01. The Swiss recipe to be one of the most efficient countries in the world

It tops the main international rankings in economic prosperity, competitiveness, government effectiveness and political stability. Switzerland has discovered the formula to stay on the podium and go further: it is a country that attracts and retains an essential ingredient - talent.

There's nothing like a good recipe, a step-by-step plan to cook a tasty meal. Good recipes are full of analysis and knowledge, and above all experiences and tests with the best raw materials and with the right timings to achieve success. If we talk about countries, Switzerland seems to have discovered this winning formula that places it at the top of international rankings: Switzerland has well-being and quality of life, a competitive and prosperous economy and levels of innovation admired and valued worldwide.

This recipe includes the following ingredients:

  • The Swiss brand, a hallmark of quality and excellence
  • The strength of its institutions, currency and economy
  • Strong growth sustained over time
  • Political stability and social cohesion
  • Commitment to sustainability and environmental protection
  • High quality of life (investment in health, education and talent)
  • Digital transformation and a high level of investment in R&D and new technologies


One of the signs that Switzerland has reached this ideal point can be seen in international reports. The results of the IMD World Competitiveness Ranking, published every year by the World Competitiveness Center (WCC), placed the country in third place among 64 national economies analyzed in the creation and maintenance of a competitive ecosystem. In other words, it indicates a high level of growth, productivity and potential to attract and retain investment.


Below, we explain the key ingredients of this good recipe through three main areas of action:

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Economy: financial power and investment powerhouse

One of Switzerland's hallmarks is the strength of its economy and currency, the Swiss franc, which is in high demand in times of uncertainty and, therefore, a safe haven currency par excellence.


Switzerland is one of the most important financial centers in the world. In 2022, its 235 banking institutions managed funds with a total value of 7,847 billion Swiss francs, of which nearly half came from abroad. And as for business efficiency, it ranks seventh out of the 64 economies audited by WCC, mainly thanks to its productivity levels and the development and sophistication of its financial sector.


The strength and sophistication of its banking also attracts international investors, who benefit from the security of its protocols and the stability of macroeconomic figures such as inflation, currently below 2%, or interest rates.


It should be noted that its GDP, which in 2022 exceeded $800 billion, gives its citizens - its population slightly exceeds 8.8 million - one of the highest per capita GDP ratios in the world, at $87,427 per person. High salaries are also another of Switzerland's hallmarks, as its residents enjoy some of the world's highest average salaries. In 2022 it was 100,413 a year, i.e. 8,368 euros a month in 12 payments over a year.


But if there is an area where Switzerland has been unrivalled for years, it is its ability to attract and retain talent, a key issue for companies to generate long-term value. This is confirmed by both the IMD's World Talent Ranking and The Global Talent Competitiveness Index.

Innovation: digital transformation and the crypto universe

Switzerland invests more than 3.15% of its GDP in research and development and thus remains among the world's leaders. It has been able to harness the full potential of digital transformation and new technologies to lead some of the most advanced developments.


This is proven by the fact that it has become the center of the crypto ecosystem in Europe: its custody services are a benchmark, Switzerland played a key role in the creation of Ethereum and founded Crypto Valley, a network of companies dedicated to cryptocurrencies and blockchain.


A pioneer in implementing electronic administration, it offers increasingly advanced services in the ICT sector and stands out for its workforce's qualifications, thanks to a high percentage of science graduates. The data is clear: 61% of young people opt for a federal university or institute of technology.


This context of innovation and technological education, which is supported by its high standard of living, employee motivation and high salaries, has turned Switzerland into a hub for attracting talent that addresses its labor shortage. Moreover, Switzerland is famous throughout Europe because it has almost no unemployment, 4.1% at the end of 2023.

Quality of life: stability, trust and sustainability

When we talk about quality of life in Switzerland, we are referring not only to economic wealth, but also largely due to its social well-being. Starting with its healthcare facilities and spending on health, with 59,987,285,756 euros earmarked in 2022 (more than 11% of total public expenditure), which represents 7.8% of GDP. This all gives Swiss people a life expectancy of 84 years.


Switzerland also attaches great importance to education, and it is one of the countries that invests most in education, specifically 5.7% of its GDP. As a result of this effort maintained over the last few decades, almost 90% of the adult population has completed upper secondary education.


Environmental protection is another of its strengths, with continuous improvements in the efficient use of resources, legislative developments that are committed to sustainability and reducing emissions. In fact, the country has set out to achieve climate neutrality in 2050, a goal that its citizens approved at the polls in June 2023.


This is a clear example of the sense of community in Switzerland. Its organization as a federal state, organized by cantons - 26 in total - and a direct democracy system encourages citizens to participate and make decisions. In fact, the confidence of citizens in their government is greater in Switzerland than in any other OECD country. This social stability and cohesion, based on direct democracy, has been working like clockwork for decades. According to data from the WCC study, Switzerland led the government effectiveness ranking in 2022 and 2023.