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.
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.
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 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.