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Swiss benefit financially from migration

Currently around 20 per cent of Swiss residents are foreigners Keystone

Switzerland and Luxembourg are the countries whose tax coffers are most boosted by migrants, according to an Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) report.

The 2013 International Migration Outlook found that migrants to Switzerland helped increase net state tax revenue by at least CHF6.5 billion ($7 billion). Using more generous calculation methods, this could even rise to CHF11 billion, the report stated.

This is the equivalent to 1.9 per cent of gross domestic product. The only OECD country with a higher percentage was Luxembourg (two per cent), added the outlook.

The OECD covers 34 nations, including most of those in Europe, as well as the United States, Canada, Israel, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico and Chile.

Switzerland and Luxembourg also posted the highest immigration rate compared with the rest of the population in 2011. In all, 142,500 people settled in Switzerland, with most of them coming from the EU countries of Germany, Portugal, France, Italy, Britain and Spain.

Currently around 20 per cent of Swiss residents are foreigners. The biggest groups are Italians, Germans and Portuguese.

On Tuesday, the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) said that recruiting foreign professionals had become easier for Swiss companies thanks to the free movement of people agreement between Switzerland and the EU.

It said there had been a large influx of workers from EU and European Free Trade Agreement (EFTA) countries and overall there had been a positive impact on the nation’s economic development.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR