Peter Brabeck-Letmathe
President
Nestlé

"The canton of Vaud has excellent infrastructure in a wonderful setting in the centre of Europe, plus people who are both open and hard-working."

What are the advantages for a multinational like Nestlé from being based in the canton of Vaud?

"Even if Nestlé is every bit an international company based in the canton, it has nevertheless been a integral part of Vaud's economic fabric for exactly 140 years. Apart from the excellent underlying conditions, the good relations we have with the canton authorities are an important advantage that enables us to do business in a way that is both pragmatic and effective."

Nestlé's "good food, good life" slogan refers to quality of life. What do you think of the quality of life in the canton of Vaud, especially as an expat yourself? Is it an asset for the development of your company, its employees and the image of your products?

"I really feel at home in the canton of Vaud, and that's possibly the greatest compliment I can pay the region. And the exceptional quality of life that we enjoy is very attractive for our employees who come from other countries. Even if Nestlé is often considered a local company in different parts of the world, its Vaud origins have definitely never constituted a disadvantage..."

For someone like yourself who has lived and worked in several countries, how would you sum up your career in Switzerland and the canton of Vaud in particular compared with other regions that you know?

"I really like the flexibility of the local workforce, their willingness to get involved, the love of a job well done. Moreover, it's not matter of chance that we've invested more than 1.2 billion Swiss francs in Switzerland over the last few years, including 176 million francs to renovate the building housing our head office, 129 million francs in the Nescafé facility in Orbe and 90 million francs in a Nespresso plant in Orbe. And between now and 2008, Nestlé is going to invest a further 150 million Swiss francs in the construction of a new Nespresso facility in the canton, in Avenches."

Would you recommend the canton of Vaud to companies wanting to set up a base in Europe? What would be your main arguments?

"Without hesitation. Excellent infrastructure in a wonderful setting in the centre of Europe; and people who are both open and hard working. Plus a balance between a warm welcome and respect for your private sphere. And finally, a tolerance of differences."