Discusses key economic indicators and trade statistics, which countries are dominant in the market, the U.S. market share, the political situation if relevant, the top reasons why U.S. companies should consider exporting to this country, and other issues that affect trade, e.g., terrorism, currency devaluations, trade agreements.
Last Published: 2/14/2019

Switzerland has an affluent and cosmopolitan population of 8.4 million people. Its gross domestic product (GDP) was USD 669 billion in 2016 with 2.4% GDP growth forecast for 2018. Ranked number one in innovation and high in R&D investment as a percentage of GDP, Switzerland is ideally positioned to continue to punch well above its weight in global trade and investment.

The United States and Switzerland enjoy stable and robust trade relations with total exports of U.S. goods amounting to USD 22 billion in 2017. Services constitute another significant portion of the bilateral trade relationship.  In 2016, the U.S. exported to Switzerland over $32.6 billion in services, predominately business services and intellectual property licenses. In terms of total trade, the U.S. is Switzerland’s second largest trading partner, preceded by the EU and followed by China. The United States is one of Switzerland’s largest foreign direct investors, with more than $170 billion invested as of 2016.  U.S. companies employ over 90,000 workers in Switzerland.

Boasting a highly automated and efficient manufacturing sector, Switzerland consumes and produces high-quality, value-added industrial/consumer goods, and demonstrates a strong market demand for high quality products with competitive prices. Beyond manufacturing, Switzerland is known for its top tier pharmaceutical and financial industries.

Many U.S. firms base their European or regional headquarters in Switzerland, drawn to its world-class infrastructure, business-friendly legal and regulatory environment, low corporate tax rates, and excellent human capital. Its well-regarded vocational education system has been instrumental in cultivating a highly-educated, reliable, and flexible workforce that has helped make Switzerland an attractive location for businesses. Switzerland’s multilingual and multicultural population can present business strategy and marketing challenges, yet these elements make Switzerland a good potential test market to determine the viability of products for export, and make Switzerland a hub for international business activities.

Prepared by the International Trade Administration. With its network of more than 100 offices across the United States and in more than 75 markets, the International Trade Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce utilizes its global presence and international marketing expertise to help U.S. companies sell their products and services worldwide. Locate the trade specialist in the U.S. nearest you by visiting http://export.gov/usoffices.

Switzerland Trade Development and Promotion