The Zurich economic region benefits sustainably from its location marketing - Greater Zurich Area

Greater Zurich Area AG

14.09.2022, Zurich - The location marketing of the Greater Zurich Area AG (GZA) and its partners in the member cantons makes a positive contribution to the "qualitative and sustainable development" of the Zurich economic area. This is the conclusion of an expert report by the consulting firm EY, which was published today. From 2009-2021, almost ten thousand new jobs were directly created by foreign companies. It is estimated that several tens of thousands of jobs were indirectly created through multiplier effects, especially in the respective ecosystems. In addition to additional tax revenue, the settlements have a positive effect on the innovative strength and competitiveness of the economic area.

The President of the GZA Foundation and Zurich Economics Director, Carmen Walker Späh, is very satisfied with the EY report on the settlement success of the GZA: "The international competition for the best companies and talents has been fierce for years. It is therefore very gratifying that our proactive and cross-cantonal location marketing is having a positive impact on the development of our shared greater Zurich economic area."

Key messages from the EY report:

Almost 10,000 new jobs since 2009: In the period 2018-2021, 445 companies from abroad were settled in the Greater Zurich Area as a result of location marketing. These have created 2,014 new jobs. In the entire period from 2009-2021, 9,426 net new jobs were directly created. Due to a so-called multiplier effect of these generally very qualified new jobs, EY assumes that tens of thousands of jobs were indirectly created in the economic area as a result of the settlements.

Sustainable settlement success through direct acquisition: Of the 445 companies that settled between 2018-2021, 90% were still active in the Greater Zurich Area at the end of 2021. The survival rate is significantly higher than the average of all companies founded in Switzerland. This is 70% two years after the company was founded and 60% after five years. EY therefore describes the settlement result as "very sustainable". The majority (almost 70%) of all settlements came about through direct contact with the respective companies by the GZA abroad or through recommendations from the networks set up by the GZA.

High consistency: Despite annual fluctuations and the coronavirus pandemic, an average of 111 companies per year were relocated between 2018-2021. This is a significant increase compared to the previous period (2014-2027) with an average of 92 settlements per year.

Strong international focus: 73% of the companies located between 2018-2021 have a range of activities that go beyond Switzerland, 63% beyond Europe. A higher internationality of the company usually drives the requirements profile of the employees and thus the skills and the average wage level, which has a positive effect on the created tax base. The settled companies thus make a significant economic contribution to the development of the Greater Zurich Area metropolitan region.

Great importance of the topic of sustainability and ESG: When specifically addressing companies abroad, the GZA also takes their ESG criteria into account. An initial inventory by EY therefore shows that the companies located there attach great importance to the topic of sustainability and ESG: more than a quarter of the companies surveyed already have at least one sustainability goal.

Substantial tax income despite lower tax rates: The new settlements in the Greater Zurich Area economic region in the 2018-2021 period brought tax income (individual taxes on income and wealth as well as corporate taxes; excluding federal taxes) of CHF 57 million, which is slightly above the level of the last period 2014-2017 (CHF 55 million).

1 franc invested brings 7.3 new tax francs: For the combined period 2009-2021, the total costs of the public sector that can be directly charged to the location marketing (investments in the GZA and costs of the employees of the public bodies working in the location marketing) of CHF 89 million are new tax income of around CHF 647 million vs. In the medium term, every franc invested in location marketing generates around 7.3 francs in additional tax income.

Analysis by EY allows a longer-term view of location marketing

On behalf of the "Greater Zurich Area Location Marketing" foundation, the consulting firm EY analyzed for the third time after 2014 and 2018 the results of location marketing by the operational Greater Zurich Area AG (GZA) and its cantonal and municipal partners. In addition to the analysis of the GZA activity in the period from 2018-2021, comparisons with the previous periods (2009-2013 and 2014-2017) as well as informative statements for the combined period from 2009-2021 and thus to a medium to long-term effect of the do location marketing.

In these "politically and economically uncertain times" (pandemic, war in Ukraine, energy crisis, etc.), EY recognizes a strong strategic need for international companies to adapt and also describes this as an "opportunity for the Greater Zurich Area economic area". However, the need for explanation of the advantages of the location has also increased - EY therefore considers the proactive and focused location strategy of the GZA to be "very valuable and important".

Balz Hösly, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Greater Zurich Area AG (GZA), Tel. 044 254 99 73,
Reto Sidler, Senior Advisor Communication, Greater Zurich Area AG (GZA), Tel. 079 201 83 07,

Note: This article was translated from German to English by an online translator.

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