About Us Factsheet on Switzerland

Embassy of India

Berne

*****

Switzerland – Fact Sheet



General

Official Name

Swiss Confederation

Capital

Bern (population approx. 400,000)

Area

41,285 sq km

Population (2018)

8.54 million: 25% Foreigners

Cantonal Population (2017)

Zurich (1.5 million); Bern (1.03 million); Vaud (7,93,129); Geneva (4,95,249)

Age Profile of Population
(2016)

  • Under 15 years: 14.9%
  • 65 years and more: 18%
  • Centenarians: 1510 (at end-2017)

Life Expectancy (2017)

  • Male: 81.4 years; Female: 85.4 years

Languages
(2015)

Multi-Cultural: 4 National Languages: German 63%; French 22.7%; Italian 8.1%; Romansch 0.5%; andOthers 21.5%. English is generally understood in most of big cities, hotels, banks etc.

Religions

Roman Catholic 38.2%; Protestant 26.9%; Muslim 4.9%; Jewish 0.3%;No religious conviction 21.4% other 8.3%

Ethnic Groups

Mixed European-German 65%; French 18%; Italian 10%; Romansch 1%; Other 6%

Internet Penetration

90% (2017 Q1)

Mobile Penetration

135% (2017 est.)

Urbanization

74.1% (2017)

Economy

Currency

Swiss francs (CHF) –Freely Convertible
1 CHF = INR 70 (approx)

GDP

CHF 668.57 billion (2017 provisional)

GDP Growth Rate

2.5 % (2018) [SECO figures]

GDP Per Capita

USD 79,104(2017p; Swiss Federal Statistical Office figures)

Unemployment

2.6% (2018)

Exports

USD 238,477 million (2018) without precious metals 
USD 310,837 million (2018) with precious metals

Main Export Partners

Germany 18.5%; USA 16.3%; France 6.3%; Italy 6%; China 5.2% (2018) - without precious metals
Germany 15.3%; USA 13.2%; China9.8%; France 6.3%; India 5.7% (2018) - with precious metals

Imports

USD 206,449 million (2018) without precious metals
USD 279,595 million (2018) with precious metals

Main Import Partners

Germany 27.1%; Italy 9.3%;France8%; China 7.1%; USA 6.2% (2018); - without precious metals
Germany 20.7%; UK9.5%; USA7.6%; Italy 7.6%; France 7.2% (2018) - with precious metals

Political

Political Structure

Federal Republic composed of 26 cantons
Federal Council (Executive Body), which is comprised of 7 federal councillors, constitutes the federal government of Switzerland; 
Council members rotate in a 1-year term as federal president
Federal Council is electedby joint session of the bicameral Parliament for a 4-year term; 
Bicameral Federal Assembly consists of the Council of States (46 seats; directly elected according to First past the post system; members serve 4-year terms) and the National Council (200 seats; directly elected; members serve 4-year terms) 
2015 Parliamentary Election:
The Swiss People’s Party made large gains in the Swiss Parliamentary Elections held on 18 Oct. 2015. It received 29.4% of the valid votes, an increase of 2.8% over its 2011 figures and getting 65 seats in the lower house. The vote share of other major parties are Social Democrats (SP) 18.8%; Free Radicals (FDP) 16.4%; Christian Democrats (CVP) 11.6%; Green Party (Grune) 7.1%; Liberal Green Party (GLP) 4.6%; and Conservative Democratic Party (BDP) 4.1%.
2015 Federal Council Elections:
In the Federal Council elections in December, 2015, the Council’s composition was restored to the earlier consensus formula of 2 Federal Councillor for each of the 3 bigger parties and one from the 4th biggest party.

Major Political Parties and Leaders (and their representation in Federal Council)

  • Social Democratic Party(SP-2)
  • Free Democratic Party/The Liberals(FDP-2)
  • Swiss People's Party(SVP-2)
  • Christian Democratic People's Party(CVP-1)

Head of State (President)

Federal Councillor Ueli Maurer (Head of the Federal Department of Finance (FDF)

Political Issues

Immigration, Crime and Foreigners, Radicalization, Relations with EU, Free Trade and Protectionism etc.

Bilateral

India’s Exports

USD 1876 million (2018)

Main Items of India’s Exports

Textiles and garments, organic chemicals, precious stones and jewellery, dyestuffs, machinery and parts, leather products, shoes and shoe uppers, cotton, plastics, coffee, tea and hand-knotted carpets.

India’s Imports

USD 17820 million (2018)

Main Items of India’s Imports

Besides bullion, Swiss exports to India consist of machinery and equipment (electrical and mechanical).

Swiss Investments in India

From April 2000 to March 2019, Switzerland invested (FDI Equity) approximately USD 4.63 billion in India with major concentrated in the high-tech and engineering sectors, the rest being in pharma, services and processed food, thus becoming the 11th largest investor and accounting for about 1.13% of total FDI in India during this period. 
Overall Swiss investment inflows into India as per SNB during 2005-2014, are USD 7.6 billion. More than 250 Swiss companies have a presence in India through their own subsidiaries and joint ventures. Most of the Swiss multinational companies like Nestle, ABB, Novartis, Roche UBS and Credit Suisse etc. have their operations in India. As per Swiss government data, Swiss enterprises have created over one lakh jobs in India and launched many vocational education programs in India. Several Swiss entities opened vocational training centres in India.

Indian Investments in Switzerland

Overseas Direct Investment from India to Switzerland for the duration from April 2014-December 2017 was USD 1.72 billion (4.36% of total Overseas Direct Investment) placing it at 7th position. Indian investments have gone into ICT, Life Services, Engineering, Start-ups, Pharmaceuticals and chemicals, etc. Major Indian IT companies including TCS, Infosys, HCL, Tech Mahindra, etc. provide services to major pharma companies, banks and insurance firms. Swiss luxury goods firm Lux was taken over by Eureka Forbes and earlier in 2015 M/s. Steiner, a construction company, was taken over by HCC Ltd. and European Gold Refineries by Rajesh Exports.

Indian Community

The Indian community in Switzerland numbers approximately 24,567 Indians including over 7164 persons of Indian origin, most of whom are professionals. It is concentrated in Zurich, Geneva, Basel, Baden, Bern and Lausanne in that order. Indian associations are active in organizing cultural activities, festivals and national days and Indian students. There are about 1000 Indian students studying in Switzerland.

*****

July 2019