Access to markets
Due to its central location, the canton of Jura is an ideal place from which to approach the Swiss and European markets. Access is possible to the internal Swiss market of 7 million consumers with one of the highest purchasing powers in the world, and to the European market of as many as 500 million consumers.
Thanks to a very well developed communication network (road, rail, air and river), the European market can be reached easily from Switzerland.
Switzerland is a member of the WTO and EFTA, and has concluded a number of agreements with the EU.
The bilateral agreements (see below), combined with the advantages that Switzerland retains as a non-member of the EU, create favourable conditions for activities on a European and global scale. The canton of Jura shares a common border with France and is also close to the German border: it is thus ideally situated to access European markets.
The bilateral agreements with the European Union
Although not a member of the European Union (EU), Switzerland has strong ties with it on the political, cultural and especially economic level
Over two-thirds of Switzerland’s exports go to the EU, and almost four-fifths of Swiss imports come from the EU. A number of agreements have been concluded between Switzerland and the EU. The free trade agreement of 1972 was followed by the bilateral agreements I and II. These agreements cover a variety of fields, including:
- Freedom of movement of goods and services between Switzerland and the EU Member States (with the exception of agricultural products and some sensitive product groups).
- Freedom of movement of persons: the labour markets are opening up progressively.
- Numerous other agreements cover research, the environment, public procurement, training, etc.
Relations between Switzerland and Europe are in constant evolution. In addition to managing the existing bilateral agreements, the two parties are exploring other areas of mutual interest, such as the Galileo navigation system, public health, electricity, etc.
The Schengen Agreement
Switzerland has ratified the Schengen Agreement, promoting mobility in Europe thanks to the elimination of systematic controls of individuals at the borders between States, and the implementation of security measures that make the fight against crime more effective through improved international collaboration in the areas of justice and the police.
The Swiss franc and the Euro
The Swiss franc is the country’s official currency but many shops and companies accept the euro. The same applies to tourist establishments. Furthermore in Swiss financial circles, the stock exchange (SIX) and the banks all offer accounts in euros. Whether incoming or outgoing, banking transactions with Switzerland are regularly effected in euros.