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Study on the competitiveness of Chemistry Pharma Life Sciences 2023

Dossiers - Competitiveness

Study on the competitiveness of Chemistry Pharma Life Sciences 2023


The competitiveness of the Swiss chemical and pharmaceutical industry is among the highest in the world. According to the Global Industry Competitiveness Index 2023, it ranks third behind Ireland and the USA. This year, the thematic focus is on regulations that hinder or enable our member companies to make a relevant contribution to the major challenges of our time.

The Swiss chemical, pharmaceutical and life sciences industries continue to be among the world leaders in terms of their international competitiveness. This is shown by the "Global Industry Competitiveness Index" study conducted by the economic research institute BAK Economics. It measures competitiveness based on four fields: "Performance", "Market position and performance", "Innovation and technology leadership" and "Location quality". Switzerland ranks third in terms of competitiveness in 2023, just behind Ireland and the USA.

Switzerland with a balanced profile of strengths

Compared to the USA (rank 2) and Ireland (rank 1), Switzerland is characterised by an exceptionally balanced profile of strengths and shows no weaknesses in any of the four domains. Switzerland performs particularly well in terms of "performance" (rank 1), "innovation and technology leadership" (rank 3) and "quality of location" (rank 2). The improvement of one place in the area of innovation is particularly pleasing, as the position has risen in all indicators with the exception of digitalisation. Switzerland retains its fourth place in "Market position and performance" and, as in 2022, is only beaten by Ireland, the USA and China.

The focus topic analysed general economic regulations as well as regulations in the pharmaceutical and chemical sectors. General regulations in Switzerland are largely satisfactory, but there is room for improvement in areas such as product market conditions, FDI regulations, e-government and business friendliness.

Regulation with challenges and opportunities

In terms of regulation in the pharmaceutical sector, there are positive developments in the approval of medicines, but there is also room for improvement, particularly with regards to advanced therapy medicinal products (ATMPs) and digitalisation. The Swiss chemical industry is facing challenges due to EU bans on chemicals. It can benefit from a risk-based approach and independent national chemicals legislation to safeguard its competitiveness.


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