Country Fact Sheet: Switzerland

The Swiss Confederation is located in Central Europe bordering France, Italy, Austria, and Germany. It is about twice the size of New Jersey and covers an area of 41,290 sq. kilometers.  Switzerland’s total population is about 8 million and is growing at a rate of 1.17% with 74% living in urban areas.  The Swiss capital of Bern has a population of about 123,000 with other major cities including Zurich (359,000), Geneva (180,000), Basel (164,000), and Lausanne (119,000). The people are governed by a federal republic and are a mix of Roman Catholic and Protestant. Switzerland has four official languages including German, French, Italian, and Romansch with German being the most widely used and French being more popular in the Western regions. Switzerland has had a long history of neutrality and was not involved in either of the two World Wars. It officially joined the UN in 2002, but is not a member of the EU nor does it use the Euro as currency. The local currency used is the Swiss Franc.

Switzerland’s dedication to neutrality has made it a very stable and prosperous economy with one of the highest per Capita GDP in the world.  It is one of the safest places in the world for foreign investment due to its long-term political and financial stability, bank secrecy, and generous taxation policy. Its main trade partners are Germany, Italy, US, France, UK, Netherlands, and Austria. Its primary imports are machinery, chemicals, vehicles, metals, agricultural products, and textiles. Exports consist of machinery, chemicals, metals, watches, and agricultural products. Switzerland’s GDP (Purchasing Power Parity) is $369.9 billion and is growing at a real rate of 1% with a current deflation rate of 0.7%. Switzerland ranked 28th out of 183 countries in the World Bank Group’s Ease of Doing Business Ranking.  Click here to search for Businesses Franchising Internationally  

Demographic Data   Economic Data    Cultural & Other Data   
Area (sq. km.)   41,277  GDP (PPP, $bn)   369.4  Capital   Bern  
Population (million)    8  GDP Real Growth (%)   1  Other Large Cities   Zurich, Geneva 
Population Growth       (%)   1.17  PerCap GDP ($)   46,200  Primary Language   German 
Population Under     15yrs (%)   15.2  Prime Lending               Rate (%)   2.69  Urbanization   74 
Population below poverty line (%)   7.9  Inflation Rate%   -0.7  Urban Growth        0.5 
Agricultural Workers    (% of population)   3.4  Unemployment%   2.9  Literacy  (population %)   99 
Industrial Workers     (% of population)   23.4  Foreign          Direct     Investment ($bn)   641.6  Education spending              % of GDP   5.4 
Service Workers        (% of population)   70.7  Debt-External ($bn)   1.563  CPI Score           (1-100)*   86 
Labor Force (mil)   4.954  Exports ($bn)   333.4  Corporate Income Tax %   13 
      Imports ($bn)   287.7  Ease of Doing Business Ranking **   28 

Click the links below for articles with more information on Franchising in Switzerland

Doing Business in Switzerland (2012)

European Commission's New Block Exemption Rules Enter Into Force June 1 (2010)


* CPI Score is published by Transparency International and relates to the perceptions of the degree of corruption as seen by business people and country analysts and ranges between 100 (highly clean) and 0 (highly corrupt).  

**Ease of Doing Business Ranking is determined by the World Bank Group and is ranked out of a possible 185 countries. www.doingbusiness.org  

Most recent statistics have been taken from the CIA World Factbook unless noted otherwise. 


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