Delaware & Switzerland (Source: Ina von Ber)
Swiss H. Consul General Mario Brossi
(Source: Ina von Ber)

Switzerland, one of the most innovative countries in the world, has now captured a new strong hold in the State of Delaware. Mr.Mario Brossi, JD, the newest member of the Ambassadorial Roundtable´s Advisory Board, has been appointed Honorary Consul to the 9th wealthiest State of the Union.

Edelweiss from the Swiss Alps
Source: Ina von Ber

Mr. Brossi is a business leader with 35 years of international and domestic corporate, trade and political experience who served as the original head of the Swiss Foreign Investment Agency in North America as well as the Senior Advisor for Congressional Affairs at the Swiss Embassy. During Mr. Brossi's tenure, Switzerland's foreign direct investment program in North America expanded from one office in the New York Consulate to a continent-wide organization. It now operates as Switzerland Trade & Investment Promotion under the auspices of Business Network Switzerland (OSEC). Noting that "Switzerland has always had a precious brand in the fields of science, technology and tourism," Mr. Brossi stated that "it was a particular pleasure to help to expand this imprimatur into the foreign investment field as well." He said that American investment arrived in Switzerland in two large waves, the first following World War II and what he calls the "second Renaissance" starting in the late 1990s and continuing today.

"Although the competition for foreign economic development grows by the day and 'global footprint optimization' has become a key value driver for multinational companies, it is reassuring to see that our on-going efforts with Switzerland's regions, cantons and other multipliers and networks have put the country on the map as one of the most innovative and competitive investment locations globally," he commented. "Fortunately our collective team efforts assisted many multinational operations to establish their European or Global Headquarters in Switzerland. Based on publicly available records, it is estimated that about 225 headquarters of North American firms established their operations in Switzerland during this time period."

According to Swiss Embassy records, more than 1,000 Delawareans have "Swiss Roots." Governor Jack Markell has lead trade delegations to Switzerland and Dr. Jill Biden also led a vocational training delegation.

Delaware, in physical terms the second-smallest state in the US, hovering near the bottom in population, is a very important economic partner to Switzerland. The "First State" to ratify the Constitution, serves as the corporate home to sixty-five percent of all Fortune 500 companies and during the last 10 years eighty five percent of all initial public offerings involved companies formed in the state. In addition, Delaware from 2000 to 2008 was the fastest growing state on the East Coast.

On the other side of the “Pond“, located in the heart of Europe, rests Switzerland, a stable, neutral, direct democracy, with four official languages and a large very large foreign population. Even though it is not a member of EU 27, it does benefit from unrestricted access to the European Union. It is considered as a gateway to European Union markets both due to the high-quality infrastructure and business-friendly environment which make Switzerland a country full of business opportunities. American exporters can take advantage of a sophisticated, high-quality and competitive market as well as a multicultural European test market for new products.

As one of the most liberal and competitive economies in the world, Switzerland has always maintained close economic ties with other countries. It followed a Policy of Armed Neutrality since 1815, stable politics is a Federation of Cantons where the political power is heavily devolved to 26 canton. A secure legal system and long-term stable fundamentals for investors, relatively little regulation and the proximity to research institutions make it the location of choice in Europe for businesses offering high quality products and services


Historically, it was ranked #1 in 2009/10 GCR, as one of the wealthiest countries in the world, 4th highest nominal GDP per capita: $66,127. With a highly productive, multi-lingual workforce, excellent protection of intellectual property rights, efficient capital markets, moderate taxation, Switzerland remains still the first choice for qualified professionals. It is considered to be a leader in innovation output, knowledge and technology, only ranking second behind Iceland in creative output. Switzerland´s a service economy in cities like Bern (Capital), Zurich, Geneva, Basel, with clusters (64.5% GDP), manufacturing (34% GDP) with key clusters: Fin services, Precision Mechanics, BioPharma, MedTech.

On the latest Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI) 2014 Switzerland claimed the podium ahead of Singapore and Luxembourg. GTCI 2014 ranks 93 nations according to their ability to attract and incubate talent. Besides factors such as high quality of life or a stable economic and political system, the Swiss educational system, in which people have a choice between vocational training or academic careers, is one of the main reasons for Switzerland´s high ranking.

Switzerland´s per capita gross domestic product is the fifth-largest in the world, or eighth-largest when adjusted for purchasing power. At USD 64,642 the per capita gross domestic product was considerably higher than the EU average in 2010. Mostly unsaddled by European-style labor regulations or employer obligations, with a highly stable economy, Switzerland is the world-leader for business competitiveness and innovation. The excellent infrastructure, first-class education and healthcare, high quality of life and competitive tax system provide all the more reasons for companies to settle in Switzerland.

The success of Switzerland as a technology center is based on the presence of the qualified specialist workforce. In a podium discussion, cantonal councilor Matthias Michel, Economic Director of the canton of Zug, particularly emphasized the crucial significance of the Swiss dual vocational training system. And in order to make this available to relocated companies and in effect promote further exchanges between them and the Swiss economy, the canton of Zug will this summer launch a project focusing on international vocational training. Most of the teaching in this will be in English, delivering the Swiss vocational education and training qualification [EFZ] for business people and IT specialists.

"Despite the strength of the Swiss franc over several years, Switzerland is still one of the top technology centers in the world. Relocated companies make a key contribution to this by introducing ideas to Switzerland and entering into exchanges with home-grown companies," explains Ruth Metzler-Arnold, President of the Board at S-GE, in her speech. "Thanks to these dynamic processes, our internationally successful industry clusters are more than the sum of their parts and make an important contribution to the prosperity of our country."

Switzerland ranked amongst the top 15 fastest growing sources of FDI to the United States in 2012. In the United States, FDI from Switzerland provides as U.S. subsidiaries of Swiss firms employed over 446,000 U.S. workers in 2011, with an average annual salary of over $97,000, in 2011, U.S. subsidiaries of Swiss-owned firms invested $9 billion in research and development in the United States and U.S. operations of Swiss-owned firms contributed nearly $10 billion to U.S. goods exported in 2011.

In his position Mr. Brossi serves as a point of contact and connection between the State of Delaware and Switzerland for any and all matters of mutual interest, reporting directly to the Embassy and the Swiss Ambassador in the United States based in Washington. Mr. Brossi's appointment expands the Swiss diplomatic network in America to 23 Honorary Consuls, all coordinated by the Embassy of Switzerland based in Washington.


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