Press releases, 05.03.2024

In 2023, Switzerland received enormous attention in the international media due to the collapse of Credit Suisse and its consequences. As in 2022, Switzerland's position regarding the war in Ukraine continued to receive regular media coverage. Switzerland's image among the general public abroad remained very good overall. However, in a number of countries Switzerland also faced some criticism.

Against an international backdrop of ongoing geopolitical crises and tensions, two topics dominated foreign media coverage of Switzerland in 2023. First, the collapse of Credit Suisse and its takeover by UBS were in the media spotlight worldwide. This development temporarily led to record levels of coverage in foreign media, which was predominantly critical. It was often argued that the demise of Credit Suisse also meant serious reputational damage for the entire Swiss financial centre. However, the actions of the Swiss authorities in handling the crisis were assessed in a more nuanced manner. The volume of reporting levelled off significantly after a short time.

The other topic which regularly dominated foreign media coverage – especially in Europe, the United States and Russia – was Switzerland's stance and actions regarding the war in Ukraine. The main areas covered were the prevention of arms transfers, neutrality, sanctions against Russia, and Switzerland's solidarity and reliability – often with a rather critical tone.

The foreign media also reported extensively on other events related to Switzerland in 2023, however. These included the scientific breakthrough in Lausanne that enabled a paraplegic to walk again, various criminal proceedings conducted in Switzerland on the basis of the principle of universal jurisdiction – which makes it possible to hold perpetrators accountable for serious crimes committed abroad – and the news that Toblerone had to remove the Matterhorn and the words 'Made in Switzerland' from its packaging. This way, also events in areas such as education, research and innovation, justice and 'Swissness' featured in international media coverage, shaping perceptions of Switzerland abroad. These were less extensively covered than the above-mentioned topics, but reporting was usually more positive in tone.

Very positive and largely stable image of Switzerland

Among the general public abroad, Switzerland's image remains very positive and largely stable overall, as in previous years. This is shown by the Anholt-Ipsos Nation Brands Index 2023, a representative survey of the population in 20 countries, in which Switzerland's image achieved a very good 7th place overall. Its governance, its attractiveness as a location and its quality of life continue to be ranked very highly. However, perceptions of Switzerland in specific countries and with regard to individual aspects, such as sympathy, have worsened since 2021 (for example in Germany, Russia and Saudi Arabia). It is important to keep an eye on these developments.

These are the key findings of Presence Switzerland's annual report on the image of Switzerland abroad. Presence Switzerland is part of the FDFA and is responsible for implementing the Federal Council's strategy for Switzerland's communication abroad. This includes monitoring other countries' perceptions of Switzerland based on coverage in traditional print media and on social media and analysing image studies on an ongoing basis. Presence Switzerland's activities are based on the Federal Act and the Ordinance on the Cultivation of Switzerland's Image Abroad.

Further information:

Report: Switzerland seen from abroad in 2023

Address for enquiries:

Alexandre Edelmann, interim head of Presence Switzerland
Tel.: +41 76 585 58 92


Federal Department of Foreign Affairs

Last update 19.07.2023

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