The swiss economy

Switzerland’s economy is based on a highly qualified labour force performing highly skilled work. The main areas include microtechnology, hitech, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, as well as banking and insurance know-how. The service sector now employs the greatest number of people.Most of the people working in Switzerland are employed by small and medium-sized enterprises, which play an extremely important role in the Swiss economy.The Swiss are concerned that economic activity should have as little impact as possible on the environment. Switzerland's energy and transport policies aim to be environmentally friendly.


Swiss companies are extremely competitive in world markets. In some branches, more than 90% of goods and services are exported. The best-known export items are watches, chocolate and cheese, but in fact mechanical and electrical engineering and chemicals together account for over half Swiss export revenues.The areas where Switzerland is a leading supplier include looms, paper and printing machinery, blanking tools for metalworking, elevators and escalators, packaging equipment and rack-and-pinion railways. However, many of the components for these items are now manufactured abroad.

Energy policy

The Emosson dam and reservoir in Canton Valais, which produces nearly 900 million KW hours per yearAs a small country in the middle of Europe, Switzerland's energy policy is aligned with that of its neighbours. Switzerland is part of the western European power grid. In the summer it is able to export electricity, but in winter it generally has to import it. In 2005 for the first time it imported more than it exported. The two main planks of Swiss energy policy are to promote the use of renewable resources and to encourage efficiency.


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