Daniel Küng: Osec – The centre of excellence for Swiss foreign trade promotion

Osec, the official Swiss foreign trade pro­­moter, informs, advises and assists companies with international business projects. To that effect, Osec interconnects compa­­nies, know-how carriers and private as well as public organizations worldwide, resulting in effective foreign trade promotion.

Since 2008, in addition to export promo­­tion and also on behalf of the State Sec­­retariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), Osec has taken on the national location promotion for Switzerland as well as im­­port and investment promotion for select developing and transition countries.

As a part of its foreign trade promotion activities, Osec coordinates the “Busi­ness Network Switzerland”, a dense network with experienced dom­estic and foreign partners.
In Switzerland, Osec works together with cantonal industry, commerce, trade and economic chambers as well as cantonal departments of economic affairs and economic development organizations.
Abroad, the network includes “Swiss Busi­­ness Hubs” (SBH) and bilateral trade boards. In Switzerland and overseas, Osec maintains a worldwide “Pool of Experts” with diversified know-how in the field of exports and internationalization.

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Worldwide competency thanks to “Swiss Business Hubs”

“Swiss Business Hubs” put local compe­tency centres at the customers’ disposal in growth and key markets.
By now, there are 16 such SBHs in Brazil, China, Ger­many, France, Great Britain, India, Italy, Japan, Austria, Po­land, Russia, Spain, Sin­gapore (ASEAN region), South Africa, the USA and the United Arab Emirates (GCC region). With close contacts to relevant players and with their know-how in specific mar­­kets, they support Swiss companies ex­­panding abroad.

Location promotion: one of Osec’s important tasks

The federation and cantons are aware of the significance of a strong and ad­­van­tageous economic environment. While the cantonal promoters look after the interests of the cantons, Osec or­­ga­nizes and coordinates activities to promote foreign investments in Switzer­land. Osec and its partners offer potential in­­vestors effective and unbureaucratic help.

The concept: Location Step-by-Step

Within the framework of the comprehensive “Location Step-by-Step” concept, Osec, still in conjunction with the cantons, provides foreign investors with various services. These include initial information, basic consultation and de­­tailed consultation.

The goal of the initial information is to disseminate up-to-date and relevant information on the location of Switzer­land. This is transmitted in the form
of substantial documentation via the internet, the Investor Hotline and Media Tours, or in person during information events.

Through the basic consultation, Osec helps foreign investors find answers to very specific, individual questions. Here, Osec cooperates closely with various private enterprise partners and the network of cantonal economic development organizations.

Osec’s basic consultation includes the following services: Osec offers potential investors support in carrying out an initial evaluation.
The location promoter establishes contacts with cantonal economic promoters, which helps the potential investor put together a quick shortlist of possible settlement locations.

 

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If the investor would like to get a better pic­­ture of the “business location” of Switzerland, Osec will be happy to support them in their fact-finding mission by putting together a suit­­able travel plan. Upon request, local guides can be arranged for.

With the detailed consultation, professional analyses and verified contacts, Osec puts interested investors on a successful path to the location of Swit­zerland.

Services received during the detailed consultation are rendered by private experts on a fee basis.
The analyses and results from the personal consultation lead to implementing the strat­­egy products of “Location Step-by-Step”. As part of the process, Osec takes care of any initial arrangements in Switzer­land.

The modular structure of the three strategy products ensures maximum flexibility and individuality: legal ad­­vice, tax advice, and financial advice.

Once a foreign company’s settlement plans have been fine-tuned by means of the strategy products or the company has already settled in Switzer­land, the implementation products of “Location Step-by-Step” come into play. A company can choose from a variety of pro­­fessional services ac­­cor­­ding to its needs: moving advice, real estate advice or recruitment advice.

Daniel-Küng-005Daniel Küng has been CEO of Osec, the Swiss promoter of foreign trade, since 2004. Küng studied at the Uni­versity of St. Gallen (HSG). In 1980, he started working for Mercedes-Benz do Brasil in São Paulo. In 1982, he became a found­ing executive partner of the service so­­ciety Agrosuisse Lda. Five years later, he founded the Response Group in Lisbon, a settlement promotion company in Portugal.