It is possible that some of the first impressions associated with Switzerland are its chocolates, cheeses, luxury watches or its immense mountain ranges, the Alps. However, Switzerland is also known as one of the countries with thehighest per capita income in the world and leader in global competitiveness and innovation above the major powers of the world.
Some of its main cities such as Zurich, Geneva or Basel are ranked in the top 10 of cities with the highest quality of life, according to Mercer last year studies, one of the world's largest consulting firms. The political and economic stability found in the transalpine country are some of the keys to its success.
The Swiss state is made up of 26 cantons, and the Federal Council constitutes its government, which is made up of seven members from the four most voted political parties. The president is elected for a term of one year by alternating parties and in order of seniority. Switzerland makes no state visits except to the United Nations General Assembly.
Switzerland is a direct democracy, where citizens can propose new laws and reject or modify existing ones.
In economic terms, Switzerland is one of the most stable and modern economies in the world. Its GDP per capita is the second highest in developed countries, with Luxembourg at the top of the ranking. Its public debt is less than 45% of GDP and the unemployment rate is 3.5%. Switzerland is also considered the most competitive country in the world, as it leads the ranking published by the World Economic Forum. It has also led the world innovation ranking since 2011.
The most important economic activities in Switzerland are the chemical and pharmaceutical industry, financial services and tourism.
To put all this into perspective, we are going to compare the main economic data with another of the world's most powerful economies, the United States:
We can see how Switzerland outperforms the US in key economic indicators. Recent geopolitical developments also seem to place Switzerland ahead of the rest of the world in terms of social stability.
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