Switzerland is considered an exceptional test market for businesses looking to expand into the European region. Despite its small size, it has four official languages; German, French, Italian and Romansch. The cultural nuances that this brings, along with the Swiss population’s desire to remain at the forefront of technology, makes the country uniquely representative of the greater European market.
Switzerland’s economic policy is defined by free trade and industry, which are supported and guaranteed by its Federal Constitution. Traders benefit from notably low import duties, and outside of the agricultural sector, import quotas are almost non-existant.
The Swiss economy is one of the most stable and modern in the world, one of the top five highest rated in the Index of Economic Freedom. It also stands as one of the most competitive economies in the world, according to the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report. Despite these conditions, which make it one of the world’s premier locations for start-ups, tax rates are remarkably low. Indeed, its overall taxation is among the lowest of all developed countries.
Machinery, chemicals, metals and jewellery are Switzerland’s major exports, with exceptional manufacturing and transport infrastructure in support of these industries. Despite its political neutrality, the country has strong ties to the EU through bilateral agreements. This facilitates a massive export market, primarily to Germany, Italy, France, the UK and Austria.