An Economic Overview
Switzerland is one of the most prosperous countries in Europe. With a stable government, sound economy and highly skilled labor force and strong tourism, Switzerland is driving force in the world economy. However, in the coming years Switzerland will face three challenges that threaten their positive economic outlook, they are 1) agriculture protectionism, 2) Non membership in the EU and 3) aging population.
This paper takes a brief look at these three factors and how they will effect Switzerland's future economic growth and the country's well being.
Switzerland has one of the world's most stable economies. Because of the country's small size and highly specialized workforce, exports and trade are key to Switzerland's economic livelihood. In 2006, Switzerland's real GDP was 3.2% with exports exceeding imports by $9.6 billion (a trade surplus). The machinery, metals, electronics, and chemicals sectors are known for precision and quality and they account for well over half of Switzerland's export revenues. The country is approximately 60% self-sufficient, taking only 7.5% of it imports from the U.S. With a low inflation and unemployment rate (1% and 2.5% respectively), Switzerland is positioned to be a powerhouse in the world's economy. The Swiss economy earns approximately 50% of its corporate earnings from exports, of which, about 70% are destined for the EU market (The World Factbook, 2007). Switzerland is also one the world's most prosperous countries in terms of private income. In 2003 the median household income in Switzerland was an estimated $54,000 (U.S.), 26% higher than the 2003 U.S. median income of $43, 000. They also consistently rank high on quality of life indices such as high concentrations of computer and internet usage per capita, high insurance coverage per individual, and high health care rates. Switzerland is headquarters to the World Health Organization (Geneva) and several major...