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The next annual meeting of the Tax Representative Alliance (TRA) will take place in Geneva, Switzerland, in March 2016. The meeting will be organized by the Swiss TRA member, LA BOETIE.

Geneva water fountain, © Samuel Borges -

Geneva water fountain, © Samuel Borges –

The annual TRA meeting offers the chance to learn more about other members, other countries and VAT. The annual meetings are the centerpiece of doing business together within the TRA. It is always easier to do business with someone you know personally. The personal meetings are one characteristic which differentiates the TRA from Big Four companies and other associations.

After the first meeting in Paris (France) in 2013, the second meeting in Regensburg (Germany) in 2014, the third meeting in Madrid (Spain) in 2015, the fourth meeting in Geneva (Switzerland) will be the further base for developing the cooperation among the participating companies and for upgrading the structures.

Geneva is the second most populous city in Switzerland (after Zürich) and is the most populous city of Romandy, the French-speaking part of Switzerland. Situated where the Rhône exits Lake Geneva, it is the capital of the Republic and Canton of Geneva.

The municipality (ville de Genève) has a population of 196,257, and the canton (which is essentially the city and its inner-ring suburbs) has 479,158 residents. In 2011, the compact agglomération franco-valdo-genevoise (Greater Geneva or Grand Genève) had 915,000 inhabitants in both – Switzerland and France (< 30mins distance). Within Swiss territory, the commuter area named “Métropole lémanique” contains a population of 1.25 million. This area is essentially spread east from Geneva towards the Riviera area (Vevey, Montreux) and north-east towards Yverdon-les-Bains, in the neighbouring canton of Vaud (< 60mins distance).

Geneva is a global city, a financial center, and worldwide center for diplomacy due to the presence of numerous international organizations, including the headquarters of many of the agencies of the United Nations and the Red Cross. Geneva is the city that hosts the highest number of international organizations in the world. It is also the place where the Geneva Conventions were signed, which chiefly concern the treatment of wartime non-combatants and prisoners of war.

Geneva was ranked as the world’s ninth most important financial centre for competitiveness by the Global Financial Centres Index, ahead of Frankfurt, and third in Europe behind London and Zurich. A 2009 survey by Mercer found that Geneva has the third-highest quality of life of any city in the world (behind Vienna and Zurich for expatriates; it is narrowly outranked by Zurich). The city has been referred to as the world’s most compact metropolis and the “Peace Capital”. In 2009 and 2011, Geneva was ranked as, respectively, the fourth and fifth most expensive city in the world.

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