The Swiss government has launched an online portal aimed at bundling together in one place various bureaucratic procedures that companies face.
The EasyGov.swissexternal link platform was unveiled in Bern on Monday by the economics minister, Johann Schneider-Ammann, and aims to reduce the administrative and financial burdens that companies run up against in their dealings with the state.
According to Schneider-Ammann, merely launching a business in Switzerland currently requires getting 14 permits from 14 different authorities, and can take over a year. In China, he said, this figure drops to two months.
The “one stop shop” nature of the new portal is therefore a further effort by the Swiss government to move towards a digital administration offering more rapid and efficient services to citizens and businesses.
The platform will address three areas of business bureaucracy: starting a company, commercial register changes, and VAT transactions.
Using a standardised interface, companies can now undertake aspects of these tasks online, doing away with much of the paperwork that bogged down business in the past. The platform is also harmonised across all three levels of Swiss governance – federal, cantonal, and municipal – and thus aims to also cut down on administrative duplication.
Submitting documents online will require the company to hold a valid electronic identity card, a SwissID, the system for which was also launched earlier this year to some fanfare.
Though it frequently appears at the top of competitiveness rankings, Switzerland is also sometimes known for its nebulous webs of administration.
In the latest ease of doing business rankingsexternal link, published by the World Bank, Switzerland came 33rd overall out of 190 countries, and 73rd when it came to the ease of starting a company.
swissinfo.ch and agencies/dos