Industry 4.0: Is Switzerland Ready? Part 1

in Industry insights, 21.01.2016

For decades, Switzerland has proven that it can meet global challenges. Now, amid worldwide digital transformation, Switzerland’s task is to create a framework of conditions that ensure it remains a top, competitive business location.

The question is, which framework conditions will make or break Switzerland as a competitive business location in a world where the Fourth Industrial Revolution is becoming a reality?

Availability of specialized staff

While digitization is often associated with job cuts, new technologies also create new jobs and can dramatically increase the demand for specialists. Switzerland’s dual education system offers excellent conditions for meeting this demand with highly qualified staff. Going forward, to best supply the demand for expertise, even more collaboration between economic, research and educational institutions is required.

Another important aspect is access to a flexible pool of foreign specialists. Popular initiatives, such as the “Stop Mass Immigration Initiative” or the Enforcement Initiative, which isolate Switzerland or jeopardize the stable legal environment, threaten our ability to stay competitive.

Regulatory complexity

Increasing regulation – and specifically its augmenting complexity – hinder entrepreneurial initiatives. Switzerland must define legal and tax conditions which will encourage a business-friendly climate offering planning security. Corporate Tax Reform III could be one milestone in this direction. Nonetheless, accepting international legal norms must be done within reason in order not to jeopardize Switzerland’s competitiveness.

In Part 2, I’m taking take a look at these challenges from a business perspective.

 

Further information:

The WEF Annual Meeting 2016 in Davos brought together leaders who have the power to make changes, achieve mutual understanding and push action forward. See the trending topics on WEFLIVE.