According to the Federation of International Trade Associations (FITA), foreign trade has a nearly 80% share in Switzerland's GDP, with exports generating nearly one half of GDP. The country's largest trading partner is the European Union, which accounts for two thirds of its total foreign trade, the organization says.
Perhaps you're interested in establishing a partnership with one of the country's exporters. You may be considering joint ventures with Swiss companies, franchise or licensing opportunities or sales of your products and services in Switzerland. Whatever your interests and needs, the resources provided in this section will lead you to information that can support your entry into this market.
More About Business Basics
Everything from understanding government regulations and tariffs, to the right labeling and gaining local representation comes into play when doing business in Switzerland. Getting the basics down can prepare you for market entry.
The Federation of International Trade Associations created this introduction to Swiss economic trends, main branches of industry and international trade.
This profile of the Swiss market was prepared by the Australian Trade Commission (Austrade), the Australian government's trade and investment development agency. It reviews Switzerland's economic climate and provides information and statistics about trade relations.
Here, Austrade offers information about business opportunities and etiquette as well as such topics as tariffs; import restrictions; product certification, labeling and packaging; methods of quoting and payment; and various documentation and tax issues.
UK Trade & Investment, a division of the government of the United Kingdom, created this downloadable PDF report on doing business in Switzerland. The report provides introductory information about the market, advice to companies that want to export to or do business in Switzerland, and a guide to etiquette, language and cultural concerns.
The U.S. Department of Commerce prepared this report, and while it includes chapters dedicated to the sale of U.S. products and services in Argentina and leading sectors for U.S. export and investment, it also addresses topics of more universal interest, such as Switzerland’s:
- Political and economic environment
- Trade regulations and standards
- Investment climate
- Trade and project financing
- Business travel
- Contacts, market research and trade events
Understanding market-specific issues, such as licensing, employment issues, getting credit, and starting a business or franchise, is critical in moving into new countries.
The Swiss government's Federal Department of Economic Affairs prepared this introduction to Swiss policy regarding foreign trade. The information is available in English, German, French and Italian.
The World Bank's "Doing Business In" project compares business procedures and economic regulations in 181 countries throughout the world. This page provides introductory information about the Swiss market. Most World Bank materials are published in English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Russian, Chinese and Arabic.
This comprehensive report includes chapters about dealing with licenses, starting or closing a business, employing workers, getting credit, protecting investors, paying taxes, enforcing contracts and trading across borders in Switzerland.
This World Bank chart summarizes the procedures, schedule requirements, and costs associated with setting up a business in Switzerland.
Using the building of a warehouse as an example, this page features a chart summarizing the procedures, time and costs to build in Switzerland. Text beneath the chart provides details about each procedural step in the process.
Business success abroad depends not only on the quality of your products and services, but also on the knowledge and respect you show for the customs and manners of business people in your host country. These guides will help you to ensure that your business conduct in Switzerland makes a positive impression.