Swiss companies: International success during the pandemic

How international Swiss companies can succeed while doing business in the new normal 

An almost worldwide lockdown and extensive travel restrictions have had a severe drag on global trade since the spring. At the 2020 Entrepreneur Conference, Simone Wyss Fedele, CEO of Switzerland Global Enterprise (S-GE), will reveal how international SMEs can stabilize their business in an environment of extreme volatility and uncertainty and succeed in the new normal.

International Swiss companies hit hard

Swiss foreign trade makes an important contribution to the country's overall economic performance; roughly 40 percent of Switzerland's GDP is generated abroad.

That makes Switzerland one of the world's national economies with the highest dependency on international trade. When the coronavirus pandemic broke out, Swiss companies that do business mainly with other countries, over 90 percent of which are SMEs, were suddenly confronted with new and major challenges.

Volatility and uncertainty on the rise

All around the world, restrictions were imposed on travel, a central pillar of global commerce, as a means of fighting the pandemic. As of today, airlines have not returned to normal operations, borders remain closed to specialists and businesspeople, and time-consuming quarantine obligations have been imposed. Business trips therefore involve numerous obstacles and a lack of a reliable basis for planning – especially in recent weeks, with Europe having been hit by the second wave.

Global trade cannot be expected to return completely to normal anytime soon – at least not until an effective vaccine has reached the market. Add to that a global environment that has been made more and more volatile and uncertain for years now on account of geopolitical tensions and growing protectionism. For companies, that means they need to find a way to navigate the new normal.

Keys to success during the pandemic

In spite of all the difficulties, there are reasons to be optimistic. Swiss companies that mainly do business with other countries have gone through crises before, demonstrating in the past that they have the ability to overcome troubled times or even take advantage of them as an opportunity. What does it take to be successful in the new normal? What opportunities are presenting themselves to international Swiss companies, and what keys to success should they rely on?

Simone Wyss Fedele, CEO of Switzerland Global Enterprise (S-GE), the official Swiss organization for promoting exports and foreign direct investment, will discuss these questions during her talk at Credit Suisse's 3rd Entrepreneur Conference in early November. She will also show companies what kind of assistance from S-GE and its network of partners they can count on.

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