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Switzerland

Page history last edited by Brian D Butler 9 years, 9 months ago

see also:

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Switzerland

 

Not a member of the EU

Even though Switzerland is one of the two biggest international financial areas in Europe (the other being London, UK)

And, Switzerland has:

 

  • Two of Europe's biggest drug stocks (Novartis, Roche)
  • Two huge banks: Credit Suisse and UBS
  • Two of the world's biggest insurers: Swiss Re, Zurich Financial Services
  • The worlds biggest food company: Nestle 

 

The Swiss were the mercenaries of medieval Europe: skilled practitioners in the art of war, hand-picked by French and Italian royalty to perform complex military operations. In the modern era, however, Switzerland is renowned for its unique political neutrality: a feature that attracts the headquarters of organizations such as the UN, the Red Cross and FIFA. In addition to being one of the most prosperous and stable market economies in the world, this independence makes the Swiss currency—the Confoederatio Helevetica Franc—a safe haven for international investors in times of global uncertainty. 

 

Switzerland has become synonymous with the precision of time, the discretion of wealth and the elegance of Federer. Besides horology (think Vacheron Constantin, the oldest watch manufacturer in existence), the Swiss also make noble contributions to the world in fields such as chocolate (think Lindt, les maitres chocolatiers), particle physics (think CERN, the crucible of nuclear research) and folk wrestling (think schwingen, hailed as the national sport).

 

Official Info:

 

 

 

Switzerland Economy:

Swiss economy is one of the world's most stable economies. Its policy of long-term monetary security and bank secrecy has made Switzerland a safe haven for investors, creating an economy that is increasingly dependent on a steady tide of foreign investment. Because of the country's small size and high labour specialization, industry and trade are the keys to Switzerland's economic livelihood. Switzerland has achieved one of the highest per capita incomes in the world with low unemployment rates and a low budget deficit as a result of its finance industry. The service sector has also come to play a significant economic role.  read more:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_Switzerland 

 

Table of Contents


 

Big Banks in Switzerland:

country’s two largest banks, UBS AG and Credit Suisse Group AG  -- both based in Zurich

 

 

Top companies in Switzerland:

 

Rank Company Country Industry Sales ($bil) Profits ($bil) Assets ($bil) Market Value ($bil)
32 Nestlé Switzerland Food, Drink & Tobacco 103.01 16.91 97.12 118.99
58 Roche Holding Switzerland Drugs & Biotechnology 42.75 8.41 69.77 98.47
61 Novartis Switzerland Drugs & Biotechnology 42.01 8.30 73.22 82.97
96 Zurich Financial Services Switzerland Insurance 32.35 3.04 325.04 19.60
146 Xstrata Switzerland Materials 27.95 3.60 55.31 16.46
157 ABB Switzerland Capital Goods 34.91 3.12 31.99 28.00
231 Transocean Switzerland Oil & Gas Operations 12.67 4.20 35.17 19.11
262 Holcim Switzerland Construction 23.58 1.67 42.21 8.65
359 Swisscom Switzerland Telecommunications Services 11.43 1.65 21.31 15.65
393 UBS Switzerland Diversified Financials 61.23 -18.52 1,894.85 27.25
404 Credit Suisse Group Switzerland Diversified Financials 45.64 -7.70 1,089.61 28.89
411 Syngenta Switzerland Chemicals 11.77 1.40 14.01 19.99
481 Richemont Switzerland Household & Personal Products 8.77 2.60 15.06 7.61
504 Weatherford Intl Switzerland Oil & Gas Operations 9.60 1.35 16.48 7.45
560 Adecco Switzerland Business Services & Supplies 29.56 0.73 10.51 5.82
567 Swiss Life Holding Switzerland Insurance 16.99 1.21 157.81 1.60
635 Swiss Re Group Switzerland Insurance 31.08 -0.81 214.16 4.32
647 Bâloise Group Switzerland Insurance 8.47 0.71 58.85 2.79
751 Julius Baer Holding Switzerland Diversified Financials 3.92 0.62 43.34 4.83
788 Alpiq Holding Switzerland Utilities 11.85 0.41 8.19 7.50
812 Schindler Holding Switzerland Capital Goods 13.07 0.58 6.26 5.83
814 Kühne & Nagel Intl Switzerland Transportation 16.86 0.55 5.07 5.73
921 Swatch Group Switzerland Household & Personal Products 4.97 0.89 6.43 6.44
1037 SGS Switzerland Business Services & Supplies 4.52 0.65 3.19 6.80
1047 Synthes Switzerland Health Care Equipment & Svcs 3.22 0.74 5.82 13.83
1063 STMicroelectronics Switzerland Semiconductors 9.28 -0.74 13.49 3.88
1104 Helvetia Patria Switzerland Insurance 5.61 0.35 28.30 1.33
1171 BCV Group Switzerland Banking 1.53 0.42 31.21 2.30
1407 Basler Kantonalbank Switzerland Banking 1.08 0.14 29.36 2.92
1432 Lonza Group Switzerland Chemicals 2.75 0.39 5.29 4.87
1439 Petroplus Holdings Switzerland Oil & Gas Operations 28.26 -0.51 6.93 1.08
1505 Actelion Switzerland Drugs & Biotechnology 1.38 0.30 1.91 5.57
1515 Geberit Switzerland Construction 1.85 0.41 1.99 3.89
1567 Valiant Holding Switzerland Banking 0.69 0.14 18.34 2.82
1749 Ciba Holding Switzerland Chemicals 5.55 -0.53 6.49 2.82
1758 Givaudan Switzerland Chemicals 3.83 0.10 6.51 4.13
1778 Jelmoli Holding Switzerland Diversified Financials 0.22 0.81 3.65 1.55
1829 BEKB-BCBE Switzerland Banking 0.70 0.21 18.87 1.85
1873 Schmolz-Bickenbach Switzerland Materials 6.00 0.27 3.56 0.33
1899 Luzerner Kantonalbank Switzerland Banking 0.84 0.16 21.32 1.79
1902 Sonova Holding Switzerland Health Care Equipment & Svcs 1.21 0.28 1.21 3.23
1906 St Galler Kantonalbank Switzerland Banking 0.90 0.16 21.21 1.64
1910 EFG International Switzerland Diversified Financials 0.89 0.21 17.71 1.12
1958 EGL Group Switzerland Utilities 3.71 0.28 6.40 2.27
1975 Lindt & Sprungli Switzerland Food, Drink & Tobacco 2.60 0.22 2.18 3.99

 

source:  http://www.forbes.com/lists/2009/18/global-09_The-Global-2000_Counrty_13.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

Switzerland during the Financial Crisis:

 

Compare Switzerland v Iceland:

 

The country of 7.5 million people houses SFr3.46trn of bank deposits, almost seven times its gross national product. That is less than Iceland, whose deposits are nine times GDP, but much higher than the UK where deposits are close to double GDP.

 

UBS and Zurich-based Credit Suisse Group AG, the No. 2 bank -- whose combined balance sheets equal seven times the Swiss gross domestic product 

 

Iceland, which emulated Switzerland by hitching its fortunes to the financial industry. Unlike Switzerland, Iceland had little else to fall back on when its top three banks crashed and a $4.6 billion rescue loan made it a ward of the IMF.

 

Fears: Would the crisis mean the end of Swiss secrecy & lead Switzerland to the EU?

 

``We can't afford to stay outside the EU any longer,'' says Hans-Juerg Fehr, 60, a Social Democratic lawmaker and former chief of the country's second-biggest political party. The assault on the banks, he says, ``wouldn't be as great if Switzerland had the EU covering its back.''

 

Undetected by many Swiss, a web of agreements on everything from goods inspections to air transport has already saddled Switzerland with the bulk of the EU's business rules. Yet the Swiss don't have a seat at the table when EU officials gather in Brussels to set the regulations.

 

 

move toward integration with EU:   "attempts will be made to negotiate a Swiss-EU agricultural free-trade agreement and a framework agreement on European electricity sharing....Switzerland is gearing up for a referendum on February 8th on the renewal of the free movement of labour accord with the EU. The high stakes"as rejection will terminate other bilateral EU agreements"are expected to secure approval....The government!s growth strategy aims to lower Switzerland!s high price level by reducing technical trade obstacles; improve the country!s attractiveness as a business location; and promote the optimal use of human capital, notably by ensuring the extension and continuation of an accord with the EU on the free movement of labour....ALSO...liberalised industries to reduce costs, such as postal services and the electricity market...The government will probably launch a renewed attempt in this  parliament to privatise the former telecommunications monopolist, Swisscom"

 

 

Macro challenges for Switzerland...

the financial sector accounts for almost 15 per cent of output.

 

"GDP is forecast to contract by 1.8% in 2009, with a return to only weak growth of 0.3% in 2010. Unemployment is set to rise steeply, and investment spending

will be particularly weak. Industrial production will see severe declines...Switzerland!s outsized financial sector, in relation to the size of the economy, exposes the country to great risk in the event of a systemic banking crisis...The SNB cut official interest rates to 0.5% in mid-December, exhausting most of its scope for monetary policy loosening....small fiscal stimulus: The government has explained the details of its fiscal stimulus measures, but these are relatively modest, at 0.3% of GDP, particularly compared with other packages in the EU." EIU, Jan '09

 

Protectionsim:  (more below)

"Switzerland has a 1972 freetrade agreement with the EU....also, there is a spat over corporate tax breaks in Swiss cantons, which the EU feels are creating unfair competition with neighbouring EU states...OECD countries pressure Switzerland to bring its cantons to abandon special corporation  tax measures  that are geared towards attracting investment.

 

Banking:  (see more below)...

fix UBS = main goal..."UBS. This is to occur through the purchase of illiquid assets by a specially established fund, worth US$60bn (around 13% of GDP).

Capital adequacy levels for the two large Swiss banks will also be raised

 

deflation concerns:

"Switzerland usually has one of the lowest inflation rates in western Europe, and the consumer price index dropped by 1.2 percentage points between June and December 2008, to a year-on-year inflation rate of 0.7%....expect unorthodox monetary policy measures to prevent deflation (quantitative easing). This would involve targeting the interest rates of longer money-market maturities (rather than its preferred three-month Swiss franc Libor) or buying up other assets, to inject further liquidity into the economy.

 

exports: 

exports should decline more rapidly than imports in 2009

 

With a GDP of around $420 billion, Switzerland is on a par with Belgium and Sweden, two middle-ranking economies in the 27- nation EU. Exports account for more than half of GDP, and sales to the EU -- facilitated by trade pacts dating back to a 1967 accord on cheese tariffs and a 1974 deal on clocks and watches - - make up more than 60 percent of exports, intertwining Switzerland's and Europe's economic fates. 

 

currency: 

traditional status as a safe haven....Against the US dollar, the currency is expected to depreciate in 2009 and remain at that level in 2010....The Swiss franc has re-emerged in its traditional role as a currency of refuge during the economic and geopolitical turmoil of recent years. This benefits the countrys financial institutions, but the strengthening of the currency can hurt the important export and tourism sectors of the economy if appreciation occurs too rapidly.

 

current account:

The current account is forecast to maintain a substantial structural surplus  (???).....In 2007 merchandise exports (IMF balance-of-payments statistics, free on board!fob) were US$200.5bn and  merchandise imports were US$187.7bn, resulting in a trade surplus of US$12.8bn. The current-account surplus amounted to US$58bn, equivalent to 13.6% of GD

 

carry trade unwinding 

its attractive conditions of low commercial borrowing rates and a strong, stable currency

 

Luxembourg:  Swiss banks and asset managers almost all have branches in Luxembourg, where they issue funds that can benefit from EU member-state privileges

 

Recession Forecast:

 

Switzerland's economy will shrink 0.2 percent next year after expanding 1.9 percent in 2008, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said on Nov.25.

 

Forecast summary

(% unless otherwise indicated)

  2007 a 2008 b 2009c 2010c

Real GDP growth 3.3 1.8 -1.8 0.3

Unemployment rate (av) 2.8 2.6 4.1 5.4

Consumer price inflation (av) 0.7 2.4 -0.2 0.9

Short-term interbank rate 2.5 2.6 0.2 0.3

General government balance (% of GDP) 2.2 b 0.9 -1.7 -2.6

Exports of goods fob (US$ bn) 200.5 223.7 174.3 181.1

Imports of goods fob (US$ bn) 187.7 207.4 162.5 165.8

Current-account balance (US$ bn) 58.0 42.0 37.3 34.8

Current-account balance (% of GDP) 13.6 8.5 7.9 7.3

Exchange rate Swfr: (av) 1.64 1.58 1.51 1.55

Exchange rate Swfr:US$ (av) 1.20 1.08 1.12 1.12

Exchange rate Swfr:£ (av) 2.40 2.00 1.72 1.79

Exchange rate Swfr:¥100 (av) 1.02 1.04 1.21 1.22

a Actual. b Economist Intelligence Unit estimates. c Economist Intelligence Unit forecasts.

 

 

Foreign Reserves:

 

Swiss National Bank (SNBthe central bank) gold holdings of Swfr34.78bn and foreign-currency reserves of Swfr50.59bn.

 

 

Gold:

 

The SNB is one of the worlds largest official holders of gold bullion, along with the Eurozone, the US Federal Reserve and the International Monetary Fund. A

referendum on constitutional reform in April 1999 cut the Swiss francs link to gold and allowed the SNB to start selling down its massive reserves. It started selling gold in May 2000 and completed the programme in time for the closing of financial accounts for the SNB in 2004. The SNB sold 1,300 tonnes of its original holding of 2,590 tonnes of gold, leaving 1,290 tonnes in its reserves. In 2007, SNB gold reserves had an average value of Swfr34.78bn, up from an average Swfr32.22bn in 2006. At mid-year 2008, gold reserves were valued at around Swfr33bn.

 

 

Macroeconomic position:

 

The franc has risen around 6 percent against the euro since October as the global financial crisis forced the Swiss central bank to cut its benchmark rate by 225 basis points, taking it to 0.5 percent. That’s smothering inflation and hurting exports, which make up more than half of Swiss gross domestic product.

 

Interest rates:

 

short-term rates of practically zero

 

 

fight currency appreciation...

 

see forum posting:  "what is going on in Switzerland? They are defending their currency by fighting appreciation....but, as they fight to keep their currency undervalued...that just puts additional pressure on USD ...and on JPN yen...and, if emerging eastern europe needs to fall vs. Swiss Franc (as they unwind their own carry trade)...doesnt this just push eastern europe further down vs. Dollar / YEN...if the Swiss Franc isnt allowed to appreciate? Wont this just hurt Eastern Europe?

Quote:  "The Swiss franc weakened after Swiss National Bank Vice President Philipp Hildebrand pledged to sell “unlimited” amounts of the currency to curb its appreciation. "

 

reasons for fighting appreciation:

  1. nearing deflation....so if currency rises more....deflation sure to happen
  2. So, keep currency low to keep some inflation
  3. Exports (is real reason!!):  exports, which make up more than half of Swiss gross domestic product.

 

 

see:

 

 

Protectionism:

 

see also:

From GloboTrends Wiki:  protectionism  and  global imbalances (finance)

From GloboTrends blogs:

 

 

 

 

Leading Companies in Switzerland:

 

Banks

 

UBS and Zurich-based Credit Suisse Group AG, the No. 2 bank -- whose combined balance sheets equal seven times the Swiss gross domestic product 

 

After the crisis....The capital increase will lift UBS's tier one capital ratio to 11.5 per cent by the end of the year from 10.4 per cent. After its fundraising, Credit Suisse's tier one ratio would have been 13.7 per cent at the end of September, compared with the 10.8 per cent the bank reported.

 

Zurich-based UBS AG, Switzerland's flagship bank, amassed Europe's biggest losses in the credit crunch, forcing the government and central bank to offer a $59 billion helping hand. The franc has tumbled against the dollar. And the banking secrecy that attracts offshore wealth is drawing more fire than ever.

 

UBS has seen its shares dive 67 percent this year. Credit Suisse, reeling from a 1.3 billion-franc ($1.1 billion) loss in the third quarter, opted out of Swiss government aid, raising 10 billion francs from investors including Qatar Holding LLC and Tel Aviv-based Koor Industries Ltd., adding to concerns that control of the country's banks is moving out of Swiss hands. 

 

  • UBS - biggest, suffered from sub-prime exposure
  • Credit Suisse, Switzerlands secondbiggest bank, also was affected by the US sub-prime mortgage crisis, but to a much lesser degree.

 

Bank              Assets  Market share (%)

Ranked by assets as of end-2007Swfr bn

UBS               1,598.1           46.2

Credit Suisse   743.1             21.5

 

subprime losses:  The sub-prime crisis caused UBS to write off Swfr45bn by the end of the second half-2008...In 2007 UBS reported a pre-tax loss of Swfr15.5bn in this area, due to sizable losses in the US mortgage market.

 

Top ten investment banks

Ranked by value of underwriting mandates for domestic and Swiss-franc foreign bonds in 2007 Swfr m...

Underwriter  Issues  Amount  Market share (%)

Credit Suisse 160 24,787 30.5

UBS 120 16,538 20.3

BNP Paribas 47 7,010 8.6

ABN Amro 52 6,654 8.2

 

 

Insurance:

  • Swiss Re, the worlds largest reinsurer, was affected by the US sub-prime mortgage crisis in 2007
  • leading Swiss insurance companies, Zurich Financial Services

 

The blurring of the lines between traditional banking and insurance has been reflected in a close co-operation between the Swiss Federal Banking Commission and the Federal Office of Private Insurance in recent years.

 

 

 

 

Economy DATA:

 

 

GDP (purchasing power parity):
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$309.9 billion (2008 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):
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$492.6 billion (2008 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
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2% (2008 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
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$40,900 (2008 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
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agriculture: 1.5%
industry: 34%
services: 64.5% (2003 est.)
Labor force:
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4.04 million (2008 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
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agriculture: 3.9%
industry: 22.8%
services: 73.2% (2005)
Unemployment rate:
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2.6% (2008 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
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lowest 10%: 2.9%
highest 10%: 25.9% (2000)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
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33.7 (2008)
Investment (gross fixed):
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21.5% of GDP (2008 est.)
Budget:
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revenues: $173.6 billion
expenditures: $168.2 billion (2008 est.)
Public debt:
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44% of GDP (2008 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
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2.4% (2008 est.)
Central bank discount rate:
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2.05% (31 December 2007)
Commercial bank prime lending rate:
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3.15% (31 December 2007)
Stock of money:
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$207 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
Stock of quasi money:
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$477.6 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
Stock of domestic credit:
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$864.4 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares:
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$1.275 trillion (31 December 2007)
Industries:
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machinery, chemicals, watches, textiles, precision instruments, tourism, banking, and insurance
Electricity - production:
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64.56 billion kWh (2007 est.)
Electricity - consumption:
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58.77 billion kWh (2006 est.)
Electricity - exports:
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50.2 billion kWh (2007 est.)
Electricity - imports:
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48.4 billion kWh (2007 est.)
Oil - production:
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3,202 bbl/day (2007 est.)
Oil - consumption:
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244,900 bbl/day (2007 est.)
Oil - exports:
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9,370 bbl/day (2005)
Oil - imports:
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274,900 bbl/day (2005)
Oil - proved reserves:
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NA
Natural gas - production:
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0 cu m (2007 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
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3.232 billion cu m (2007 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
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0 cu m (2007 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
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3.232 billion cu m (2007 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
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0 cu m (1 January 2006 est.)
Current account balance:
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$40.81 billion (2008 est.)
Exports:
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$172.7 billion f.o.b. (2008 est.)
Exports - commodities:
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machinery, chemicals, metals, watches, agricultural products
Exports - partners:
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Germany 20.3%, US 9.7%, Italy 8.7%, France 8.4%, UK 5.1% (2007)
Imports:
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$212.8 billion f.o.b. (2008 est.)
Imports - commodities:
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machinery, chemicals, vehicles, metals; agricultural products, textiles
Imports - partners:
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Germany 32.6%, Italy 10.8%, France 9.5%, US 5.8%, Netherlands 4.6%, Austria 4.2%, UK 4.2% (2007)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
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$75.37 billion (2008 est.)
Debt - external:
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$1.34 trillion (30 June 2007)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
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$333.8 billion (2008 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
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$621.7 billion (2008 est.)
Exchange rates:
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Swiss francs (CHF) per US dollar - 1.0774 (2008 est.), 1.1973 (2007), 1.2539 (2006), 1.2452 (2005), 1.2435 (2004), 1.3467 (2003)

 

 

see https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/sz.html

 

 

 

 

Why locate business in Switzerland?

 

Tech companies are increasingly moving their European Headquarters to Switzerland due to tax breaks.  For example, Yahoo!  recenly moved from the UK to Geneva, Switzerland due to tax breaks offered.  Also, other companies doing the same are :  EA, and Cisco Systems

 

 

 

Investment Promotion Agency:

 

Mario Brossi

Location Switzerland

633 Third Avenue

30th Floor

New York City

10117

USA

 

 

tel: +1 212 599 5700 ext 1023

fax: +1 212 286 1559

 

 

 

About Switzerland...

Switzerland is at the heart of Europe, at the center of the great technological area that stretches from South Germany to North Italy and Lyon in France; and at the intersection of the two major European economic axes that run between London and Milan, and Barcelona and Munich.

 

Excellent road, rail and air links to the whole of Europe make Switzerland an important center for international business contacts. None of the most important European cities is more than two flying hours away.

 

As well as speaking French, Italian and German, a large proportion of the population can communicate also in English, which is often used as a business language.

 

The high technological standard of the Swiss economy is reflected in the 2.7 per cent of gross domestic product applied to research and development, a figure that is comparable with that of the United States.

 

Companies who have made the decision to locate in Switzerland include Baxter Healthcare, Johnson & Johnson, Philip Morris, PSINet, Silicon Graphics, Sony, Coutts & Co, IBM, SAP, CTL Horlogerie., Mattel, Glaxo Wellcome and DeTeWe Telecom. In total there are over 635 North American companies in the country.

 

Switzerland's vocational training system is geared to the needs of trade and industry. A significant majority of young people complete an apprenticeship; in addition, Switzerland offers a board network of excellent advanced colleges and universities. Switzerland also holds a top position internationally with regard to public spending on education and training.

 

History (brief summary)

 

excellent summary here:  http://www.nationsonline.org/oneworld/History/Switzerland-history.htm

 

More:

"Switzerland was founded in 1291 as small coalition against any invaders, as the territory was occupied and had lost any protection. Its soldiers were then famous for being the most elite soldiers in Europe... and fighting as mercenaries anywhere a battle was. But during the battle of Marignano in 1515, north of Milano in Italy, the two armies killing each other mainly consisted of Swiss mercenaries... After this desastrous event, Switzerland kept out of any international conflict... one exeption was when Napoleon conquered Switzerland integrating swiss soldiers into his troops against Russia. After the Napolean Wars the neutrality of Switzerland was accepted or even imposed by the winning powers (1815). The french-german war around 1870/71 and the first world war passed mainly beside Switzerland, the army was quite mediocre a that time compared to the fighting nations.    A better or more modern army was mobilised just some day before the second world war started - the german preparations for war were obvious. Switzerland simply declared to be neutral - nowadays some industrials and bankers are blaimed for having done deals with Germany getting rich themselves. The country itself was neutral, nevertheless... swiss army leaders planned for an alpine retirement war against Germany, leaving all cities to the ennemy at once (in theory)! trying to avoid civilian casualties... but occupying any alpine connections north-south. A war-declaration against Germany would probably have been suicide... no allies were available, Germany easily run over Poland and France. England was defending itself during the battle of Britain... Russia stood with Germany that time... and the USA were NEUTRAL, only entering the war after the direct japanese attacks on the 7th of december 1941, two years after the war had started!! So, Switzerland is referred to as to be neutral. The other thing is, swiss population refused three times the European Union in public votings and the country didn't join the UNO before 2002, but beeing partner of any UNO-subinstitution for already many years.  Read more: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Why_is_Switzerland_neutral#ixzz16gyyH5QY

 

 

A Brief Survey of Swiss History

From the Foundation of the Swiss Confederation to the Apex of Military Might

Religious Division and Absolutism

The Crisis of Government 1798 - 1848

The Development of the New Federal State

The Industrialised State in the 20th Century

 

 

 

 

Places in Switzerland

Lucerne

Lucerne is located in the central part of Switzerland. Travel to the other Swiss cities of Zurich, Basel and Bern takes less than one hour.

The economy of Lucerne is focused on certain sectors including aerospace, medical technology, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals. The local administration works to create a trading environment which fits well with existing investors including Computerized Medical Systems Inc, Merck, Amgen, Braun Medical, Takeda and Estee Lauder.

The Lucerne workforce is multi-lingual and highly skilled. The mother tongue in the region is German, but English is used in most commercial settings. The supply of labour comes from the Universities in Zurich, Bern and Basel and from the Technical Academy Esslingen which concentrates on training medical technicians and has a branch in the region.

 

 

Berne

Berne is situated in the central part of Switzerland and is the capital city of the country. It has a population of around one million people who speak French, German and English.

Travel to European locations is by the European high-speed railway network and the local international airport.

 

The city encourages investment in six main areas; medical technologies, microtechnologies (mainly from the watchmaking industry), telematics, the design and luxury industry, environmental technologies and financing & services. Public initiatives which have been set up to promote these sectors include the Telematics Cluster Berne (TCB) and Medical Cluster Berne (MCB.)

 

The Berne University of Technology and the University of Business & Management provide the skilled graduates for the citys’ investors.

 

Companies located in the region include the medical companies Asklia, SmithKline Beecham and Novartis and technology companies such as EDS, Teletext and Solomon Software.

 

Investment Promotion Agency:

 

Mr Denis R. Grisel

Berne Economic Development Agency

Munsterplatz 3

Bern

CH 3001

Switzerland

 

 

tel: +41 31 633 41 20

fax: +41 31 633 40 88

 

 

 

Basel

Basel is located in the North of Switzerland at the point where Germany, France and Switzerland meet. The international airport at Basel offers daily connections to European cities and the intercontinental airport at Zurich is a one hour drive away.

 

The major industrial focus in Basel is in chemical, pharmaceutical and biotechnology activities. This is supported by the presence of the head quarter operations of Novartis, Roche, Clariant and Ciba SC. These companies often pull on the resources of the University of Basel with its natural science institutes and large medical faculty.

 

To support the continued growth of the sector, a number of initiatives have been launched in the city, such as the Biotech Platform Basel and the Upper Rhine Biovalley initiative, which includes Freiburg (Germany) and Strasbourg (France) acting to assist the 300 biotech companies operating across the Valley area.

 

Investment Promotion Agency:

 

Mr Werner Resch

Basel Area Business Development

Wallstrasse 1

Basel

4010

Switzerland

 

 

tel: +41 (0) 61 295 50 00

fax: +41 (0) 61 295 50 09

 

 

 

Solothurn

Solothurn is one of the Swiss cantons or states. It is located within an hour from Zurich, Basel and Bern, with the closest international airports at Geneva and Zurich. The population is german-speaking, but has had a long history of French influence.

 

The major sectors in the state are computers, microelectronics, precision mechanics, synthetic materials, watch making and logistics.

The first Swatch watch was designed and produced in Solothurn and the state has continued to maintain its high levels of innovation and ingenuity.

 

 

Zurich

The City of Zurich is located in Switzerland; a central location allowing access to Europe’s major commercial hubs via road, rail or Zurich airport.

 

Zurich is highly regarded as a leading financial and scientific city.

Internationally renowned research centers, for example, the IBM research laboratory in Zurich/Rüschlikon, have been attracted to the city by its two universities. The level of skill in the academic base is reflected in the fact Zurich probably has the largest number of Nobel Prize Winners in the world.

 

Investment Promotion Agency:

 

Greater Zurich Area

Limmatquai 112

8001 Zurich

Switzerland

 

 

tel: +41 1 254 59 59

fax: +41 1 254 59 54

 

 

 

Geneva

Geneva, located in Switzerland has become a powerhouse for attracting major technology companies into its borders. The city has an international airport giving access to most major European centers within an hour. There are over 200 rail services per day passing through Geneva to France, Italy, Spain and Germany.

 

This logistical location is one reason why Geneva’s high-growth markets in information technologies, telecommunications, electronics and high-tech healthcare are prospering. IBM has established its European microelectronics headquarters in the city and is joined by other major multinationals such as Sun Microsystems, Oracle Software, Hewlett-Packard and Dell Computers.

Geneva is also home to major research institutes such as the European Laboratory for Particle Physics (CERN), the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and the University Hospitals and Clinics.

 

 

Neuchatel

Neuchâtel is a Swiss canton (federal state) in the center of Switzerland located one hour from Geneva and one and a half hours from Zurich. These cities are accessible by a road expressway and rail services. There are two local airports at Colombier and La Chaux-de-Fonds. The population of Neuchatel is around 170,000 people.

 

Target sectors in the state are microtechnology (electronics, robotics, telecommunications and medical technology), biotechnology and cosmetics, luxury products and service activities. Neuchâtel is seen as the center of the watch making industry in Switzerland with a company base including Ebel, Tag Heuer, Tissot and Zenith.

 

Other companies located in the area include SGI (Silicon Graphics), Autodesk, Baxter, Johnson & Johnson, Quark, Mary Kay, Quantum or PSI-Net and also Reed Elsevier, Bulgari, Gucci and Ares Serono.

 

The state has a strong academic environment in particular in the field of microtechnology. Neuchatel University and the Swiss Center of Electronics and Microtechnology train the workforce of the future. An engineering school is available for students of mechanical engineering and electronics and a number of vocational training centers teach students in the watchmaking, electronics and precision engineering fields. There are also a number of Business Schools in the region.

 

Investment Promotion Agency:

 

Pierre Comte

Economic Promotion Canton of Neuchatel

Collegiale 3

Neuchatel

2001

Switzerland

 

 

tel: +41 (0) 32 889 6823

fax: +41 (0) 32 889 62 95

 

 

 

Ticino

The canton (state) of Ticino is in Switzerland, situated halfway between North Italy and South Germany. An airport at Lugano-Agno offers daily flights to all major European destinations and the international airport at Milan is within a few miles of the border. Ticino is the only Italian speaking Canton within the Swiss Confederation.

 

Companies who have invested in the region include Intervalves, Consitex, Helsinn Chemicals and The Fantastic Corporation, a leader in broadband media and software.

 

The University of the Italian Canton of Switzerland offers courses in architecture, economy and communications sciences and companies can also benefit from The Swiss Center for Scientific Computers (CSCS), and the Center for Computer Integrated Manufacturing which are located in the state.

 

 

St. Gallen

St. Gallen is located at the most northeastern part of Switzerland and is located on the north-south and east-west European rail and road axis. Zurich Airport is nearby which makes it possible to reach other European destinations within three hours and the regional St. Gallen-Altenrhein airport has daily connections to Vienna.

 

230,000 people employed in the commercial and industrial sectors offer a cross-border labour market with a highly qualified and internationally oriented workforce. This is due to the excellent education received from the University of St. Gallen, the most important economic university in Europe and the polytechnical and business schools in the region.

 

 

Sources:

 

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