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Economic facts

In 2017 GDP was CHF 668.6 bn (CHF 79,104 per capita). Economic development was stable and robust. During the last 20 years, only 2009 showed a negative development.

There are over 586,000 commercial companies in Switzerland. Over 99% of them are SMEs, creating two thirds of the country’s 4.4 million jobs.
The unemployment rate is stable at around 3%. It is one of the world’s lowest and an indicator of economic stability.


Export champion

In 2018, the export volume amounted to CHF 233 bn while the import volume was CHF 202 bn, with chemical and pharmaceutical products, precision tools, watches, machinery and electronics among the top export commodities.  

In terms of both exports and imports, 2018 was a record year, confirming the long-term positive trend. The trade surplus and the fact that the export volumes amount to 33% of GDP (2017) highlight the importance of the export industry in Switzerland.

Beside the many exporting SMEs there are multi-national corporations with Swiss roots providing services and exporting worldwide: Glencore International, Nestlé, Roche, Novartis, Adecco, Kühne+Nagel and the Swatch Group are just a few examples.

With over 493,000 tonnes of cargo handled in 2018, Zurich is an important regional cargo hub. 40% of Switzerland’s export value is shipped as air cargo, typically high-value, sensitive and time-critical commodities.

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Zurich – Switzerland’s commercial capital

Zurich is well known for its financial industry. Banks, insurance companies and financial service providers contribute 17% to the region’s GDP and employ 10% of the local workforce.

Zurich is also an acknowledged innovation hub. The city is home to the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), a leading education and research institution with a strong focus on knowledge and technology transfer. It not only attracts talents but also companies that rely on a highly skilled workforce, such as Google, Disney Research and Microsoft.

The high quality of life, political stability, excellent transportation facilities and accessibility make Zurich an attractive base for multinational and export-oriented companies and their staff.