The Swiss Confederation, Capital Bern

switzerlandSwitzerland is a federal parliamentary republic. The country is situated in Western and Central Europe, where it is bordered by Italy to the south, France to the west, Germany to the north, and Austria and Liechtenstein to the east. Switzerland is a landlocked country geographically divided between the Alps, the Swiss Plateau and the Jura, spanning an area of 41,285 km2 (15,940 sq mi).

The Swiss population of approximately 8 million people is concentrated mostly on the Plateau, where the largest cities are to be found; among them are the two global and economic centres of Zürich and Geneva.

Switzerland lies between latitudes 45° and 48° N, and longitudes 5° and 11° E.

Switzerland has four official languages: principally German, Italian, French and Romansh. Switzerland’s currency is Swiss franc (CHF).

Switzerland is a member of a number of international economic organizations, including the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Switzerland has a stable, prosperous and high-tech economy and enjoys great wealth, being ranked as the wealthiest country in the world in per capita in multiple rankings.

It has the world’s nineteenth largest economy by nominal GDP and the thirty-sixth largest by purchasing power parity.

Switzerland is one of the leaders in exports of high-end watches as well as clocks, Swiss watch making companies produce most of the world’s high-end watches, in 2011, the exports of Switzerland reached nearly 19.3 billion CHF.

Switzerland has a highly developed tourism infrastructure, especially in the mountainous regions and cities, making it a good market for tourism-related equipment and services.

The total financial volume associated with tourism, including transportation, is estimated to CHF 35.5 billion (as of 2010). The total gross value added from tourism is 14.9 billion. Tourism provides a total of 144,838 full time equivalent jobs in the entire country. The total financial volume of tourist lodging is 5.19 billion CHF and eating at the lodging provides an additional 5.19 billion. The total gross value added of 14.9 billion is about 2.9% of Switzerland’s 2010 nominal GDP of 550.57 billion CHF.