Creative Industries Switzerland
Global Development Switzerland at Red Yellow Blue (RYB)
Zurich Centre for Creative Economies (ZCCE)
In Switzerland, the Canton of Zurich is the hotspot of the creative industries, as the sector’s share of almost one third of Switzerland’s added value demonstrates. As a decisive economic factor, the creative industries and their diverse manifestations not only contribute to the high quality of life in the region, but also form an important part of the labour market in Switzerland and Greater Zurich, also for ZHdK graduates. Through its focus on the creative economies, the ZCCE extends current perspectives on the creative economy to sustainable fields beyond this traditionally subdivided sector. In this way, the ZCCE strengthens the Canton of Zurich’s pioneering role in positioning itself strategically in a global context.
This prosperous economy has low unemployment, a highly skilled labor force, a world class banking and finance sector, and high-tech manufacturing; in the last ten years, Switzerland has brought its economic practices largely into conformity with the EU’s in order to gain access to the Union’s Single Market and to enhance the country’s international competitiveness.
Economy – overview:
Switzerland, a country that espouses neutrality, is a prosperous and modern market economy with low unemployment, a highly skilled labor force, and a per capita GDP among the highest in the world. Switzerland’s economy benefits from a highly developed service sector, led by financial services, and a manufacturing industry that specializes in high-technology, knowledge-based production. Its economic and political stability, transparent legal system, exceptional infrastructure, efficient capital markets, and low corporate tax rates also make Switzerland one of the world’s most competitive economies.
The Swiss have brought their economic practices largely into conformity with the EU’s to gain access to the Union’s Single Market and enhance the country’s international competitiveness. Some trade protectionism remains, however, particularly for its small agricultural sector. The fate of the Swiss economy is tightly linked to that of its neighbors in the euro zone, which purchases half of Swiss exports. The global financial crisis of 2008 and resulting economic downturn in 2009 stalled demand for Swiss exports and put Switzerland into a recession. During this period, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) implemented a zero-interest rate policy to boost the economy, as well as to prevent appreciation of the franc, and Switzerland’s economy began to recover in 2010.
The sovereign debt crises unfolding in neighboring euro-zone countries, however, coupled with economic instability in Russia and other Eastern European economies drove up demand for the Swiss franc by investors seeking a safehaven currency. In January 2015, the SNB abandoned the Swiss franc’s peg to the euro, roiling global currency markets and making active SNB intervention a necessary hallmark of present-day Swiss monetary policy. The independent SNB has upheld its zero interest rate policy and conducted major market interventions to prevent further appreciation of the Swiss franc, but parliamentarians have urged it to do more to weaken the currency. The franc’s strength has made Swiss exports less competitive and weakened the country’s growth outlook; GDP growth fell below 2% per year from 2011 through 2017.
In recent years, Switzerland has responded to increasing pressure from neighboring countries and trading partners to reform its banking secrecy laws, by agreeing to conform to OECD regulations on administrative assistance in tax matters, including tax evasion. The Swiss Government has also renegotiated its double taxation agreements with numerous countries, including the US, to incorporate OECD standards.