1) High quality of life
Switzerland is known as one of the countries with the highest quality of life world-wide. The country benefits from low unemployment and crime rates, an excellent health system, cutting-edge infrastructures and public transport as well as an outstanding education system which is recognised worldwide.
It is no coincidence if The Economist ranked Switzerland as the best country to be born in, since it provides the best opportunities for a healthy, safe and prosperous life. The study is based on a number of criteria including those mentioned above.
2) Security and stability
Furthermore, Switzerland enjoys a political and economic stability unmatched in Europe or in the world. Low interest rates and a strong currency are evidence of this stability.
3) A top global performer
Although Switzerland has no mining or mineral reserves, nor access to the sea, it still manages to reach a trade surplus each year thanks to highly specialised products. In spite of being one of the only independent and neutral states in Europe and in the world, Switzerland’s exports account for over 50% of GDP. The country’s reputation and international network make this achievable.
Switzerland’s unique position at the heart of Europe and various bilateral free-trade agreements also facilitate commercial trade with the European Union.
4) The financial sector: an international network top global performer
With two financial hubs in Geneva and Zurich, Switzerland is one of the major financial centres in the world. Indeed, according to the Global Financial Centres Index, Geneva and Zurich have always been among the ten major financial centres, Zurich being number two in Europe right behind London.
The percentage of assets under management in Switzerland shown in the graph below provides further evidence of the country’s importance in the international financial industry.
Source : Boston Consulting Group, 2012
5) The financial industry: the backbone of the economy and a source of prosperity
The financial industry plays a leading role in the Swiss economy and creates around 60 billion Swiss francs worth of added value, amounting to 10.3% of GDP as shown in the graphs below.
Source : Calculs ASB, Secrétariat d'Etat à l'économie SECO
6) The financial sector: a major employer
Today, around 195'800 employees work in the financial sector in Switzerland, corresponding to roughly 5.4% of Swiss wages overall. Thanks to their high degree of qualification and to the quality of the Swiss education system, these employees have a particularly high level of productivity: each one generates CHF 260'000 per annum, double the Swiss average.
Source : SwissBanking, 2013