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2020 Annual Report

2018 Annual Report

Moving ahead through challenging times

I don’t need to tell you how unusual this past year has been for the Bernese economy. Instead, I’d like to let you know what Bernese businesses and we at the Bern Economic Development Agency (BEDA) have been doing to get through the year with all the challenges it has presented. Of course, I write this in the knowledge that the crisis is not yet over.

When the crisis first started, I wrote about how important it was for us to keep a clear head and remain calm in these difficult times. And that is exactly what we have done throughout the year. This meant that alongside the federal government’s measures, in spring 2020 we were able to put together a tailor-made support program for businesses in the Canton of Bern. This allowed them to avoid forcing crucial key personnel into short-time work and to keep innovation projects alive. For their part, our partners have also done their utmost to support our beleaguered businesses. For example, be-advanced AG has expanded its coaching services and has launched support programs for the tourism sector.

Despite the all-pervading crisis, in this Annual Report we are fortunately able to report on other topics and projects that have taken place this year, such as the completion of the V-Cableway multi-generation project and the successful transformation of the Hakle paper mill in Niederbipp.

Coronavirus issues permeate this Annual Report just as the virus is doing in our daily lives. So instead of separating them completely, we have decided to flag these issues visually with page borders. After all, the coronavirus has – for all its uniqueness – become part of our everyday lives in 2020. This is less dispiriting than it may sound, as it shows how adaptive, innovative, and resilient our society and economy are.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank my colleagues and staff at the Ministry, our partners and, of course, all the businesses that are meeting these challenging times head on with innovative ideas, untiring optimism, and remarkable drive.


Dr. Sebastian Friess
President Bern Economic Development Agency  

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