Western Switzerland includes more than 25 % of the Swiss population, that is to say 2.8 million people who essentially speak French, German and, quite often, English. Thus, one may observe that 17.7 % of the population in Western Switzerland speaks English at work (OFS 2000). The cantons of Geneva, Jura, Neuchâtel and Vaud are French-speaking, whereas the cantons of Bern, Fribourg and Valais are bi-lingual (French/German).

Due to the fact that it is so open to other countries, the population of Western Switzerland is cosmopolitan. To the benefit of all the enterprises and organisations that have settled here, the languages and the cultures are various.

Thus, Western Switzerland has 21.2 % of foreigners, 38.1 % of whom live specifically in Geneva (OFS 2000). The populations originate mainly from European countries: Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Austria, the Balkans and Turkey, but also come from Africa, America, Asia or Australia. These human resources traditionally form a determining factor for the companies and their success.
 

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