Ticino's competitiveness is getting closer to national standards

Gotthard Pass
Gotthard Pass

Institutional Communication Service

11 April 2018

In terms of economic competitiveness, Ticino turns out to be less competitive than the other major Swiss regions. That is mostly due to a lower disposable income of households and lower labour productivity, though the latter has been getting closer to national standards since 2011. The employment rate has been showing a positive trend since 2013, and it is currently aligned with federal standards. This is the picture shown by the report “Competitività economica 2017” (economic competitiveness 2017), published today by USI Observatory of Economic Policies (O-De), available at the following link: www.ode.usi.ch/it/aziende-e-competitivita.   

It is the sixth annual report on the evolution of the economic development in Ticino, carried out by O-De, and commissioned by the Department of Economy and Finance of the Canton of Ticino (DFE).

The analysis of regional competitiveness is based on the inter-regional comparison, using a pyramidal model focused on four aspects: the so-called “success factors” (such as security, education, presence of headquarters on the territory, demographics, social and institutional structure), the “development factors” (such as financial and human capital, entrepreneurship, innovation rate and internationalisation) and “standard of living”.


Entrepreneurial vitality and attractiveness

The 2017 report highlights disadvantages for Ticino in terms of per capita income and labour productivity, though the level is increasingly reaching national standards.  

Ticino keeps excellent standards in terms of entrepreneurial vitality of the economic fabric, with a higher number of new business compared to the ones that failed, and an economy that is fairly suited to international trade.

In comparison with other cantons, Ticino has a lower cost of living, a lower average salary level (which has a negative impact on per capita income) and moderate taxes. All of these factors put the region among the most attractive cantons in terms of location in which to open new business. 


Negative aspects

Negative factors include the high rate of residents without a higher education degree, and the high rate of elderly citizens. This leads to imbalances in the canton finances to cover healthcare costs and to support the pension system.


Contrasts: quality of life, broadband, and share capital

Quality of life is among the most interesting themes explored by O-De researchers. In comparison to the other major Swiss regions and Lombardy, Ticino shows excellence in terms of safety and health.

Other issues addressed in the report, which were not investigated in the previous years, concern broadband accessibility and social capital in the sense of how much individuals believe they can rely on relatives and friends in case of necessity. In these areas, the figures are rather low: Ticino appears to be more similar to Lombardy than the rest of Switzerland.