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5 reasons for Switzerland's success

Living in Switzerland and doing business from here means that I quite often get the question; why is Switzerland so successful? I have made a short list with 5 reasons:
    1. It’s Decentralized Democracy       
      Through direct democracy (referendums) the population of Switzerland keep politicians from extravagances and headless projects, and at the same time makes sure that necessary investments are done in e.g. infrastructure, health-service and education.

        2. A strong Culture of Mutual Trust     

        in spite of the cultural and linguistic mix there is very few conflicts and a strong feeling of common interests between cultural, linguistic and social groups in Switzerland. The reason is that the 26 Cantons have wide autonomous self-governance without centralized federal directives. This system prevents centralized “one size fit all” solutions where one group may feel they contribute more than other groups, or one region feel they are being treated unfair compared with others.

          3. Stability and Predictability    

          which is based on the strong mutual trust described in point 2. Switzerland is seen as the most stable democracy in the world. There are of course other very stable countries in the world, but they are all either “semi-democratic” or dictatorships. This is the reason Switzerland is the number 1 country on the list of countries that receive the most foreign direct investments.

            4. A strong “Work-Ethic” and Organizing Skills   

            Swiss always worked hard and consciously built an impressive infrastructure and created rich living conditions in a tough environment. A typical feature of the Swiss culture is to not spend before you can afford.

               

                5. Switzerland “Export its Culture” and “Import it’s Success”  

                with this I mean to say that the products and services that makes Switzerland affluent are all based on the characteristics described in the previous points; pharmaceutical products, nutrition, financial services, precision instruments – the common denominator is that it is all based on trust. The reason that Switzerland is the number one destination for foreign investments and international corporate headquarters is the described stability and predictability.  

                   

                   

                    

                   

                   

                   

                  Kjetil Sandermoen,

                  founder of the University of Fredericton and Sandermoen School of Business www.ufred.ca.

                  The author of the books “My Russian Wife” (Insights and reflections about being a couple with different cultural background) (translated in Russian and German), “Organisational Structure” (Making strategy happen)


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