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I am currently living in Switzerland.

Switzerland has been known for decades as an attractive location for companies. Indeed there are a couple of American companies in Zürich.

What I ask myself is: Living in Zürich is really expensive (like in London), but still people come and live here. Salaries are also high, but companies still come here. Why is that so?

Is there some advantage I have by living here?

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    I hear the chocolate is very good. – MrChrister Nov 20 '10 at 17:38
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The cost of living is quite high in New York City. It has the highest CPI (Consumer Price Index) of any city in the U.S. Salaries also tend to be highest in NYC. Just about any bicycle lock sold in the U.S. has an exception in its warranty for NYC. It is the most populous American city.

So, why do people deal with all the hassles of living here?

Because, it is a hotbed of activity.

I venture that the advantages are basically the same in Zurich:

  1. Job opportunities
  2. Business opportunities
  3. Lifestyle options
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In addition to what George said, there are other things that probably benefit Switzerland:

  • Political Stability
  • Location, location, location
  • Lots of well-educated people
  • Low crime and corruption
  • Access to money
  • Stability (Political and Crime) cannot be underestimated! – C. Ross Jan 11 '11 at 17:50
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Switzerland was once known for its high regard for private property rights. Recently it is has started to violate those rights by forcing banks to turn over the names of account holders to the US government. Not a great trend.

Another aspect that makes Switzerland an attractive place for people and businesses is the Swiss governemnt's neutral policy. The Swiss government is not deploying the Swiss military around the globe to fight terrorism, to spread democracy, to advance its own power, or other such murderous government programs. The Swiss people do not have to worry about the payback that arrives because of such depraved government programs.

The Swiss were traditionally extreme advocates of individual gun rights which allows the people to provide protection for themselves against others and against the government. This too is changing (read section on The Enemy Within) in a not so favorable direction.

I also belive the Swiss Franc was the last major currency to sever its tie to gold. The currency use to be highly desired due to its tie to gold. I think the currency is still highly regarded but the Swiss central bank is participating in the currency war and has attempted multiple times in the past couple of years to debase its currency so it does not appreciate against the euro or dollar.

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Some of the advantages of Switzerland:

  • Beautiful landscape
  • Low crime
  • Hasn't been invaded for a couple of hundred years
  • Close to major centres of culture
  • Includes many centres of culture

Not everything is about money.

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  • The lake is beautiful.

  • The Swiss people are really good educated

  • The companies want to be a part of these great reputation.

  • We have low taxes

  • We are political stable

  • Our currency is stable

  • We are company-friendly

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Companies, especially big ones, find in Switzerland a business-friendly environment and often benefit from a special tax regime.

Don't mix the companies interests with yours.

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As per Wikipedia of right now, here are unemployment figures for Switzerland and surrounding countries:

  • Liechtenstein: 2.3%
  • Switzerland: 3.5%
  • Germany: 4.5%
  • Austria: 5.6%
  • France: 10.8%
  • Italy: 11.5%

Liechtenstein, unfortunately, does not have a large job market, given its total population of about 37,000 people. And note that the German figure of 4.5% is the lowest it has been for decades - I'd expect this number to go up and the Swiss one to stay constant.

Bottom line: you will have an easier time finding a job in Switzerland.

(Plus all the other good points the other answers raised: great mountains, great chocolate, low taxes, clean streets etc.)

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