Biotherapies company CSL has decided to build a new, $500 million plant in Switzerland due to factors including a lower corporate tax rate and government assistance.
The Australian Financial Review reports that the $33 billion manufacturer short-listed four countries, including Australia, before deciding on the Swiss option.
Switzerland has high currency and labour costs, but it understood the importance of productivity in light of these, according to CSL. The Swiss corporate tax rate, at about 18 per cent, is also lower than Australia’s approximate rate of 30 per cent.
“These countries like Switzerland they get it that they’re competing,” chief financial officer Gordon Naylor told the Australian Financial Review, also praising Switzerland “expeditiously” managing approvals.
“[In Australia] there’s actually not a
national imperative to compete.”
What will be produced at the Swiss plant will be based on R&D carried out in Australia.
The CFO said that the decision may have been different if Australia has in place a “patent box” scheme for manufacturing, currently being proposed by the country’s biotech sector and involving a lower tax rate applying to R&D commercialised and manufactured locally.