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About Switzerland


Courtesy of: Embassy of Switzerland, Washington

Extract from their website:

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It contains a selection of websites explaining how Switzerland is structured and how it functions, providing you with the information you will need to form an opinion and exercise your political rights from overseas.

Switzerland is characterized by a federalist system which allows for participation by the population in the decision-making process. The internet is crucial for Swiss citizens living abroad to keep abreast of developments back at home.

In Switzerland, the people are sovereign, exercising supreme political power. The Swiss political system is based on this principle, enabling the Swiss people to express their opinion on a vast array of topics at the federal, cantonal and communal levels and elect their representatives to Parliament. On its website the federal government gives an overview of the workings of politics at the federal level, and provides a presentation of the legislative, executive and judicial powers and the Swiss political parties.

Switzerland's political system

The Swiss government

The Swiss political parties

The Swiss Confederation – a brief guide

The Swiss authorities,

To read more, please click here



The United States established diplomatic relations with Switzerland in 1853 following the formation of a unified Swiss state. Switzerland is a democratic country subscribing to the fundamental ideals with which the United States also is identified. The country is politically stable with an essentially strong economy. It has played an increasingly important role in supporting the spread of democratic institutions and values worldwide, as well as providing humanitarian relief and economic development assistance. U.S. policy toward Switzerland takes these factors into account and seeks to cooperate with Switzerland to the extent consistent with Swiss neutrality.

The United States and Switzerland have signed a number of agreements creating mechanisms that deepen cooperation and improve the relationship: the Enhanced Political Cooperation Framework, the Trade and Investment Cooperation Forum, and the revised Operative Working Arrangement on Law Enforcement Cooperation on Counterterrorism. The centerpiece of the Enhanced Political Cooperation Framework is an annual senior-level meeting, the Joint Working Group. Another vehicle for bilateral cooperation is the U.S.-Swiss Joint Economic Commission, which covers anti-money laundering efforts, counterterrorism, regulatory cooperation, and intellectual property rights, among other topics.

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The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in Swiss global shipments during 2016. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Switzerland.

  1. Gems, precious metals: US$98.2 billion (32.4% of total exports)

  2. Pharmaceuticals: $67.1 billion (22.1%)

  3. Machinery including computers: $22.4 billion (7.4%)

  4. Clocks , watches including parts: $19.7 billion (6.5%)

  5. Organic chemicals: $19.3 billion (6.4%)

  6. Optical, technical, medical apparatus: $15.4 billion (5.1%)

  7. Electrical machinery, equipment: $12 billion (4%)

  8. Plastics, plastic articles: $4.9 billion (1.6%)

  9. Perfumes, cosmetics: $2.9 billion (1%)

  10. Articles of iron or steel: $2.8 billion (0.9%)


Gems and precious metals increased in value at the fastest past, up 859.1% in value over the 7-year period starting in 2009. This upward trend was led primarily by exported gold and jewelry. Swiss diamond sales also improved–albeit making a much smaller contribution to overall exports.

In second place for improving export sales were pharmaceuticals which were up 63.5%.

Swiss clocks and watches posted the third-fastest gain in value at 61.6%.

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And what can we learn from it? In this interview with Martin Dahinden, Ambassador of Switzerland to the United States of America, we learn about some of the factors behind the Swiss economy (think: innovation and research) along with how Swiss companies support and contribute to the American economy.

Switzerland Today
News and Perspectives from
the Embassy of Switzerland in the United States
September 2017


The Swiss are on the go! And we can tell you this much: It’s not because of chocolate, cheese or mountains, but because of augmented creativity, high precision, and punctual perseverance.

Yes, this is a mouthful. Let us put it this way: We are proud to be the most innovative country in the world actually for the seventh time in a row according to the Global Innovation Index.

Wie mächtig ist die 5. Schweiz?

Radiosendung vom 21. August 2020

Cantons of Switzerland
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