Switzerland's Growth Challenge

Ulrich Kohli, Alternate Member of the Governing Board

Osec Podium "Domestic Trade versus Foreign Trade", Zurich, 07.12.2005

While it is essential to remain credible when diagnosing the economic condition of Switzerland, there is no denying that our growth performance in recent years has been dismal. The growth deficit that Switzerland experienced in the 1990s was largely due to a decline in the contributions of labour and capital. Hours worked actually fell, while capital formation slowed down. More must be done in the future to encourage activity, rather than inactivity. Labour mobility must be promoted. More competition is needed in the sheltered domestic sector. Deregulation and a reduction in administrative hurdles must go on in order to raise productivity and to make Switzerland more attractive to investors. Simultaneously, international trade must be championed, comparative advantages must be further exploited, and the positive contribution of our investments abroad to Swiss national income must be fully recognised.