Switzerland has one of the most advanced free-market economies in the world. It is not a member of the EU but has several bilateral treaties with the Union which allows it to participate in EU’s Single Market without being a member state. It has one of the world's highest per capita GDPs and a highly skilled labour force.
The key emerging sectors of Switzerland include mechanical and electrical engineering, pharmaceuticals, Banking, Finance and Insurance, Shipping and Logistics as well as Tourism. These sectors comprise almost 70% of Switzerland's GDP.
The pharmaceutical industry employs about 135,000 people (directly and indirectly) and contributes to 5.7% of the GDP. This is one of Switzerland’s most competitive sectors. Two of the biggest pharmaceutical companies, Novartis and Roche are Swiss companies. The industry’s primary exports are chemical products and packaged medicine. In 2017, for instance, Switzerland exported packaged medicine worth $36.5 billion.
If you look at the tourism industry, the numbers are great as well. Both domestic as well as international tourism contribute heavily to the Swiss economy. In 2017, out of a total revenue of CHF 44.7 billion, almost 56.5% came from the tourist industry – namely, tourist accommodation, meals and passenger transportation etc. These three tourism products out together added up to 62.3% of the total value added from tourism.
The financial sector, mainly the banking sector, is one of the key elements of the Swiss economy. It contributes around 10% to gross value added. In 2018, there were 248 banks in Switzerland. These include four large banks, 24 cantonal banks (based in cantons or administrative regions), 43 stock exchange banks, one Raiffeisenbank (universal bank on the Romanian market) and 60 regional and savings banks. The others comprise of private banks and foreign banks.
In ‘The 2015, Global Innovation Index’, the Swiss economy was ranked first in the world.
Check out, why study in Switzerland.