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Switzerland Announces Winners of Significant Investment Projects for 2007

Friday, September 19, 2008 General News J E 4
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Merck & Company, Albany International, Intuitive Surgical, and Johnson & Johnson to receive 'Tell Awards' During the Swiss Embassy's 7th Alumni Garden Party



WASHINGTON, Sept. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Merck & Company, Albany International, Intuitive Surgical, and Johnson & Johnson on September 24 will receive Tell Awards for Switzerland's most significant inward investment projects by North American firms in 2007, reports Mario Brossi, North American senior representative for Switzerland: Trade and Investment Promotion. The awards are named for the legendary Swiss hero William Tell.



Ambassador Urs Ziswiler will present the awards during the Embassy's 7th Annual Alumni Garden Party at the Swiss Embassy in Washington, DC. The Tell Awards were first presented in 2004 in a program recognizing projects by U.S., Canadian and Mexican firms, Mr. Brossi said. Now in its fourth year the program has grown in terms of interest expressed in the awards in Switzerland and overseas. The awards are sponsored by the Swiss Embassy, Switzerland Trade and Investment Promotion, and the Swiss-American Chamber of Commerce.



Merck & Company receives the 2007 award for the most significant manufacturing operation for developing a new production facility and a regional headquarters in Canton Valais.



The most significant headquarters project award goes to Albany International for establishing its European headquarters in Canton Schaffhausen. The company established its new HQ early in the year and upon completion will have about 60 persons based there.



The award for the most significant disruptive technology investment in 2007 goes to Intuitive Surgical. The California company is the world leader in automated, robotic assisted minimally invasive surgery with over 850 "da Vinci" surgical systems in use worldwide. The US company's international operations center is in Canton Vaud.



Previous award winners and members are Autodesk, CEMEX, Electronic Arts, Kyphon, Microsoft, Amgen, IBM, Stryker, VeriSign, Celgene, eBay, Google and P&G. Please see our website at www.locationswitzerland.com for copies of those previous releases.



For 2007 a special "Good Corporate Citizenship Award" is being presented to Johnson & Johnson for its long term presence and continued expansion in Switzerland. J&J today has its supply chain / licensing and holding / finance center with 650 persons in Canton Zug, its pharma, chemical, biotech center and knowledge campus in Canton Schaffhausen and multiple medical and pharma manufacturing operations in Cantons Neuchatel and Vaud making the company one of the ten largest US employers in the country.



"Switzerland continued to be a major recipient of US direct investments during 2007," Mr. Brossi said. "New foreign direct investment projects into Switzerland from North America during the year totaled 48, the highest since 2000. The year also saw 11 expansions of existing projects and 32 investments involving M&A transactions and strategic alliances," Mr. Brossi said.



"New projects are key indicators of an attractive FDI environment," Mr. Brossi commented, "and since 2001 these total 194. Over the same period expansions, which serve as an indicator of satisfaction by existing investors with Switzerland, total 81. Mergers, acquisitions and strategic alliances provide another route of entry to the Swiss and broader European market. Since 2001 these amount to 189 projects."



According to a survey of European tax systems, compiled by KPMG International, in which major business organizations across Europe assessed the attractiveness of their domestic tax systems, Switzerland ranks third behind Cyprus and Ireland respectively. The survey is based on particular aspects of the tax system, including consistency, stability over time, volume of legis
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