As in most other countries, international investments are a key factor for economic growth and prosperity in Switzerland. Swiss-based companies have traditionally exported not just industrial goods and services but also capital, particularly in the form of direct investment. At the same time, Switzerland has successfully positioned itself as a location for capital investment from abroad.
According to the Swiss National Bank, the stock of direct investment by Swiss companies in production, distribution and research facilities abroad stood at CHF 1’000 billion. In addition to large-sized enterprises, there are also several thousand small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that have contributed. Combined, they employ close to two million people outside of Switzerland. In comparison, foreign direct investment (FDI) in Switzerland currently stands at CHF 750 billion, which corresponds to roughly 450'000 jobs. Compared to other countries, Switzerland maintains relatively high levels of foreign direct investment (FDI). This can be seen in the ratio between the level of Swiss foreign direct investment (FDI) and gross domestic product (GDP). The importance of foreign investment is also noticeable in the historic perspective, as the capital through Swiss investments abroad has nearly tripled since 2000.