Detailed Review of Switzerland
Switzerland is famous for its efficient economy and high standard of living as well as for its health and education systems which are among the best in Europe. Nevertheless the 2008 global crisis affected the country which experienced a sharp decline in growth before slowly recovering primarily as a result of domestic demand. The growth estimate for 2014 is 1.8%.
Switzerland’s agricultural sector only accounts for 1% of GDP which is partially due to the country’s natural landscape only 10% of which is arable. Production focuses primarily on dairy products and livestock farming, although organic farming is currently growing. Like its economy Switzerland’s industry is also famous worldwide for such industries as Basel’s chemical and pharmaceutical products.
However, state of the art manufactured goods (watches, engines, turbines, generators, etc.) are the main reason for Switzerland’s industrial reputation. Finally, service industries represent more than 70% of GDP, and represent almost as many jobs among the working population. The most dynamic service sector fields are banking, insurance and transport, as well as tourism, which is very dynamic.
International trade is extremely important for Switzerland’s economy, as the country is very open to the world. The country has a strong trade surplus, and its main trading partners are the European Union and the United States.
Switzerland’s Economic Strengths
- Good location.
- Excellent infrastructure.
- Low tax rates.
- Easy to introduce high-tech products.
- Highly skilled workforce.
- The country is very R & D focused.
- The highest capital investment fund in Europe.
Switzerland’s Economic Weaknesses
- Highly competitive market.
- Stringent business regulations.
Foreign investments are well received in Switzerland, and each canton is free to encourage such investments as it deems fit. Cantons therefore often provide a number of tax benefits (ten years without charges, for example, in some cantons).