Investment projects by foreign firms in Switzerland increased 25% in 2020, as the pandemic decelerated momentum in the majority of Europe.

Research by audit companies and EY showed that with 91 projects last year, Switzerland is in 14th place in the European rankings in regard to foreign investment, a fall of three places from 2019.

In contrast, elsewhere in Europe, foreign investment projects declined 13% in 2020 to 5,578. According to EY: “Even in 2009, after the financial crisis, there was no such collapse. Like Switzerland, some countries such as Austria, Poland and Turkey nevertheless attracted more investment projects than in 2019.”

“The (coronavirus) pandemic caused a kind of shock wave across Europe in early 2020, with austerity measures and the temporary halt of many investment projects,” stated Michael Messerli, Head of Strategy and Transactions at EY. “But in the second half of the year, the economy picked up everywhere – sometimes even surprisingly quickly – and the investment context has recovered,” he added.

It is predominantly German firms that have moved investments to Switzerland, followed by U.S. investment projects in second place, whilst “British investor interest has declined markedly”. Italy only has a small amount of investment projects in Switzerland.

Furthermore, Swiss investment projects overseas were almost the same in 2019 (258) as the year before (256).

Germany is registered as the number one location for Swiss firms, taking over from France, followed by Spain and the UK, with each having a third of investment projects.

Taking into account Europe’s €750 billion recovery plan, coupled with the U.S. and its massive financial aid schemes, this should appeal to a substantial amount of investment projects.

EY added that in regard to Switzerland, it will have to “position itself as an economic hub and place of sustainable investment and regularly monitor and adapt the regulatory framework”.

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