Switzerland

Switzerland

Abhinav Kumar
Abhinav Kumar

Country Expert
   

Switzerland Statistics

In 2018 Switzerland was the number 20 economy in the world in terms of GDP (current US$). The economy of Switzerland is one of the world’s most advanced free market economies. The service sector has come to play a significant economic role, particularly the Swiss banking industry and tourism. The economy of Switzerland ranks first in the world in the 2015 Global Innovation Index and third in the 2020 Global Competitiveness Report.
The main industries in Switzerland are banking and finance. However, the country’s economy is also driven by agriculture and industry. In fact, Switzerland is famous in the world for its Swiss chocolates and watches.
$ 1 crores
GDP in USD trillion
1 Lakhs
Population (2019)
1
Area ( km. sq. )
Import Of Switzerland

In 2018 Switzerland imported a total of $294B, making it the number 17 trade destination in the world.
Main Import Countries

Export Of Switzerland

In 2018 Switzerland exported a total of $310B, making it the number 18th exporter in the world.
Main Export Countries

Major Sectors

Agriculture Manufacturing Banking Tourism Energy

The Agricultural Sector contributed 0.7% of the GDP of Switzerland in 2017. Although the sector does not contribute much to the country’s economy, the Swiss government is very protective of it. There are many government subsidies for farmers as well as high tariffs to encourage domestic agricultural practices. Consequently, 60% of the food consumed in Switzerland is locally grown and produced. Examples of the food products are potatoes, wheat, barley, sugar beets, fruits (apple and grapes), milk products, meat products (such as veal, pork, and beef), and vegetables. Since the Swiss agriculture meets approximately 65% of the country’s food demand, the government sets aside a large portion of its budget (about 5.5% of annual budget) for boosting production of food. Although the Swiss government has been trying to safeguard its agricultural sector, the European Union has been pressuring it to relax its strict policies to allow for foreign goods into its markets.

The Economy of Switzerland is driven by the manufacturing industry which contributed 25.6% of its GDP in 2017. Switzerland is one of the world's largest exporters. The country contains one of the most competitive pharmaceutical industries in the world. Some of the popular pharmaceutical firms in Switzerland are Roche and Novartis, two of the world's largest biotech companies. The country is also involved in the manufacture of food products (like Nestle) and chemicals used in the construction sector such as roof coating chemicals. The largest construction materials’ company in the world is the LafargeHolcim Group. Switzerland is also famous for the manufacturing of high-end clocks and watches. Most of these clocks and watches are exported to Asia, the Americas, and Europe. However, Asia imports 55% of the Swiss watches and clocks making it the country’s largest watches and clocks export partner. In 2011, Switzerland was the largest exporter of watches in the world as its exports were valued at US$20 billion. Switzerland has a highly skilled labour force. As a result, most of its exports are high tech finished products which are sold at premium prices. Examples of these exports are precious jewellery, watches, vaccines, arms & ammunition, medicaments, and orthopaedic appliances. The agricultural food products exports include chocolate, wine, and cheese.

The Client Confidentiality and Banking secrecy practiced in Switzerland can be traced as far as the 1700s. Centuries later in 1934, the ratification of the federal known as the “Federal Act on Banks and Savings Banks” resulted in codifying of the Swiss banking secrets. The banking sector in Switzerland is known for its policies of protection of foreign accounts. It is a criminal offense to reveal client information just as it is in the case of doctors and priests. In 2018, the Swiss Bankers Association estimated that the value of the assets held by the Swiss Banks was about US$6.5 trillion. The three massive banks in Switzerland are the Credit Suisse, UBS, and Julius Bär. The banks’ regulation authorities in Switzerland are the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority and the Swiss National bank. In addition, Zurich Cantonal Bank is considered one of the world's most secure banks.

Regarding tourism, Switzerland enjoys revenues of up to CHF 16.8 billion every year. Some of the top-rated places for tourist visits in the country are Matterhorn (one of the highest mountains in the Alps), the Jungfraujoch (translated: “Top of Europe”) reached by the Jungfrau Railway, Rhine Falls (150 meters high), Lake Geneva, the Chillon Castle, Bern City, and Swiss National Park. Due to these many magnificent tourist destinations, many tourists are drawn to Switzerland annually.

The Main Sources of Energy in Switzerland are oil, natural gas, nuclear power and hydropower. Since 2005 Switzerland has seen a surge in the use of renewable energies such as ambient heat, biomass, wind power and solar power. Petroleum and other fuels are the main sources of energy in Switzerland (50.6%), followed by electricity (25%), gas (13.5%) and wood (4.4%). Electricity is mainly generated by hydropower (59.9%), nuclear power (33.5%) and conventional thermal power plants (2.3%, non-renewable).
At present, Switzerland is in the midst of an energy transition. One of the aims of the country's ‘Energy Strategy 2050’ is the phase-out of nuclear power. Switzerland has 638 hydroelectric power plants. They account for 59.9% of total domestic electricity production. The largest dam in Switzerland is the 285 metre-high Grande-Dixence dam (canton of Valais). It is also the third-highest gravity dam in the world.

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