Government statistics have revealed that 11,524 companies in Switzerland belong to a multinational corporate group headquartered abroad. Most of these multinationals are headquartered in Germany, followed by the USA, France and Great Britain.
In 2015, subsidiaries of these multinationals employed 468,095 people. This equates to 10.7 per cent of all employees in the business sector, or the overall employment outside of public administrative bodies and private organizations.
These figures signify an increase of 143 entities (a rise of 1.3 per cent) and 1,911 employees (a rise of 0.4 per cent).
Most employees of foreign multinationals’ subsidiaries are based in the Greater Zurich Area. In terms of cantons, Zurich has the highest rate, with 129,434 employees. The Geneva region follows.
The subsidiaries located in Switzerland work across different sectors. In terms of employee numbers, almost 44.2 per cent are in the following five economic areas: wholesale, retail, financial services, other economic services such as the production of data processing devices, and electronic products like watches.
Looking at company numbers, 60.8 per cent of the foreign subsidiaries are in the following five economic areas: wholesale, financial services, information technology and information services, consulting and retail.