Historically characterised by heavy industry, the Canton of Schaffhausen has undergone a complete transformation in the past 20 years and is now a hub for advanced manufacturing and globally connected high-tech businesses. The Canton of Schaffhausen and its Economic Promotion Team are determined to ensure the region remains just as attractive to investors far into the future!
Hard to believe today, but 20 years ago the Canton of Schaffhausen was facing a major economic crisis. The loss of thousands of jobs in the heavy industries which dominated the region at the time was a big challenge, with the resultant confusion not solely confined to those directly affected or fearing they were next in line. The entire area was drawn into an economic crisis. Schaffhausen’s response was to launch a bundle of strategic measures including the formation of a dedicated and professional Economic Promotion Team, responsible for inward investment and support for established local businesses. The task was to attract businesses with the potential to create jobs to move to the area. The public sector provided support, investing the required resources in Schaffhausen, with the backing of both industry and politicians in the region. Improvements included the development of road and rail infrastructure, for example. As a result, Schaffhausen is now just 40 minutes from Zurich international airport and direct train services to the airport depart every half an hour. That improvement sits alongside others which have transformed regional road and rail links. Further measures included the establishment of an international school, the construction of additional hotel capacity, and several property schemes which have added to the choice of first-class office and residential accommodation available in the area. The Canton, and its Economic Promotion Team, also launched a wholly new approach to taxation which featured an almost 50% reduction in Corporate Tax and a long-term goal of capping corporate tax liability at 12.1 to 12.5 percent.
A Unique Success Story
The combined impact of the investments made by the Canton and the work undertaken by the Economic Promotion Team, responsible for marketing the region on the international stage and also supporting interested businesses pre- and post-relocation to the Schaffhausen area, has been the creation of a truly unique success story over the past two decades: more than 500 companies have established operations in Schaffhausen in the past 20 years. Those companies have created 3,000 new jobs and contributed to the transformation of the local economy from a traditional manufacturing focus to a high-tech canton. The many international businesses which have chosen to locate in Schaffhausen are now part of a vibrant and diverse business community which is still close to its industrial roots, albeit it now operating in highly-specialised segments. This strength, along with the expert knowledge the area’s many specialist staff bring to bear in the new manufacturing operations which define Schaffhausen mean this is a location with great potential in the digital age and a playground to develop, test and deploy new technological solutions.
The Economic Promotion Team of the Canton of Schaffhausen is poised to respond to the next waves of new projects and requests for assistance from global businesses keen to establish a presence in the region, as well as to the exciting initiatives and investments launched by established businesses in the locality – another 20 years of history in the making!
About the author
Christoph Schärrer is Official Chief Representative of Economic Promotion of the Canton of Schaffhausen. Schaffhausen is a dynamic and flourishing commercial region in the heart of Europe and a prime location for international and innovative businesses. The Economic Promotion is your expert partner for all questions about locating and doing business in Schaffhausen and is looking forward hearing from you.