FFE Magazine

Slower business feared in Switzerland because of immigration Quota


 23jun swiss business immigration


After the majority of Switzerland voted ‘yes’ to a quota on immigrants, businesses are worried that fewer immigrants could mean business will take a turn for the worse in the future.


Skilled immigrants have long been a welcome sight in Europe as they filled up gaps in the workforce. However, their presence has since become a problem for locals who find themselves at a disadvantage in the job market.


Unlike the EU, Switzerland put the problem on a vote early this year, and ruled that the number of immigrants who enter the country must be limited.


Business groups, however, fear that the quota could make it more difficult to hire skilled workers. They also believe that the quota might make it tougher for Switzerland to broker new agreements with the EU, which supports free movement across Europe.


Industrial lobby group Swissmem President Hans Hess said ‘Without specialists from abroad, we’d have to move part of the work abroad.’ Swiss business federation Economiesuisse President Heinz Karrer added that there could be ‘a negative impact on Switzerland as a business location’ once the quota is implemented.


Economics Minister Johann Schneider-Ammann meanwhile called business groups to put more effort because ‘all sides have their jobs to do and must deliver.’ With the quota soon to be implemented, the minister added that companies can still do their best to maximise job creation by tapping onto women and elderly workers.


The Swiss government is still drafting a law on the immigration quota. The law that will come into force starting 2017 will feature softer rules on immigration quota to prevent retaliatory measures from the EU.






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