Presentation on theme: "The importance of temporary inflow of natural persons for the Swiss IT Market Joint WTO-World Bank symposium on the movement of natural persons (mode 4)"— Presentation transcript:
The importance of temporary inflow of natural persons for the Swiss IT Market Joint WTO-World Bank symposium on the movement of natural persons (mode 4) under the GATS Geneva, April 11-12, 2002 Pierre E. Page President TKS-Teknosoft Ltd Logistics/Administration/Powerpoint/Divers/WTO-12APRIL2002.ppt 1
Switzerland - an open country l Economically strong Size: 41284 km2 Population (2001) - Total: 7204000 - Active: 3938000 GNP 2000: CHF 451,4 bios l Open 19,7 % of foreign population at end 2001 Inflow of 150000 asylum seekers (1997-2001) 50% of GNP produced by exports Switzerland is a service economy - 3/4 of active population - 2/3 of GNP 2
BUT… The net outflow of scientists/researchers from Switzerland amounts to approximately 400 professionals per year 3 Switzerland - a net exporter of services Service exports 1996-1999 CHF 46,5 billions Service imports 1996-1999 CHF 20,7 billions Swiss services trade surplus 1996-1999: CHF 25,8 billions
From a service economy to an information society l 2/3 of Swiss GNP produced by services l IT manpower in Switzerland: 67500 staff l Total IT manpower cost: CHF 4,9 billions/year (a) l Penetration of IT in Swiss Businesses 70% of Swiss businesses use IT 56% of all workplaces are equipped with IT resources BUT… 4 (a) Source: Swiss Federal Statistic Office-Indicator of the swiss information society 1999
From a service economy to an information society l Lack of qualified IT staff Open positions : 10500 l Number of graduates per year in informatics EPFL & ETHZ : 260 (Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology) HTL/ETS : 300 (Engineering schools) l Less than 5% of IT staff have an informatics university degree Temporary inflow of IT Specialists is needed and welcome 5
The GATS rules as applicable and applied in Switzerland l No hidden hurdles Conditions are clear and known Conditions match the agreement as signed by Switzerland l How to obtain a work permit? 1.Annual work permits quotas decided by federal government 2.Signed employment contract 3.Minimum salary and social security conditions 4.University degree 5.No change of job, profession and/or location (state) allowed 6
The GATS rules as applicable and applied in Switzerland l Advantages of the GATS for the employee 1.Recruiting priority criteria have been suppressed - For Swiss manpower - For preferential recruiting areas 2.Appeal against administrations decisions handled by a court and not by administrative authorities 7
Overall work permit quotas for 2002 l Up to 15 days for business promotion only = business visa l 120 days over one calendar year: no quota l Up to 4 consecutive months: no quota l Short term residence permit (up to 18 months) : 24000 l Year-round residence permit (up to 48 months) : 7000 l Rough estimates: 5000 work permits for IT staff granted per year l Over last 5 years, quotas never exhausted 8 l New regulations & quotas to be implemented for Switzerland-EU bilateral agreements
Procedure to obtain a work permit under GATS regulations l Switzerland being a federal state, work permit application originates with the cantons Cantonal labour market authority Cantonal alien police authority l The procedure is canton-dependent l Elapsed time to obtain a work permit: 4-8 weeks l The candidate cannot be in Switzerland during work permit procedure 9
The GATS work permit procedure: Room for improvement l Authorization for families Currently: granted for 18/48-month work permit Proposition: granted for 4/6-month work permit too 10 l Regulations for work permit renewal Currently: amazingly complex Proposition: simplify and reduce « off-Switzerland » period between 2 work permits l Business visa duration Currently: 15 consecutive days, single entry Proposition: up to 30 consecutive days, multiple entries
Practical learnings from the application of GATS regulations for IT staff l The Swiss authorities can be reached and cooperate l No hidden hurdle l Work permit procedure generally reliable and fast l A few changes may improve the overall procedure 11 Comply to the law and stick to the applicable procedure There is a level playing field there !
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