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Chemical-pharmaceutical industry plays in the Champions League

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Chemical-pharmaceutical industry plays in the Champions League

When it comes to competitiveness, the chemical-pharmaceutical industry ranks among the world's elite. But this leading position of Switzerland’s biggest export and research industry is jeopardised by the initiative to limit the free movement of persons and the responsible business initiative.


The first-time “Global Industry Competitiveness Index” study carried out by BAK Economics shows that the Swiss chemical and pharmaceutical industries can hold their own in the global competition with their innovative products. Chemistry Pharma Life Sciences rank second behind the US for competitiveness and are thus among the best in the world when it comes to performance, market position, innovation capacity and technological leadership. Their intensive research activities make a special contribution to the success of these industries in the global competition.

Switzerland as a centre of innovation and production must be protected
From a political viewpoint, the framework conditions which a country offers its corporate sector serve as the linchpin for competitiveness. The initiative for the restriction of the free movement of persons scheduled for a referendum in September is a frontal attack against Switzerland as a business centre as it affects several key locational factors. Its adoption will likely lead to the termination of the bilateral agreements I with the EU, which can be expected to have a severe impact on Switzerland as an innovation and production location. The country’s biggest export and research industry is dependent on access to the European market, highly qualified specialists and top researchers from Europe, as well as the research agreement with the EU. The restriction initiative thus affects three key aspects of our competitiveness and has to be categorically rejected,” says Stephan Mumenthaler, Director of scienceindustries.

Switzerland's locational quality must be strengthened
BAK Economics’ analysis paints a differentiated picture when it comes to locational quality. Ranked in second place, Switzerland is highly attractive as a pro-business location, but only comes in mid-field in terms of business regulation. Politics can make an important contribution to reducing the costs of trade regulation by abolishing industrial tariffs. The responsible business initiative scheduled for a referendum in November would also severely damage Switzerland’s attractiveness as a business location. Although the business sector agrees with its objectives, the initiative completely overshoots the target and must be rejected to pave the way for the Federal Council's counterproposal.

The rampant spread of the corona pandemic across the globe has highlighted the importance of social and political framework conditions. The foundation on which Switzerland’s industrial success rests must be treated with care to ensure the long-term preservation of Switzerland’s prosperity.

You can find BAK Economics’ study about the competitiveness of the Swiss chemical-pharmaceutical industry in our Dossier Competitiveness.


Download press release (PDF)

Further information:

Stephan Mumenthaler, Director, T +41 44 368 17 20

Marcel Sennhauser, Head of Communications & Public Affairs, T +41 44 368 17 44


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