The Basel region consists of two parts, Basel land (Landschaft) and Basel city (Stadt)
Basel stadt has a population (as of March 2013) of 172,091. As of 2008, 32.3% of the population 55,070 are resident foreign nationals.
The canton of Basel land (with its own capital of Liestal) has a population (as of 31 December 2012) of 277,973. As of 2007, the population included 48,719 foreigners who made up 18.1% of the population.
Both are two seperate cantons of the overall 26 cantons of Switzerland.
EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg is operated jointly by two countries, France and Switzerland, although the airport is located completely on French soil. The airport itself is split into two architecturally independent sectors, one half serving the French side and the other half serving the Swiss side; prior to Schengen there was a customs point at the middle of the airport so that people could “emigrate” to the other side of the airport.
Basel has a large network of Trams and Busses, Click on the below link to see a full map and online Tram schedule http://www.bvb.ch/en/timetable-network/online-timetable
Basel Bahnhof SBB, self-proclaimed “world’s first international railway station.”
Basel has long held an important place as a rail hub. Three railway stations — those of the German, French and Swiss networks — lie within the city (although the Swiss (Basel SBB) and French (Bâle SNCF) stations are actually in the same complex, separated by Customs and Immigration facilities). Basel Badischer Bahnhof is on the opposite side of the city. Basel’s local rail services are supplied by the Basel Regional S-Bahn. The largest goods railway complex of the country is located just outside the city, spanning the municipalities of Muttenz and Pratteln. The new high speed ICE railway line from Karlsruhe to Basel was completed in 2008 while phase I of the TGV Rhin-Rhône line, opened in December 2011, has reduced travel time from Basel to Paris to about 3 hours
Businesses in Basel
The Swiss chemical industry operates largely from Basel, and Basel also has a large pharmaceutical industry. Novartis, Syngenta, Ciba Specialty Chemicals, Clariant, Hoffmann-La Roche, Basilea Pharmaceutica and Actelion are headquartered there. Pharmaceuticals and specialty chemicals have become the modern focus of the city’s industrial production.
Banking is extremely important to Basel:
- UBS AG maintains central offices in Basel,
- The Bank for International Settlements is located within the city and is the central banker’s bank. The bank is controlled by a board of directors, which is composed of the elite central bankers of 11 different countries (US, UK, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Sweden).
According to the BIS, “The choice of Switzerland for the seat of the BIS was a compromise by those countries that established the BIS: Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States. When consensus could not be reached on locating the Bank in London, Brussels or Amsterdam, the choice fell on Switzerland. An independent, neutral country, Switzerland offered the BIS less exposure to undue influence from any of the major powers. Within Switzerland, Basel was chosen largely because of its location, with excellent railway connections in all directions, especially important at a time when most international travel was by train.”
Created in May 1930, the BIS is owned by its member central banks, which are private entities. No agent of the Swiss public authorities may enter the premises without the express consent of the bank. The bank exercises supervision and police power over its premises. The bank enjoys immunity from criminal and administrative jurisdiction, as well as setting recommendations which become standard for the world’s commercial banking system.
- Basel is also the location of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, which is distinct from the BIS. It usually meets at the BIS premises in Basel. Responsible for the Basel Accords (Basel I and Basel II), this organization fundamentally changed Risk Management within its industry.
Basel has Switzerland’s second tallest building (Basler Messeturm / 105m) and Switzerland’s tallest tower (St. Chrischona TV tower / 250m).
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