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 1’400 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 2.2 million people outside of Switzerland. The income from Swiss direct investments abroad amounts to about CHF 100 billion. In comparison, foreign direct investment (FDI) in Switzerland currently stands at CHF 1000 billion, which corresponds to roughly 1.5 million jobs. The income from foreign direct investments amounts to more than CHF 80 billion. 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 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 more than doubled since 2010 (and quadrupled since 2000).