Swiss Economy – Facts and Figures

Switzerland has one of the most competitive economies in the world thanks above all to its highly developed service sector.

Discussion in a break room at the World Economic Forum
© FDFA, Presence Switzerland

  • Switzerland has the second highest gross domestic product (GDP) per capita in the world. At the end of 2015 Swiss GDP per capita stood at CHF 77,943 (approx. EUR 73,000 or USD 81,000).
  • About 74% of Swiss GDP is generated by the service sector and 25% by industry. The contribution from the agricultural sector is less than 1%.
  • The European Union (EU) is Switzerland's main trading partner. Around 78% of Swiss imports are from the EU, while 43% of Swiss exports are destined for EU countries.
  • Most Swiss firms (over 99%) are small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). These are defined as companies with fewer than 250 employees.
  • The public debt-to-GDP ratio in Switzerland has fallen considerably in recent years, from 54.6% in 1998 to 34.7% in 2014.
  • Switzerland has the lowest rate of value-added tax in Europe. 8% is levied on most goods and services, 3.8% on accommodation services, and 2.5% on basic necessities and other everyday items.
  • Every year Switzerland spends close to 3% of its GDP, more than CHF 18.5 billion (around EUR 15 billion or USD 20.6 billion), on research and development . Over three-quarters of this funding comes from the private sector.
  • The currency of Switzerland is the Swiss franc. One Swiss franc is equal to 100 centimes. It is abbreviated to CHF, SFr. or Fr.