Dear reader,

Flexible and mobile ways of working are becoming more and more commonplace in Swiss companies, making it necessary to review the system for how employees record the hours they work. That is why by revising the Ordinance for the Labour Law, the Federal Council has made it possible to reconcile differences that deviate from the obligatory detailed system used for recording working time. The objective of the revision, which came into force on 1st January 2016, is to alleviate the administrative burden on businesses, restore legal certainty and strengthen the implementation of the Labour Law. In this issue of our Newsletter, we shall provide you with information on the latest changes.

We shall furthermore report on the economic importance of the logistics sector for Basel’s economy and give you an insight into the activities of the Economic Development unit in this sector. The changing framework conditions also pose a challenge for the logistics industry. According to the forecasts, Swiss freight transport will continue to grow in the coming years. The existing infrastructure will have to cope with the increasing volume of freight traffic and therefore handle it with greater efficiency. This is especially true for urban freight transport.

This edition of the Newsletter is packed with other interesting topics and projects relating to Basel’s economic development, as well as information about events.

The next edition of the AWA newsletter will be published in autumn 2016.

Samuel Hess
Member of the Management Board
Office of Economy and Labour of the Canton of Basel-Stadt

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Labour market

Changes in how we record our working time

The revised Ordinance No. 1 to the Labour Law (ArGV 1) came into force on 1st January 2016. Two new provisions, Articles 73a and 73b, were introduced that waive the systematic obligation to record working hours.

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Economic Development

Logistics in Basel

In addition to the life sciences and financial sector, logistics is a key industry in the Canton of Basel-Stadt. This sector benefits from the excellent conditions and infrastructure offered by the location of the region and, as a consequence, has grown significantly over the years.

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Technologiepark Basel - Expansion as part of campaign to strengthen innovation promotion

Technologiepark Basel in the Stücki Business Park currently offers 3,400m2 of office and laboratory space for young technology companies involved in the life sciences industry, the chemical industry, environmental and energy technologies, nanotechnology and information and communication technology (ICT).

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Economic growth increases the bottleneck in the commercial real estate market in Basel

Basel is one of the most dynamic economic locations in Switzerland. This also has a knock-on effect on the demand for commercial real estate and thus indirectly on the industrial and commercial properties that stand vacant.

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Network event "Spotlight on Administration" with Dufry

The Economic Development Unit staged the second internal administrative network event on 4th February 2016. Employees from different departments of the cantonal administration took part in the event. Basel travel retailer Dufry was the focal point of this year’s meeting.

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Guarantee cooperatives - easier access to bank loans

Thanks to the commercial guarantee system supported in partnership by the Federal Government and guarantee cooperatives, SMEs can enjoy the benefits of easier access to bank loans.

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Results from company survey focusing on the finance industry

The Business and Economic Development Division of the Canton of Basel-Stadt carried out an attractiveness survey of Basel as an investment location during November and December 2015. Interviews were conducted with 105 companies from the financial sector, banking industry, insurance companies and other financial service providers.

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Other topics

Economic outlook

2015 was marked by the discontinuation of the minimum exchange rate of the Swiss franc against the euro, the subsequent dramatic appreciation of the Swiss franc and the resulting effects on the real economy. Given recent developments it can be assumed that 2016 will, in contrast, be characterised by a cautious economic recovery and a slight acceleration of growth.

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European funds for research and innovation for Swiss SMEs

Swiss companies generate every second Swiss franc abroad. Europe is by far the most important partner in terms of research, innovation and exchange of know-how.

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Managing at 100 percent - part-time: the possibilities of part-time work in managerial positions

In many companies, part-time work is still seen as a “career brake” or even as a “career killer” – for both men and women. And this is especially true in managerial roles. But there is huge potential in part-time work, particularly with a view to the impending shortage of skilled workers. The "Familienfreundliche Wirtschaftsregion Basel" has therefore turned part-time management into a serious talking point for 2016.

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Events - Outlook

i-net production technologies event "Industrie 4.0 - 3 countries, 3 neighbors, 3 approaches for one purpose: competitiveness" on 19th April 2016

The industry of the future is a challenge, but also an opportunity for every industrial company to keep on being competitive and meet the new needs of the market in an even better way - regardless of whether they are French, Swiss or German.

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Award ceremony "Basler Sozialpreis" on 26th April 2016

The Canton of Basel-Stadt aims to promote the occupational integration of people who are limited in their capacities. Every year the "Basler Sozialpreis" is awarded to one or two companies.

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11th Swiss Innovation Forum on 24th November 2016

The Swiss Innovation Forum (SIF) is the most important national platform for innovation, creativity and design. Over 1,000 guests from the world of business, science and politics are expected to attend the 11th meeting at the Congress Center Basel on 24th November 2016.

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