Switzerland Country Report & Economy Strengths and Weaknesses

Mind the external headwinds


LOW RISK for enterprise

  • Economic risk

  • Business environment risk

  • Political risk

  • Commercial risk

  • Financing risk

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GDP USD678.887bn (World ranking 20, World Bank 2017)
Population 8.47mn (World ranking 98, World Bank 2017)
Form of state Confederation (but similar to a federal republic)
Head of government Ueli MAURER (President of the Swiss Confederation)
Next elections October 2019, legislative
  • Competitive high-income economy
  • Sound political institutions
  • Specialization in high-quality exports for which demand is relatively insensitive to exchange rate moves
  • Healthy public finances
  • Strong external position
  • Overvalued CHF due to safe haven role
  • Strong dependence on financial and export sectors
  • Rising labor costs and stagnant productivity growth
  • Financial sector’s exposure to real estate lending (around 85% of domestic assets are concentrated in mortgages)
  • Unfavorable demographics

Trade structure by destination/origin

(% of total)

Exports Rank Imports
Germany 15%
21% Germany
United States 13%
10% United Kingdom
China 10%
8% Italy
France 6%
8% United States
India 6%
7% France

Trade structure by product

(% of total)

Exports Rank Imports
Non-Monetary Gold 26%
31% Non-Monetary Gold
Pharmaceutical products 24%
11% Pharmaceutical products
Industrial machinery and parts 8%
7% Industrial machinery and parts
Clockmaking 7%
6% Road vehicles
Organic Chemicals 7%
5% Electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances
The payment behavior of Swiss companies is very good. Most payments tend to be made in advance or within 30 days.

  • Low

  • Medium

  • Sensitive

  • High

  • Payments

  • Court proceedings

  • Insolvency proceedings

Domestic courts are fairly efficient in dealing with disputes in a timely manner; however collecting debt pre-legally remains the most effective option.

Although mechanisms designed to increase debt renegotiation and company rescue have been put into place, liquidation remains the default procedure at present, thus leaving little chance for unsecured creditors to collect debts from insolvent debtors.

Contact Euler Hermes

Economic Research Team


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