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Strategic Location

At the center of Switzerland and Europe

The Canton of Fribourg is situated on the main road and rail networks of Switzerland and Europe and is traversed by two motorways. About 20% of the Swiss population (1.5 million people) is within 45 minutes of the Canton. Other urban centers and Switzerland’s main airports (Basle, Berne, Geneva, Zurich) and Payerne Airport (for Business Aviation) are all accessible within 20 to 90 minutes. Neighboring countries – Germany, France, Italy and Austria – are easily accessible by rail, road and air.

The location of Fribourg

From Fribourg to Distance Train Car
Basle 126 km 1h25 1h10
Berne 34 km 0h22 0h20
Geneva 138 km 1h19 1h15
Lausanne 73 km 0h44 0h45
St. Gallen 236 km 2h41 2h15
Zurich 154 km 1h24 1h25


From Fribourg to Distance
Amsterdam 835 km
Berlin 960 km
Bratislava 973 km
Brussels 669 km
Budapest 1164 km
Dublin 1700 km
Copenhagen 1468 km
Ljubljana 1399 km
London 960 km
Madrid 1499 km
Oslo 1803 km
Paris 574 km
Prague 574 km
Rome 958 km
Sarajevo 1399
Stockholm 1846 km
Warsaw 1500 km
Vienne 874 km
Zagreb 983 km

Tax system

The Canton of Fribourg offers tax conditions that are among the most interesting in Switzerland for companies operating in the country, as well as for holdings and companies whose activities are oriented abroad. Companies that are newly founded or established in the Canton may obtain a partial or total tax exemption on Cantonal and municipal levels for a period of up to ten years.

Qualified personnel

The Canton is home to a large pool of highly skilled personnel, many of whom are fluent in German and French, and who also speak an additional language (e.g. English, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, etc.). Political and social stability and the absence of strikes guarantee the uninterrupted flow in the course of business.International studies also underline that Swiss workers are among the most productive in the world. When establishing a company, officials are cooperative and efficient in granting authorizations and permits required for the transfer of management and qualified foreign employees.

Work contracts and labor costs

Labor costs in the Canton of Fribourg are generally 10 – 20% lower in comparison with other major urban centers. Work contracts are usually set for an indefinite period. The probationary period typically varies from 30 to 90 days during which either party may terminate with seven days’ notice. Regular notice periods vary between one to three months depending on the number of years of service. The duration of a normal full-time work-week is 42 hours per week with certain sectors able to go beyond this level. Salaries paid by companies are gross amounts, which means that they include social contributions (social security, unemployment insurance and other benefits). paid by both the employer and the employee. The share of payroll taxes paid by the employer represents between 16 and 20% of the gross annual salary.

A range of educational excellence from kindergarten to University

A hub for science, education and professional training, Fribourg has an unusually high density of institutes of higher education as well as a full range of opportunities for basic training and continuing education. In addition to a cosmopolitan university, there are five hautes écoles (technical colleges and institutes) in Fribourg including the schools of engineering and architecture, management, social work, health and education. Some offer postgraduate courses leading to masters degrees. In addition, the EPFL (Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne) is located just one hour away from the city of Fribourg. The EPFL is also established in the city of Fribourg. Specialized institutes of learning are also established in the Canton, providing professional training in trade, agriculture, music, art, multimedia and hospitality. A range of secondary schools and gymnasiums, a vocational training center, a trade school and a business school provide an array of excellent secondary school education and vocational training. Instruction is given in French and German at all levels.

A multicultural environment on the language border

Thanks to its bilingualism, the Canton of Fribourg is the bridge between the French and German speaking regions of Switzerland. Education is provided in French and German from kindergarten through university; a unique situation in Europe. English, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese are also widely spoken. Fribourg’s multilingualism allows companies to access various cultural communities, as well as most major European markets.

Fribourg, an extraordinary place

Everyone agrees that living in the Canton of Fribourg has its many advantages, with a pristine natural environment, a wide range of recreational and cultural offerings, as well as a cosmopolitan and multicultural ambiance. In Fribourg, the historical and contemporary, the traditional and modern, as well as dynamic cities and picturesque countryside are interwoven. The city of Fribourg was ranked first in Western Switzerland in a study on the quality of life in 104 major Swiss cities. The city of Bulle, capital of the Gruyere region in the canton of Fribourg, ranked fifth.

Rang City (canton) Total Points
1 Fribourg (FR) 179.5
4 Geneva (GE) 171.0
5 Bulle (FR) 170.5
6 Neuchâtel (NE) 167.0
16 Lausanne (VD) 154.0
20 Yverdon (VD) 152.0
22 Montreux (VD) 151.5

Additional cities for comparison:

Rank City(canton) Total Points
Berne (BE) 174.5
Zurich (ZH) 172.5
Bâle (BS) 166.5

Source: Idheap Lausanne