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Economy of Switzerland

The economy of Switzerland is one of the world's most stable economies. Its policy of long-term monetary security and political stability has made Switzerland a safe haven for investors, creating an economy that is increasingly dependent on a steady tide of foreign investment.

Because of the country's small size and high labour specialization, industry and trade are the keys to Switzerland's economic livelihood. Switzerland has achieved one of the highest per capita incomes in the world with low unemployment rates and a balanced budget. The service sector has also come to play a significant economic role. The economy of Switzerland ranks first in the world in the 2015 Global Innovation Index.

Sectors

The Swiss economy follows the typical First World model with respect to the economic sectors. Only a small minority of the workers are involved in the primary or agricultural sector (1.3% of the population, in 2006) while a larger minority is involved in the secondary or manufacturing sector (27.7% in 2012). The majority of the working population are involved in the tertiary or services sector of the economy (71.0% in 2012).

Watches

Switzerland is one of the leaders in exports of high-end watches as well as clocks, Swiss watch making companies produce most of the world's high-end watches, in 2011, the exports of Switzerland reached nearly 19.3 billion CHF.

In USD, Switzerland has an export, in 2011, of over USD$20 billion, making it the country with the highest export value of watches, followed by Hong Kong, at under USD$10 billion.

Industrial

Switzerland has an extensive industrial sector, which is not very well known around the world, but present with companies in different industrial sectors, such as: food processing like Nestlé, chemical for industrial and construction use like Sika AG, pharmaceutical like Novartis and Roche and roof coating chemicals Sarnafil. LafargeHolcim is the largest construction materials group in the world.

Agriculture

Switzerland is extremely protective of its agricultural industry. High tariffs and extensive domestic subsidisations encourage domestic production, which currently produces about 60% of the food consumed in the country.

90 to 100% of potatoes, vegetables, pork, veal, cattle and most milk products, are produced in the country. Beyond that, Swiss agriculture meets sixty-five per cent of the domestic food demand.

Trade

The CIA World Factbook estimates Switzerland's 2011 exports at $308.3 billion and the 2010 exports at $258.5 billion. Imports are estimated to be $299.6 billion in 2011 and $246.2 billion in 2010. According to the World Factbook numbers, Switzerland is the 20th largest exporter and the 18th largest importer.

The United Nations Commodity Trade Statistics Database has lower numbers for Switzerland's exports and imports. The UN calculates exports at $223.5 billion in 2011 and $185.8 billion in 2010. The value of all imports in 2011 was $197.0 billion and in 2010 it was $166.9 billion.

Tourism

Switzerland has a highly developed tourism infrastructure, especially in the mountainous regions and cities, making it a good market for tourism-related equipment and services.

The total gross value added from tourism is 14.9 billion. The total gross value added of 14.9 billion is about 2.9% of Switzerland's 2010 nominal GDP of 550.57 billion CHF.

Banking

In 2003, the financial sector comprised an estimated 11.6% of Switzerland's GDP and employed approximately 196,000 people (136,000 of whom work in the banking sector); this represents about 5.6% of the total Swiss workforce.

Currently an estimated 28 percent of all funds held outside the country of origin (sometimes called "offshore" funds) are kept in Switzerland. In 2009 Swiss banks managed 5.4 trillion Swiss Francs.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Economy Of Switzerland"

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