With its high quality of life and low, liberal rates of taxation, Grisons is becoming increasingly attractive to export-oriented businesses around the world. Moreover, Grisons is also the main tourist destination in Switzerland, with more than three million visitors each year. Companies and tourists appreciate the many local advantages: Grisons is international, offers a high standard of living and combines tradition with modernity.
A string of internationally regarded corporations, including EMS Chemie, Hamilton, Würth, Hoppe, Trumpf and Baxter, now have headquarters or subsidiaries in the region. Grisons as an economic location is deeply attractive to export-driven industrial companies.
The canton's economic and organisational credentials are unlikely to be harmed by the presence of the internationally renowned and annual World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos. The forum, which was founded in 1974, invites leading business executives from across the world to discuss issues surrounding economic growth, sustainability and social development.
Of the country's 26 cantons, Grisons has the fifth-lowest rate of individual taxation and a rate of corporate tax which, though average among the Swiss federal states, is still far lower than that of other countries. The law also enables Grisons to grant companies 100% cantonal tax relief for up to ten years. In some areas it is possible to grant relief on federal taxes as well.
Grisons is looking for businesses who are export-oriented, want to create well-qualified jobs and have high added value and a low environmental impact. The companies can take note from the cluster of successful industries that have set up shop in the canton during the past few years: life sciences, chemicals and plastics through to ICT, tool construction and electronics.
In addition to a supply-side tax policy, the canton offers other important incentives to new businesses. For start-up and spin-off companies, Grisons can also provide coaching services, guidance for those seeking appropriate financing, supply of the right infrastructure and a firm foundation for innovation, research and development.
For instance, there is already a research centre known as CSEM for nanomedicine, which can provide great opportunities for scientists of all ages. And there is also the AO Foundation, which is known worldwide as a very important institute at the forefront of surgical developments.
Moving an entire company across borders is not a simple matter, so having proper help and guidance can make a big difference.
A well-developed learning environment is fundamental to providing the highly qualified, technically sophisticated workforce that a company needs.
In 2009's 'IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook' report, Switzerland was ranked third overall for its educational infrastructure, with Grisons playing an important part in this achievement.
The University of Applied Sciences (HTW Chur) and nearby institutions in Buchs, Rapperswil, Vaduz, St Gallen and Zurich, all provide a steady stream of expert labour for the benefit of the local industry, as well as the wider public good.
The canton's aim is to supply, through education, whatever is needed for the local industry and to improve the knowledge transfer from science to industry.
Various surveys, including one by campaignfit (a spin-off of the University of Zurich), rank Grisons always in the top three of the country for a range of well-being indicators, including urbanity, uniqueness, family friendly, quality of life and 'Swissness'.
Grisons provides good private and international schools for children and teenagers. It also boasts up to 25% lower real estate costs compared with other metropolitan areas in the country. A great place to live for business people and their families.
Economic Development and Tourism Agency
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