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Deiss urges reforms to boost economic growth

The Muba is one Switzerland's leading trade fairs Keystone

Swiss Economics Minister Joseph Deiss has called for tax reforms to encourage growth and for Switzerland to remain competitive with other European countries.

This content was published on February 17, 2006 - 12:08

At the opening of the Muba annual trade fair in Basel on Friday, Deiss said Switzerland had to speed up reforms although the economy was in good shape.

He said although growth was broadly based, competition had become much tougher as a result of globalisation and Switzerland could not afford to lose its position among the top countries.

"Neither silver nor bronze medals count in such competitions," Deiss said.

He warned against attempts to block moves towards more trade liberalisation currently under negotiation at the World Trade Organization.

Deiss also said reforms of the corporate tax system in Switzerland and the value added tax were needed to encourage business.

But he said the state should not try to impose a new tax to make up for the shortfall in revenue.

He also came out in favour of revising taxation for married couples in a bid to alleviate their fiscal burden.

On Wednesday the government presented a draft proposal to be discussed in parliament at a later stage. It will lead to an annual drop in revenue of SFr600 million ($457 million).

swissinfo with agencies

In brief

The Muba is one of Switzerland's leading annual trade fairs. More than 1,000 exhibitors present their wares to the public.

The ten-day fair showcases products and services arranged according to the themes of lifestyle, health, sport, garden, multimedia and fashion.

This year's guest country is Hungary.

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