Swiss companies interested in doing business in Ukraine despite wartime challenges

Swiss companies interested in doing business in Ukraine despite wartime challenges

Most Swiss companies that were present in Ukraine prior to the Russian full-scale invasion continue doing business, even though they were forced to reduce the scale of activities due to wartime challenges.

The relevant statement was made by Deputy Head of Section Countries and Global Portfolio at the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs Priska Depnering in a commentary to Ukrinform.

According to Depnering, a regular survey has recently been conducted among the Swiss companies operating in Ukraine. It confirmed that a significant number of such companies continue doing business and contributing to the local economy.

“In general, most Swiss companies remain in Ukraine, although some of them had to stop their activities due to difficulties. Many companies have reduced the scope of work due to labor problems, since some of the employees were mobilized to the Armed Forces, and it is difficult to find new ones for the same reason,” the official said.

At the same time, Depnering noted that interest in continuing to operate in Ukraine remains, although, as the study showed, maintaining the functioning of business in wartime is a difficult challenge.

“Probably, such problems are relevant not only for Swiss companies,” Depnering added.

Ukraine and Switzerland have already begun preparations for joint missions to assess the possibility for businesses of both countries, which the parties agreed on during the World Economic Forum at Davos.

“Davos really was an opportunity to facilitate the first contact of enterprises from Ukrainian and Swiss sides. In fact, our work in Ukraine is aimed at assessing the possibilities of preparing a mission to attract Swiss companies to Ukraine so that they can understand the situation in the country,” Depnering explained.

In her words, Ukrainian realities are significantly different from the views that exist in Switzerland. This is due to the fact that information about Ukraine in news releases mainly concerns military events.

“It is difficult for citizens of a small country like Switzerland to imagine that a large country like Ukraine can simultaneously experience a terrible war in the east and maintain a relatively normal life in Kyiv, at least most of the time,” Depnering told.

In her opinion, for Swiss entrepreneurs to understand the reality in Ukraine, they need to be shown how the country lives and works during the war.

“That is why we are studying the prospects of preparing one of these missions for a detailed study of the situation. In particular, together with Swiss companies, we identify attractive places to visit, as well as potential sectors that would be interesting for Swiss private business,” the Swiss official concluded.

A reminder that, in January 2024, during the World Economic Forum at Davos, Ukraine and Switzerland agreed to conduct joint missions for domestic businesses to study opportunities for Swiss companies to invest in Ukraine, and opportunities for Ukrainian companies to expand in Switzerland.

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