Switzerland is a federated country of central Europe, characterised by a decentralised political system, direct democracy and a free market approach. Its neutrality and stability paved the way for investments and economic growth.
Internationalization was the way chosen by Swiss companies in order to overcome its modest domestic market size. Thanks to its central location in Europe, trade and transport became the drivers for economic growth.
A world’s class banking sector and a low wages taxes environment placed the country in the international scene. Although the last topic must be put into perspective. According to Swissinfo, “an individual is obliged to make compulsory non-state contributions to health insurance or occupational benefits, which are deducted from monthly salaries”.
With regard to foreign trade, Switzerland was the 17th largest exporting economy in 2020, with a total of $ 319 billion according to the International Trade Centre.
Behind Russia (17) with $ 337 billion and followed by Spain (18) with $ 312 billion. The countries within its geographical area of influence like Italy, France and Austria were placed in positions 8th, 9th, 31st respectively.
Imports reached $ 291 billion in 2019. The trade balance surplus stood at $ 27 billion.
In 2020, the top exports of Switzerland was:
- Gold, incl. gold plated with platinum: $ 71.6 billion (23 %)
- Medicaments: $ 47.3 billion (15 %)
- Human blood; animal blood prepared for therapeutic: $ 39.5 billion (13 %)
- Heterocyclic compounds: $ 12.5 billion (4 %)
- Wrist-watches, pocket-watches: $ 11.4 billion (4 %)
As for the imported products in 2020, the top 5 of imports was:
- Gold, incl. gold plated with platinum: $ 87.9 billion (32 %)
- Medicaments: $ 25.8 billion (9 %)
- Human blood; animal blood prepared for therapeutic: $ 12.3 billion (4 %)
- Motor cars: $ 10.1 billion (4 %)
- Articles of jewellery: $ 7.8 billion (3 %)
Its main trading partners (X+M) are Germany, which represents 17% of exchanges, followed by the United States with 15%, Italy with 7% and China with 6% of trade exchanges.
The main destinations for exports were:
- USA 23 %
- Germany 15 %
- China 5 %
- United Kingdom 5 %
- France 5 %
The main origins of imports were:
- Germany 19 %
- Italy 8 %
- USA 7 %
- China 6 %
- France 6 %
With regard to Service Exports in 2020, the top 5 was:
- Charges for the use of intellectual property: $ 23.1 billion (20 %)
- Financial services: $ 21.8 billion (19 %)
- Other business services: $ 20.1 billion (18 %)
- Transport: $ 12.7 billion (11 %)
- Telecommunications, IT services: $ 10.3 billion (9 %)
As for the imported services in 2020, the top 5 was:
- Other business services: $ 45 billion (39 %)
- Charges for the use of intellectual property: $ 17.9 billion (16 %)
- Telecommunications, IT services: $ 15.3 billion (13 %)
- Transportation: $ 11.8 billion (10 %)
- Travel: $ 9.5 billion (8 %)
GDP per capita (PPP) was $ 87,097 in 2020. Its population reached 8.63 million inhabitants.
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