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Swiss chambers of commerce

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Bartosz Kolonko

Switzerland has numerous chambers of commerce charged with promoting better business ties between Switzerland and the outside world.

There are associations and chambers for virtually every country with a business representation in Switzerland.

Chambers of Commerce in Switzerland can be generally broken into two large groups: those that represent local Swiss governments and companies, and those established for businesses around the world with operations in Switzerland.

Chamber of Commerce and Industry

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Switzerland (CCIS) is an umbrella association of 19 cantonal and regional chambers of commerce in Switzerland and the Liechtenstein Chamber of Commerce. The chambers assist and advise companies on legal issues such as export documents and ATA Carnets (which allow imported goods to be stored in one country before being exported to another without payment of duties and taxes). They also work to improve economic framework conditions and provide a platform for businesses to connect and network.  You can find a list of chambers by canton at the CCIS pageExternal link.

You can also refer to Switzerland Global Enterprise for a list of bilateral chambers of commerceExternal link. Below is a sampling of these.

Swiss-American Chamber of Commerce

The Swiss-American Chamber of CommerceExternal link plays an active role in assisting Swiss companies in the US and US companies in Switzerland. It does this by providing information about doing business in these markets and promoting the countries as business destinations.

The group publishes several reports each year that look at various factors of doing business in Switzerland such as tax rates and labour market statistics. It also conducts studies, such as looking at threats to Swiss manufacturing or how to foster innovation.

British-Swiss Chamber of Commerce

More than 100 years after it was founded, the British-Swiss Chamber of CommerceExternal link (BSCC) today counts more than 500 members among its independent not-for-profit ranks.

It champions business relations between Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Britain and provides a platform for businesses to connect and network. The BSCC is active in Basel, Bern, Central Switzerland, Geneva, Liechtenstein, London, Ticino and Zurich and has teams specialising in public affairs, as well as legal and tax issues. The group also creates various publications given free to members and provides a business support service.

Canadian-Swiss Chamber of Commerce

The Canadian-Swiss Chamber of Commerce External linkis divided up across Canada by region, with representation in Vancouver, Montreal and Ontario. In Switzerland, the offices are based in Zurich. Members are a mix of Canadian and Swiss companies and individuals with professional or personal ties to Canada and Switzerland.  

Swiss-Australian Chamber of Commerce

Founded in 1985, the Swiss-Australian Chamber of CommerceExternal link (SACCI) has grown to a current membership of around 300 members and handles all trade enquiries with the Swiss government for the whole of Australia.

The chamber is a national organisation and provides business contacts both in Australia, Switzerland and Liechtenstein for small, medium and large organisations.

SACCI is a full member of the Association of Swiss Foreign Trade Chambers and enjoys a close association with Swiss government representatives in Australia as well as the relevant trade and economic departments in Switzerland. SACCI is the main Australian correspondent for Osec Business Network Switzerland in Zurich.

Swiss-Indian Chamber of Commerce

The Swiss-Indian Chamber of CommerceExternal link (SICC) is a bi-national, private sector, non-profit association with about 400 Swiss and Indian members. Founded in 1985, SICC is a key player in advancing Indo-Swiss economic relationships.

As an independent organisation, the chamber cooperates with all public and private institutions that pursue similar goals. It arranges trade missions for Indian and Swiss companies interested in expanding into each other’s markets and helps provide contacts and information for interested businesses. SICC has offices in Zurich and Mumbai, with regional representation in Bangalore, Delhi and Pune.

Swiss-Chinese Chambers of Commerce

First established in Zurich in 1980 by former Swiss ambassador to China Uli Sigg, the Swiss Chinese Chamber of CommerceExternal link now boasts a presence also in Geneva and Lugano. In 1982, a Hong Kong chapter was started to promote the interests of the Swiss community there.

This was followed in 1996 by the establishment chamber in mainland China (Beijing plus representative offices in Shanghai and Guangzhou), which split away from the Switzerland and Hong Kong groups in 2001 to become a separate, independent entity (SwissCham China).

The three locations often cooperate with educational events for their combined 1,000 members, the Sino-Swiss Business Awards and to help businesses adapt to the Swiss-Chinese Free Trade Agreement implemented in 2014.

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