The Swiss economy focuses on high tech, quality work and skilled workers and strongly depends on foreign trade.

Switzerland is the third largest supplier and second largest customer of the EU: 62% of Swiss exports go to the EU and 79% of imports originate from the EU. The most important exported goods are chemicals, machinery and electronics, as well as tools and watches. Leading companies in engineering, machinery, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, medical technology, and computer sciences have headquarters in Switzerland. Switzerland’s innovation performance is among the best in the world.

  • The engineering, electrical and metal industry occupies a key position in the Swiss national economy: it is the largest industrial employer, with approximately 330,000 employees and contributes 32 percent of the goods exported from Switzerland, with exports at a value of CHF 66 billion (2014).
  • Some 600 medical technology companies employ a highly qualified workforce of 40,000, making the sector one of the largest and most diversified in Europe. The revenues reach a total of CHF 20.3 billion.
  • The biotech industry in Switzerland benefits simultaneously from the inputs of Swiss world leading pharma enterprises and cutting-edge public research institutions. In 2012, the Swiss biotech counted 4,300 employees and generated a turnover of almost CHF 5 billion.

Source: Swissmem, OECD