SWITZERLAND FASTENER MARKET
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SWITZERLAND FASTENER MARKET

GDP (Million $) – 905.684 (2023, IMF)
GDP Per Capita ($) – 102.866
Growth Rate (%) – 0,87
Population – 8.805.000
Total Area (km2) – 41.285
Capital – Bern 

 

Switzerland is a landlocked country located in central western Europe with a surface area of 41,285 km² and the most mountainous area in Europe. 

According to the data of the Swiss Federal Statistical Office, the country's population ranked 96th in the world with 8.74 million people in 2021, and the population of Switzerland ranked 97th in the world population ranking with 8.8 in 2023. 

Switzerland's natural resources include minerals, water and soil. In Switzerland, water from glaciers is used to obtain energy in hydroelectric power plants. Approximately 59 percent of the country's electricity is produced from water. As a result of using water to generate electricity, it has reduced the country's dependence on imported energy sources. 

Switzerland is among the most stable and competitive economies in the world. It ranks 5th among 141 countries in the world in terms of global competitiveness, 36th among 190 countries in terms of ease of doing business, and 2nd among 177 countries according to the economic freedom index. 

According to current prices, GDP, which is estimated to be 870 billion dollars in 2023, is expected to be 916 billion dollars in 2024. In addition, Switzerland is the 20th largest economy in the world among 196 countries as of 2023. GDP, which is expected to increase by 0.8% in 2023 based on constant prices, is estimated to increase by 1.8% in 2024.

Foreign Trade

Switzerland ranks 20th in world exports and 21st in world imports in 2022. In 2022, an increase of 16% in exports and 9.8% in imports was recorded. In 2022, the country's exports reached 401 billion dollars and imports reached 356 billion dollars. It had a surplus of 45 billion dollars in foreign trade in 2022. 

The leading product groups in the country's exports to the world are; pharmaceuticals, jewellery, machinery, mechanical devices and tools; Watches and their components and parts, organic chemicals are the leading product groups. The leading product groups in the country's imports from the world are; jewellery, pharmaceuticals, mineral fuels, machinery, mechanical devices and tools; Electrical machines and devices are the leading product groups. 

Due to the country's insufficient natural resources, it imports raw materials and intermediate goods, but exports high value-added products. 

INDUSTRY

The majority of Swiss workers are employed in the service sector, mostly in business and finance and tourism. Chemical and pharmaceutical production and mechanical engineering/metals are the main branches of the industrial sector. The importance of agriculture for the economy is in decline.

The service sector with its commercial and financial centre provides employment for the majority of Switzerland's workers. Alongside banking and insurance, commodity trading is an important sector. Tourism also plays a key role for much of Switzerland's Alpine region especially.

Agriculture is important for tourism because it has shaped Switzerland's countryside and traditions. Although the sector is in decline, it still produces the majority of the food consumed in Switzerland.

The two main branches of the industrial sector – chemicals and pharmaceuticals and mechanical/electrical engineering and metals – have a strong export focus. The watchmaking industry is Switzerland’s third largest exporter and is renowned worldwide for its high quality, tradition and innovation.

MACHINE AND METAL INDUSTRY 

The machine, electrical engineering and metals industry is the largest industrial employer in Switzerland and one of the country’s leading exporters. 

The machine, electrical engineering and metals industry (or MEM, for short) has a total workforce of 320,000. 99% of the companies are SMEs with less than 250 employees. The sector employs over 500,000 people internationally and is Switzerland’s second largest exporter. Almost 60% of MEM industry exports go to the EU. 

The origins of the industry go back to the 19th century and textile manufacturing. When Swiss companies began mechanising production, they developed their own machines so as not to have to rely on their competitors in England to supply them with the equipment they needed. 

Today, Swiss MEM firms are some of the most competitive in the world, particularly machine tool producers and manufacturers of machines for the textile and printing industries. In absolute figures, Switzerland is among the 10 largest exporters of machinery in the world. 

There are over 2,500 companies working in this industry. The major players are ABB, Alstom, Liebherr, Georg Fischer, Sulzer, Bucher Industries, Bühler Holding and Schindler.

AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY

U.S. automotive suppliers may export to one of the 300 Swiss companies that supply the global automotive industry. With no domestic automobile production, Swiss automotive component producers, often in niche areas, are closely linked to German automotive supply chains.

In 2021, Switzerland had over 6.3 million registered vehicles, up 38% from 2000. About 2.1% of the working population in Switzerland is involved in the sale and after-sales services of cars in Switzerland. More than 90% of imported cars enter the market through agents that trade exclusively in a particular brand. Certain cars with limited demand, including some U.S. models, may only be available upon request from an importer or through individual importation. 

The automakers with the highest market share of newly registered vehicles in Switzerland included Volkswagen (10.1%), Skoda (9.6%), BMW (8.5%), Mercedes (8.4%), and Audi (6.4%). A growing proportion of newly registered vehicles have four-wheel drive capability, popular given mountainous terrain and winter driving conditions. Sales of electric and hybrid vehicles are also growing strongly. In 2021, the Tesla Model 3s was the most sold vehicle in Switzerland. Of the 350,056 new vehicles for personal transport registered in 2021, 15.6% were conventional hybrid vehicles, representing 66.4% growth in sales, and 6.2% were plug-in hybrid vehicles, representing 50.9% growth in sales from 2020. Sales of purely electric vehicles were up 62.1% compared to 2019, representing 9.2% of new cars registered. 

AEROSPACE AND DEFENSE INDUSTRY

U.S. imports generally account for 25-50% of Swiss imports in the Aerospace and Defense sector. Further opportunities for U.S. exporters exist, as the Swiss Defense Ministry relies on cooperation and expertise from foreign companies, and Swiss aerospace and defense companies are generally open to broadening their base of U.S. suppliers.

Notably, Switzerland chose Lockheed Martin’s F-35A and Raytheon’s Patriot systems in July 2021 as the suppliers in its Air2030 program, with a total budget estimated at approximately $9 billion. The U.S. manufacturers were chosen following a rigorous cost-benefit analysis.

Swiss armed forces supplier RUAG, traditionally a key player in the defense sector, split into two companies on January 1, 2020 – MRO Switzerland, which continues to serve the Swiss armed forces, and RUAG International, which focuses on international sales related to space, aerospace, ammunition manufacturing, and other products and services in the civil and international sectors. Switzerland’s sole aircraft maker, Pilatus Aircraft, develops and produces high-performance single-engine turboprops and private business jets. Over 30 manufacturers in Switzerland are suppliers to the aerospace industry, with many more companies involved in associated industrial processing, services, and operations.