The measures Switzerland has taken to cope with the coronavirus pandemic has strengthened its global reputation, according to the head of the government body that promotes the country’s image abroad.
Speaking to the Le Temps newspaperexternal link on Saturday, Nicolas Bideau, director of Presence Switzerlandexternal link, said that the “Swiss brand” had come out of the crisis well compared to negative headlines surrounding other countries.
“Coronavirus has more or less had a positive effect on the image of the country,” he told the newspaper.
Bideau believes Switzerland’s reputation has been enhanced by its medical and technical innovation, political management and international cooperation in the last few weeks.
In particular, Switzerland has received good marks following the response from pharmaceutical and other industries to the pandemic. Bideau pointed to Roche’s serological testing breakthrough and the development of a decentralised contact tracing app by the federal institutes of technology.
Switzerland has also attracted positive headlines for the way it has handled the crisis politically, said Bideau. Cooperation with other countries has extended to Swiss hospitals treating patients from neighbouring countries, dispelling the Swiss image of insularity, he added.
In addition, a number of positive anecdotal stories from Switzerland have been well received by people in other countries, Bideau said. These included Roger Federer’s tennis challenge and international press coverage of Switzerland’s forest walking trials.
“These small stories may not look much but they have a big impact,” he said.