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Switzerland is one of the most prosperous countries in the world. The GDP in 2014 amounted to 640 billion CHF (688 billion USD), leading to a per capita income of 82,178 USD – the 2nd highest in the world according to World Bank data. The growth forecast for 2015 GDP was around 1.9% - but it has been corrected under the impact of the repeal of the minimum exchange rate of 1.20 euros and now stand at 0.8%. A growth of 1.6% is expected for 2016. (Swiss State Secretariat for Economic)
The Swiss industry is export-oriented. It focuses on chemical and pharmaceutical industries, engineering, electrical and metal industry, and the precision engineering sector (especially watches, jewelry and medical instruments). In addition, Switzerland has successfully established itself in the field of environmental technology.
However, the services sector continues to be the backbone of the country’s economy and employs 75 percent of Switzerland’s workforce. The financial sector remains the strength of the Swiss services, and has a share of around 10.25 percent in the GDP (2014) and employs 6 percent of the workforce. In recent years, international commodity trade in Geneva and is starting to generate significant export revenues that now exceed those of the banking sector.
The debt ratio of all public budgets (federal, cantonal and local authorities combined) is below 35% and continues to decrease. The deficit of public budgets is close to zero.
The unemployment rate in July 2015 was 3.1%.
Given the Swiss franc’s appreciation and the resultant decreasing pressure on import prices, there is significant deflation in the country (1%) which has helped in spurring growth in the manufacturing sector.
Why invest in Switzerland?
- Switzerland is a member of important international economic organizations such as the OECD, IMF, World Bank and WTO. It is the seat of the State Bank for International Settlements in Basel. In addition, Switzerland is a founding member of EFTA.
- Having the 3rd highest Human Development Index in the world, Switzerland is an ideal place to live in and work at.
- Thanks to the strength of the country’s financial sector and general macroeconomic stability, the Swiss Franc is one of the strongest currencies in the world.
- Switzerland is considered an open gateway to Europe, owing to its central location. The country serves as an infrastructural hub for more than 30 key markets in the continent.
- The Swiss workforce is one of the most ethnically diverse and productive in the world. More than 22% of it constitutes of foreign works which provides for a very multilingual society. Furthermore, Switzerland’s continued, heavy investment in the public education sector means that the country’s workforce is industrious and well-educated.