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Switzerland wants to be a haven for Indian startups, not ‘black money’

According to a statement from the Swiss government, the Federal Council has asked the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research to examine the country’s startup ecosystem.

 

Indian startups

Switzerland is looking to bolster its appeal as a preferred location for Indian startups through a number of globally competitive measures, even as it battles perception as a haven for alleged black money.

The alpine nation, famous for its banks that are allegedly used to park ill-gotten wealth, is high on technology in various sectors, experts said. Startups then can be instrumental in charting the country’s future economic growth trajectory.

According to a statement from the Swiss government, the Federal Council has asked the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research to examine the country’s startup ecosystem. While this ecosystem is generally in good shape, there is room for improvement in a number of areas, including technology transfer, internationalization, access to skilled labor, and financing.

The Federal Council has now tasked the EAER and the Federal Department of Justice and Police to examine further measures in these areas in greater detail.

In 2022

The findings are expected to be presented in June 2022.

The India Angle With India becoming a global hub of entrepreneurs seeking to tap the startup route, industry experts said that Switzerland can emerge as a major destination for Indians looking to set up their enterprises in a global financial centre.

Several investment bankers and international law firms also said they are being approached by potential startup founders from India to examine Switzerland’s potential as a startup location, following the recent measures announced by the Swiss government.

Himanshu, founder and chief executive officer of IDDI Investments’ parent firm ‘Switzerland For You SA’, said that the Swiss government’s decision can go a long way in promoting the Swiss economy in a sustainable way.

Rapidly changing business environment

“Given the dynamics of the rapidly changing business environment, it is essential to constantly update the ecosystem with a view to attracting young talents and budding entrepreneurs from not only other parts of Europe but across the globe,” said the Indian-origin businessman, who is settled in Geneva and goes only by his first name.

“Once the review is completed by the EAER and the report is out, it is expected that the Swiss authorities will act with double the speed to make the country’s startup ecosystem internationally competitive and also the best in the world,” he added.

Regulatory Framework

The Swiss Federal Council had first commissioned the EAER in December 2020 to check which factors are crucial for the performance of the startup ecosystem and how knowledge and technology transfer can be accelerated.

The latest report from the EAER shows that the startup ecosystem in Switzerland is generally in good shape, but there is still room for improvement in a number of areas.

“EAER is therefore proposing to the Federal Council various measures to be examined in greater detail; namely ways of optimizing technology transfer, boosting internationalization, improving access to skilled workers and honing regulation,” the Swiss government said.

In view of the fact that numerous states have launched extensive programs to support startups, measures for a more active growth strategy should also be examined in order to strengthen Switzerland’s appeal as a location for startups in the long term, it added.

To this end, the Federal Council has decided in particular to comprehensively examine the advantages and disadvantages of a Swiss innovation fund. The aim is to explore the extent to which such a fund could expand the venture capital market in Switzerland and thus improve the growth opportunities of innovative companies in Switzerland.

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