The reopening of the Consulate General in Chicago serves as an acknowledgment of the importance of the Midwest, and particularly the Chicago metropolitan area, to Switzerland and its economic interests. It is also in accordance with the suggestions of the Swiss Parliament’s Committees on Foreign Relations.
The Midwest and the Chicago metropolitan area were among the most important destinations of Swiss immigration to the United States in the 19th and early 20th centuries and they count among the main economic and financial centers of the United States today. Trade relations between Switzerland and the region are significant, and it is a major destination for Swiss foreign direct investment. Over the last three years, the Swiss Business Hub USA, Switzerland’s international trade and investment promotion agency, has seen a significant increase in demand for services in that region, which is the location of numerous Swiss companies, particularly of small and medium-sized enterprises.
Switzerland is the 6th largest foreign direct investor in the United States. Swiss companies have created and sustained half a million jobs and do business in all 50 states, representing a substantial economic presence in the United States that strengthens the American economy. The Embassy of Switzerland’s publication Switzerland’s Economic Footprint in the United States provides facts and figures for each of the 50 states.
Switzerland not only has a strong economic footprint in the United States, but is also a leader in science, innovation, and education. In particular, the Swiss apprenticeship model has gained a great deal of attention in the past few years since it contributes to creating meaningful career prospects for young people and helps employers to find a skilled work force.
Adapting to changes and needs in fostering relations between the two countries, the reopening of the Consulate General in Chicago will strengthen Switzerland’s engagement in the United States as well as reinforce promoting exchanges in the areas of business, politics, science, technology, education, and culture.
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