ukraine. This is based on an analysis by the Swiss News Agency Keystone-SDA of foreign trade data released by the Swiss customs office on Tuesday.
In contrast to sales, export volume of

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Why can’t the Swiss National Bank go bankrupt?

January 24, 2023

The Swiss National Bank (SNB) will make a loss of CHF132 billion in 2022, and distribution of profits to the confederation and the cantons will be suspended. What does this mean for the stability of the SNB and what would happen if it faces another large loss?
The SNB still has money. However, not quite as much as at the beginning of last year. Because of last year’s loss, its equity capital has fallen from CHF198 billion to CHF66 billion. In the event of another large loss, the SNB is threatened with over-indebtedness.
What would that mean for the SNB? And why, from an economic point of view, could the SNB pay out a profit to the confederation and the cantons again this year? We clarify these questions in the latest Geldcast update.

[embedded content]

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China-Switzerland flights struggle to resume after three years

January 23, 2023

The return of Chinese tourists to Switzerland is not expected just yet. Keystone / Mark R. Cristino
Geneva airport was expected to see the return of direct flights from China next week, but the scheduled Air China flights of January 26 and February 2 have been cancelled due to lack of passengers, reports Swiss public broadcaster RTS.

China reopened its borders on January 8 after three years of tough pandemic restrictions. However, there were not enough bookings to maintain the first connections between Beijing and Geneva, the Chinese airline confirmed.
The next Geneva-Beijing flight is scheduled for February 9. Air China says that bookings should allow it to maintain this route.
SWISS International Airlines has not yet decided when it will resume passenger

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Three Swiss firms ranked among top 100 family businesses

January 20, 2023

Pharmaceuticals giant Roche, whose towers dominate the Basel skyline, is the top ranked Swiss company in this listing. © Keystone / Michael Buholzer
Swiss pharmaceuticals group Roche, logistics company Kühne+Nagel and luxury goods group Richemont are among the world’s top 100 family businesses, according to a study by EY Switzerland.
Sixteen Swiss-based family businesses are among the world’s top 500, a figure that has remained stable over the past two years, according to the index published on Tuesday by consultancy firm EY Switzerland and the University of St Gallen.
Roche was ranked 16th in the listing, as it was in 2021, while Kühne+Nagel moved up to 45th (2021: 66) and Richemont to 79th place (2021: 101).
The other 13 Swiss firms ranked in the top 500 are:

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Crypto crash fails to deliver death blow to Swiss ambitions

January 19, 2023

The crypto sector appears to be suffering an existential crisis, shedding jobs, client funds and credibility. Switzerland looks to have escaped with a glancing blow – if industry data is anything to go by.
The collapse of the Terra stablecoin and the FTX crypto exchange last year sent negative ripples across the globe.
Big name crypto firms such as the Coinbase and Huobi exchanges, Silvergate bank and Genesis are laying off large chunks of staff. That’s to avoid the same fate as the bankrupt FTX, Three Arrows Capital and Voyager.Switzerland, as the self-styled ‘Crypto Nation’, hasn’t seen anything so spectacular, according to the latest research by Zug-based venture capital company CV VC.
Its ‘Top 50’ report says 183 blockchain-related companies went bust last

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WEF: Oxfam urges windfall tax on food companies

January 17, 2023

Food and energy are among the industries dominated by a small number of players that have effective oligopolies, and the lack of competition allows them to keep prices high, Oxfam says Keystone / Alessandro Della Bella
Food companies making big profits as inflation has surged should face windfall taxes to help cut global inequality, anti-poverty group Oxfam said on Monday as the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) gets underway in the Swiss mountain resort of Davos.

That’s one of the ideas in a report, Survival of the Richest, by Oxfam International, which has sought for a decade to highlight at WEF inequality.
The report, which aims to provoke discussions on panels featuring corporate and government leaders this week, said the world has been beset

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UBS eyes US and China expansion

January 16, 2023

Kelleher spent 30 years at US bank Morgan Stanley before joining the UBS board in April 2022. Keystone/gaetan Bally
UBS chairman Colm Kelleher says Switzerland’s largest bank needs to expand its wealth management business in the US to compete with the big Wall Street banks.
“Wealthy Americans like to be with a bank like UBS,” Kelleher told the Neue Zürcher Zeitung in an interview. “UBS has a phenomenal reputation in wealth management.” Kelleher was elected UBS chairman in April 2022 after some 30 years at US bank Morgan Stanley.
A key priority for the bank, said Kelleher, is boosting its wealth management business, specifically with ultra-high-net-worth clients, and institutional investors in the US.
“Unlike 25 years ago, it’s not about becoming American to beat

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Switzerland and US sign deal on pharmaceutical supply chain

January 15, 2023

The agreement comes as the complexities in global pharmaceutical supply chains increase, making them more burdensome to monitor. Keystone / Martin Ruetschi
US and Swiss authorities have agreed to share inspection documents on pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities in a move to improve efficiency and safety in the drug supply chain.
According to the Office of the US Trade Representative, the Good Manufacturing Practice Mutual Recognition Agreement signed on Thursday allows authorities from both countries to share documents from their routine inspections of pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities, which will reduce unnecessary costs and duplication of efforts.
This agreement comes as the complexities of foreign production and sourcing in supply chains for medicine

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