Switzerland - Country Commercial Guide
Market Overview
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Switzerland has an affluent and cosmopolitan population of 8.7 million people (2020). Foreign nationals comprise approximately 25 % of the population. Its gross domestic product (GDP) was $752 billion in 2020. anked by the World Intellectual Property Organization as the most innovative country in the world and among the countries with the highest spending on R&D as a percentage of GDP, Switzerland is ideally positioned to continue to excel in global trade and investment.

The United States and Switzerland enjoy stable and robust trade relations with total U.S. exports to Switzerland amounting to $71billion in 2021. U.S. goods exports total $23.9 billion, while services constitute another significant portion of the bilateral trade relationship. In 2021, the U.S. exported to Switzerland over $47.1 billion in services, predominately business services and intellectual property licenses. In terms of total trade, the United States is Switzerland’s second largest trading partner, preceded by Germany and followed by China, according to Swiss customs data. The United States is the single most important country of origin of foreign direct investment in Switzerland, according to the Swiss National Bank. U.S. companies employ approximately 100,000 workers in Switzerland.

Boasting a highly automated and efficient manufacturing sector, Switzerland consumes and produces high-quality, value-added industrial and consumer goods and shows strong market demand for high-quality products with competitive prices. Beyond manufacturing, Switzerland is known for its top-tier pharmaceutical and financial industries.

Many U.S. firms base their European or regional headquarters in Switzerland, drawn to its world-class infrastructure, business-friendly legal and regulatory environment, modest corporate tax rates, and excellent human capital. Its well-regarded vocational education and apprenticeship system has been instrumental in cultivating a highly educated, reliable, and flexible workforce that has helped make Switzerland an attractive location for businesses. The Swiss government recognizes approximately 250 types of apprenticeships, 400 federal vocational exams, and 52 college degree programs. The United States and Switzerland signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Vocational Education and Training in November 2021 with a duration of three years.

Switzerland’s multilingual and multicultural population can present business strategy and marketing challenges, yet these elements make Switzerland a good potential test market to determine the viability of products for export and make Switzerland a hub for international business activities.

Political & Economic Environment:  State Department’s website for background on the country’s political environment