Consultant Northern Europe / ICT Subject Matter Expert, Switzerland Global Enterprise
Switzerland by no means just produces cheese, chocolate and watches. Measured in gross value added, the ICT industry is the country’s fifth largest sector — and it has considerable export potential.
With sales of 27 billion Francs in Switzerland alone, ICT is now the fifth largest sector in the Swiss economy. As an export nation, Switzerland may still be best known for products like chocolate (exports of 800 million Francs p.a.), but software exports now already account for more than three billion Francs every year. That figure is set to rise: Swiss IT products are increasingly present on the world market. And demand for them is similarly increasing, not least under the impact of current events regarding data security, for example. With Mount10, data can be transported safely to the Alps near the Swiss capital Berne and stored physically in a bomb-proof computing center operated by the company Secure Infostore AG. Another provider destined for success on the global market is Noser Engineering which programmed large sections of Android for Google. Magnolia is responsible for the technology behind the presentation of online content from Sony, Al Arabiya and the US Navy. The intelligent security systems for mining vehicles of SAFEmine guarantee safety in the mining industry and won the S-GE Export Award 2013. Coresystems AG offers cloud solutions for mobile data access and secure data management. The company opened eight branches in rapid succession and now already employs about 140 people.
To ensure that Swiss companies do not have to find their way on the worldwide markets unassisted, Switzerland Global Enterprises (S-GE) offers support services. As an agency operating under the auspices of the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), S-GE assists companies, in particular SMEs, in identifying and accessing new business potential worldwide.
It may seem that it should be easier for ICT products to export as traditional barriers such storage facilities do not apply. This is not entirely true. Exporters need to be familiar with the legal requirements in their target markets (e.g. value added tax or product liability), understand the target consumer behavior and know how much potential customers are prepared to spend for comparable products. The ExportHelp team at S-GE answers technical inquiries and a team of consultants with industry and country-specific know-how supports SMEs from the first identification of suitable markets, through detailed market studies to the identification and procurement of local partners. In addition, S-GE’s mandate is to enhance the prestige of Swiss ICT both at home and abroad. To achieve that goal, S-GE cooperates closely with industry associations, international industry experts and 19 Swiss Business Hubs worldwide. These Business Hubs operate in their respective regions with a total of 70 employees.
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