Competitive Business Location


No other city in the world has such a high concentration of businesses in the life sciences. Two out of five of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies are headquartered here: Novartis and Roche. Apart from global corporations, the life sciences cluster also includes many small and medium-sized businesses as well as a growing number of successful start-ups and spin-offs. But not only the pharmaceutical, biotech or medical companies benefit from the dynamic life sciences industry – other sectors flourish in this environment, too. Some established fields include agribusiness, the chemical industry and nanotechnology, represented by companies like Syngenta, Lonza, BASF, Clariant and Idemitsu. Where life sciences and materials science meet, medical engineering is becoming increasingly important. Global leaders Straumann, Medartis and DePuy Synthes  (Johnson & Jonson) are located in Basel, to name just two businesses in this sector.

Logistics hub

Thanks to its first-rate location and excellent transport infrastructure – consisting of the EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg, the Rhine port, three international railway stations and fast access to the European motorway network – Basel is Switzerland’s logistics hub. Logistics companies such as DSV Panalpina take advantage of these benefits to conduct their global operations from Basel. Trading companies are also well established in the area.

Trade fairs

Basel is known throughout the world for its trade fairs. With Art Basel, Basel is home to the world's most important fair for modern and contemporary art, and with Swissbau, the most important meeting place for the construction and real estate industry in Switzerland and one of the biggest trade fairs in Europe.

International finance

The international financial organisation BIS (Bank for International Settlements) as well as UBS, the world’s second largest asset manager, are headquartered in Basel.

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