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Fri, Jul 30, 2004 - Page 4 News List

Switzerland grows closer with Taiwan through trade, investment and tourism

By Jost Feer, Director of Trade Officeof Swiss Industries Taipei

Swiss companies have been active investors in Taiwan for many years. The first branch office of a Swiss company on Taiwan was established back in 1949. Over the years, more than 100 companies have followed and the number keeps rising. The latest one is a company in the field of coating equipment for the flat-panel industry. Switzerland ranks fourth among European investors in Taiwan, after the Netherlands, United Kingdom, and Germany.

About 15 % of the Swiss companies in Taiwan are engaged in manufacturing such as chemicals, machines, electronics/electrical goods, mainly for exports. Trading/forwarding companies have set strong roots on the island and are dominantly represented in their respective fields. Owing to the liberalization of the service industry, banks, insurance and forwarding companies could be added to the list. Some of the companies have started to use Taiwan as a base for their regional business activities (e.g. marketing/sales and after-sales-services) and this trend is likely to continue.

So far, only some 10 Taiwanese companies have set foot in Switzerland. With increasing sales and marketing activities of Taiwanese companies in Europe, there are tremendous opportunities ahead to set up business operations in Switzerland such as European headquarters.

Switzerland offers excellent advantages because of its central location in Europe, established communication network, links with the EU, multi-lingual workforce, low taxes and other benefits. Furthermore, its proximity to some of the finest universities and research institutes gives companies a considerable advantage to put efforts into innovative product development, particularly in IT and biotechnology.

Switzerland has become a very popular destination for Taiwanese tourists on their itinerary through Europe. After all, Switzerland can offer foreign visitors a quality package of services including memorable holidays, first-class gastronomy, world-class cultural events and -- foremost business and investment and opportunities. Come and see for yourself!

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