Why did globalization turn the tide?

Switzerland is one of the winners of globalization. But world trade has stalled. And the Swiss economy? For the Zug Economy Day, the Zug Chamber of Commerce invited an economic researcher, a politician and entrepreneur to the Casino Zug theater with the question: What framework conditions lead the local economy to success?

Switzerland has neither natural resources nor much land. And yet it comes first in many areas. "We lead the Global Innovation Index and are the most competitive business location in the world," said Economics Director Silvia Thalmann. She sees the reason for the top position not only in the low taxes but above all in the dual education system and customer-oriented administration.

However, Switzerland has lost in the ranking of the best destinations for expats. While it swings out at the top in terms of salaries, it has slipped to 26th place in the family area: "We are missing day structures and crèche places," analyzed the economics director.

Andreas Umbach, President of the Zug Chamber of Commerce, warned that past successes do not necessarily mean future successes. Rather, we should continue to be open and flexible, he explained to the more than 300 people present, who listened with great interest to the exciting explanations.

Dependence on the world economy

Jan-Egbert Sturm, Director of the KOF Economic Research Center at ETH Zurich, showed that the tide had turned with the economic crisis: while global world trade was around 6.6 percent before 2008, it has since fallen to less than half. And it will continue to sink.

This does not leave our country with an export quota of 65 percent of the gross domestic product without a trace. "If the world is doing well, Switzerland is doing well too," explained the KOF director. It is the same when the world market loses momentum. Because Swiss growth is an exact reflection of global economic growth.

In order to survive despite the shrinking economic growth, Switzerland must continue to rely on its success factors such as stability and planning security, as offered by direct democracy combined with federalism, but also on open markets and enough skilled workers, as made possible by our dual education system. At the same time, Sturm advocated the free movement of people, as a static scenario shows that without immigration, Switzerland will have around 13 percent fewer people of working age in 20 years' time.

Sturm anticipated the fear that too much immigration or digitization would increase unemployment: “Figures from Great Britain show that the employment share of the population has remained stable since 1850. Not even the first industrial revolution could change that. "

What does the economy need?

According to the figures on the real economy: Under the leadership of SRF presenter Wasiliki Goutziomitros, representatives from politics, research and business discussed fears and needs relating to globalization. Good trade relations, free trade agreements, liberal labor law and good dealings with an administration that has a basic understanding of the concerns of the economy - these are guarantees of success for Jürg Werner, CEO Metall Zug AG.

Publisher and National Councilor Roger Köppel named the too many regulations as an obstacle to success and spoke of the “regulatory monster in Bern”. He called for a liberal and lean government and spoke out in favor of maintaining self-determination. Switzerland has always been confronted with foreign markets and had to conclude contracts, the historian recalled. "But we are not allowed to give up our instruments", he added with a sideways glance at the planned framework agreement with the EU.

Predictability and reliability is what Reto Furrer, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Gregor Furrer & Partner Holding AG, wants: "Every uncertainty is poison for the economy". Trade barriers prevent success - just like the release of the euro, which made Switzerland more expensive as a travel destination and thus caused a slump in tourism. He also considers the creation of structures to be very important "so that good employees want to come to Switzerland."

Focus on people

The President of the Chamber of Commerce gladly took up this concern in his closing remarks: "We have to put people at the center again." For the Zug Chamber of Commerce, Patricia Diermeier Reichardt