The status of Switzerland’s primary sector is dismal, particularly because of the limited geography and unfavorable climate of the nation. Three quarters of the cultivable area in Switzerland is dedicated do pastures and meadows, since the topography is unsuitable for growing crops. Cultivation of cereals and vegetables is restricted to the lowlands. According to the statistics complied by Swiss government agencies, the share of the Swiss primary sector in the nation’s GDP has declined by 60% between 1990 and 2006.
Switzerland’s industry sector accounts for over 30% of its GDP with chemicals and capital goods being the key sectors. In addition, electrical and mechanical engineering are significant contributors to the Swiss economic structure, employing over 300,000 domestic and foreign labor force and representing about 40% of the net Swiss exports. Between 1990 and 2008, the total production in the Swiss secondary sector (excluding construction) witnessed growth of 52%.
The status of employment in different sectors of Switzerland’s economy structure, during 2005, was as follows:
The Swiss financial market plays a significant role in the economic structure of the nation. The Swiss Stock Exchange, or SWX, based in Zurich, is the principal stock exchange of the country, as well as one of the largest stock exchanges in Europe. The exchange deals in several types of securities and derivatives, including Swiss government bonds, besides trading in stocks and shares. The Swiss Market Index (SMI) is the principal index of the exchange, which represents 30 of the most important securities, determined by free-floating market capitalization.
Additionally, the Swiss financial industry is the backbone of the nation’s economy. All banks and financial institutions in Switzerland are governed by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA). The body administers practices in Switzerland’s financial industry through several federal statutes. The industry, characterized by stability and privacy, has become a hub for foreign investment. Although the performance of the industry has been steady over the last few years, it was considerably affected by the global financial crisis, when the nation’s two major banks, UBS and Credit Suisse, called for a government bailout in 2008.
Need more featured reports? Check out Economy Watch's research Store