Northwest Switzerland - The Cross-Border Cooperation Partner in the South of the Upper Rhine

Northwest Switzerland is an intercantonal and international economic area in the northwest of Switzerland. It includes the five cantons of Basel-Stadt, Basel-Landschaft, Aargau, Jura and Solothurn. Northwest Switzerland has about 1,400,000 inhabitants, where more than 88% live in urban areas of the Basel agglomeration. The proportion of foreigners lies slightly below the Swiss average at 20.8%. Northwest Switzerland is one of the most important business locations in Switzerland with international appeal. The gross domestic product amounts to 47,100 Euros per capita, with a total of 64 billion Euros for Northwest Switzerland. The unemployment rate came to less than 3% in 2010. The chemical-pharmaceutical industry is by far the most important in the manufacturing sector. Their share of added value lies at a good 13 percent for Northwest Switzerland. The chemical-pharmaceutical industry has traditionally been the flagship industry of Northwest Switzerland. Corporate groups such as Roche and Novartis are internationally renowned. Recently added names include Syngenta, Ciba Spezialitätenchemie, Clariant, the Dutch DSM as well as many emerging companies that were originally a spin-off of a major corporation business unit (such as Actelion and Basilea Pharmaceutica). Other important industries include the financial and insurance industry, retail as well as logistics and creative industries. On the other hand, nano and energy technology also play an important role. Correspondingly, research and education is equally important: In addition to a prosperous economy, Northwest Switzerland also offers rich and varied cultural attractions, is an internationally known university and knowledge location (University of Basel, University of Applied Sciences Northwest Switzerland) and stands out as an attractive residential city: Urban and rural togetherness is interconnected over a small area and is easily accessible over a short distance. In addition to Basel, other important cities in Northwest Switzerland include in particular: Aarau, Allschwil, Baden, Delémont, Liestal, Olten, Riehen, Rheinfelden, Solothurn, and Wettingen.

Basel - The Economic and Cultural Center of Northwest Switzerland

The city of Basel is located in the border triangle where Switzerland, France and Germany meet. Working closely with neighbors across the border, many questions concerning transport, environment, education and culture are contemplated. Basel is an innovative business location and an important international traffic hub: The airport (Euroairport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg), Rhine ports, road and railways secure access to the entire world. As a border city, Basel benefits from the availability of German and French workers: More than 30,000 people from France and Germany cross the borders every day for employment purposes, many of whom are highly qualified specialists. Many people from abroad are also drawn to Basel: 150 nations are represented here. Basel is a European cultural center, offering some 40 museums - some with an international reputation, such as the Fondation Beyeler and the Museum of Fine Arts, the Theater Basel with its three-division operation and the additional 25 smaller theaters, a musical stage, many galleries and numerous concert stages of all sizes. The international art scene meets at the Art Basel, the world's most important trade fair for contemporary art. The world's most renowned brands display each year their collections exclusively at the watch and jewellery fair Basel World.


Educed over a period of 40 years, the Upper Rhine-cooperation has its origins in Northwest Switzerland. Young people from industry, science and politics in the Basel area formed the REGIO BASILIENSIS association in 1963, since they viewed the city-state development to be secured only in overcoming the cantonal and national boundaries based on a partnership with all neighbors. In its efforts, the association has since gained support from the cantonal governments, industries and the university. Northwest Switzerland remains an important gateway to Switzerland - by rail, road or waterway - based on the marginality to Germany and France, as well as its integration in the North-South axis.