Foreword from James Woodeson, Secretary General of The British-Swiss Chamber of Commerce



James Woodeson Online CropWhen thinking of Switzerland, for the British, what is the first image that comes to mind? Chocolate? Cheese? Cuckoo Clocks?

Try these instead. 

Global centre for pharmaceuticals and life sciences. High-tech and precision manufacturing. Home of the ‘crypto valley’. Global centre for commodities trading. A dynamic and diverse finance industry. Innovators. Entrepreneurs. Investors. 

And don’t forget…

Some of the most highly regarded educational institutions in the world. A superb destination for tourism in all seasons. A fantastic quality of life. Amongst the wealthiest nations in the world, with an annual per capita income of almost CHF 80,000, equivalent to over GBP 60,000.

Switzerland is a destination for export where quality is valued. Where relationships matter. It can take time to build your market in Switzerland and it’s worth it.

According to data published by the The Observatory of Economic Complexity, Switzerland was the 3rd largest export market for the UK in 2015, with a total value of $32.5 billion (noting that gold comprises 77% of this figure alone). Meanwhile, the UK was the 8th largest market for Switzerland, with a total value of $11.2 billion. There already exists a significant trading relationship.

This is a fantastic test market for your company. If you succeed in Switzerland, you can succeed almost anywhere.  

The British-Swiss Chamber of Commerce

The British-Swiss Chamber of Commerce is a 97 year old, bilateral chamber. We were founded in 1920 in Zurich. We now have Chapters in eight locations: Basel, Berne, Central Switzerland, Geneva, Lichtenstein, London, Ticino and Zurich.

Our purpose is simple. 

We connect our members to create opportunities and inspire them to action. 

We do this through a dynamic programme, of up to 100 events across our locations. We have over 525 members from start-up to multinational. We are also growing. 

Our membership is not limited to British or Swiss firms. We are an international group that welcomes individuals and firms with an interest in trade between the two nations. 

We engage our members and thought leaders via our ‘think tank’, our Public Affairs Commission. This has representatives from a broad spectrum of industries. This drives our content agenda and ensures we are at the forefront of thought leadership.

Our Headquarters is in Zurich and we have a private room available for members to use at their convenience. This is a great base for identifying suitable partners and customers. 

We are also proud to have a dynamic and engaged group of Patrons. Our biggest supporters. As a non-profit association, we focus on our member needs and support the growth of bilateral trade between the UK and Switzerland.


James Woodeson
Secretary General – The British-Swiss Chamber of Commerce


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