SwissHoldings, the association of industrial and service companies in Switzerland, comprises 61 member companies, the majority of which are listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange and together account for around 70 percent of total market capitalization. Our member companies employ around 1.6 million people globally, around 202,000 of whom work in Switzerland. Through the numerous service and supply contracts they award to SMEs, Switzerland’s multinationals employ – directly and indirectly – more than half of all workers in Switzerland.

We thank you for the invitation to comment on the above-mentioned consultation. We are pleased to comment as follows:

The Swiss economy needs qualified specialists. It is therefore very regrettable if third-country nationals trained in Switzerland leave the country due to exhausted quotas despite a shortage of skilled workers and are thus lost for the Swiss labor market. Accordingly, we welcome the fact that the bill provides that third-country nationals educated at a Swiss university or college will be exempt from the annual quotas for residence permits if their gainful employment is of high scientific or economic interest. Furthermore, the following should be noted in general: If Switzerland invests in people through study places, it makes sense that they can also use the qualifications they have acquired in this way in Switzerland and that Switzerland can benefit from this. Also against this background, we welcome the amendment provided for in the bill.

We thank you for the opportunity to comment and for noting our position. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions regarding our comments.

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