US, Switzerland push forward pharma deal

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How Swiss law will affect the iconic Toblerone chocolate bar, when construction will begin on the tunnel from Geneva to St. Gallen, and more in our roundup of Swiss news from June 24 – 28.


The triangular shape of the Toblerone is meant to mimic Switzerland’s own Matterhorn.


Toblerone to lose its Swiss insignia under Swiss law


As one of Switzerland’s most iconic candies, the Toblerone chocolate bar, expands its production to Slovakia it will have to remove its “of Switzerland” label. The Toblerone bar, which mimics the shape of the Matterhorn, has been exclusively produced in Bern since 1908. With the decision to open a new production line in eastern Europe, Toblerone will be able to “manufacture millions of additional bars,” according to a spokesperson. But before production can begin, Toblerone will change its label to “originated in Switzerland” to reflect that it is no longer an exclusively Swiss product. This is mandated under Swiss law. Read more.


Forget everything you know about dairy: Why Swiss cheese is healthy


US-Swiss trade talks stall


Although discussions of a free trade deal between Switzerland and the United States have dithered over Swiss agriculture tariffs, officials are moving forward with specific agreements over other sectors, such as the pharmaceutical industry, U.S. Ambassador Scott Miller told Swiss newspaper SonntagsBlick. “Here we are working on an agreement that would facilitate FDA approval for Swiss pharmaceuticals,” Miller told the newspaper. The pharmaceutical and chemical industries account for nearly two-thirds of Swiss exports to the U.S. America is Switzerland’s most important export market and is valued at about CHF 47 billion. In contrast, Swiss firms in these sectors also create about 500,000 jobs in the U.S., Miller said. Read more.


Construction begins on tunnel from Geneva to St. Gallen


The Federal Council approved this week a project to build an underground freight tunnel network – Cargo Sous Terrain (CST) – that will stretch from Geneva to St. Gallen. Building will begin on August 1, 2022 and finish by 2031. The CST includes a three-lane underground tunnel with automated, driverless electric vehicles moving at 30 kilometers per hour. The CST will relieve the strain of aboveground roads and railways; moreover, it will reduce the environmental impact of transportation. The project is funded by private investors such as Manor, Migros, Coop, Swisscom, Swiss Post and more. It will cost between CHF 30 and 35 billion. Read more.


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