Basel – The small metropolis
Basel lies at the heart of the three-country-triangle where Switzerland, France and Germany meet. Cross-border relations have always been a part of life here. Basel collaborates closely with its neighbours on all sides of the borders on issues such as transport, environment, education and culture.
Image film of Basel
A major junction on the North-South transit routes, Basel serves as a stepping-stone into the European market for many international companies. The binational EuroAirport, just seven kilometres from the city centre, offers direct flights to most European cities as well as connections to airports with intercontinental flights. The Rhine port of Basel is one of Europe’s most significant inland ports. Finally, Basel lies at the intersection of the French, German and Swiss rail and road networks. High-speed trains connect the city with Paris, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Berlin and Milan.
Basel is the most dynamic economic region in Switzerland and one of the most productive and innovative locations worldwide. Global leaders in the life sciences industry – Novartis, Roche, Syngenta, Lonza and others – have their headquarters in the Basel region. Basel is considered one of Europe’s top locations for life sciences and healthcare. This stimulating environment has given rise to a plethora of innovative research firms, including in the medical and biotechnology fields. It is home to Art Basel, the most prestigious international trade fair for modern and contemporary art, and Swissbau, the most important meeting place for the construction and real estate industry in Switzerland and one of the biggest trade fairs in Europe. Other industries also contribute to Basel’s stellar reputation, such as finance and insurance, logistics and retail, information technology, consumer goods, architecture and design. Together they create rewarding jobs and attract highly skilled workers to the city from all over the world. Last but not least, liberal employment laws, attractive corporate tax rates, an efficient, user-oriented public administration and political stability are Switzerland’s traditional strong points that also benefit companies in the Basel area.
A city with many nationalities
A walk through town is all it takes to see how international Basel is. People from some 160 different nations live peacefully side by side. Men and women come to Basel for study or a job opportunity – and end up staying for life. The cosmopolitan atmosphere, pleasant climate, vibrant cultural life, gastronomic diversity and the language skills of the local population – all these things make it easy for people from all over the world to feel at home right here in Basel.
Centre for research and education
Basel is well known for its research and education institutions. The University of Basel, founded in 1460, provides a diverse academic environment and strives for excellence in teaching and research. The oldest university in Switzerland, it features among the 100 top-ranked institutions of higher education in the world. Its renowned Biozentrum (The Center for Molecular Life Sciences) performs basic research in molecular biology that meets the highest international standards. Research in medicine is a further area of strength, driven mainly by the Department of Biomedicine and the clinical research conducted at the University Hospital. The Swiss Nanoscience Institute, also affiliated with the university, has an international reputation. In a unique way, the institute links the University of Basel, the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland and the federal Paul Scherrer Institute, thus forming a powerful and innovative network. In addition to the University of Basel and the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland, the business sector is provided with highly qualified specialists by the Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering (D-BSSE) of the ETH Zurich and leading vocational colleges.
Culture with a capital C
The quality and quantity of Basel’s cultural offering is mind-boggling: no other European city has a comparable density of outstanding museums. There are almost forty of them – some with a global reputation, such as the Fondation Beyeler or the Kunstmuseum Basel (Museum of Fine Art). Basel is also a mecca for architecture enthusiasts: buildings by star architects such as Herzog & de Meuron (who actually are from Basel), Richard Meier, Renzo Piano and Zaha Hadid attract architecture lovers from far and wide. An excellent theatre that includes opera and ballet, a world-class concert hall and a multitude of festivals create a unique and inspiring atmosphere.
Basel engages in formal partnerships and collaborations with Massachusetts, Miami Beach, Seoul, Shanghai and Abidjan/Yopougon. Both sides benefit from the synergies that result as the cities combine their strengths in business, research, knowledge and culture. The primary purpose of the activities in Abidjan/Yopougon is to make a contribution to the improvement of the living conditions and healthcare of the metropolis.