A ship docked at one of the three Rhine locations in Basel that make up the Port of Switzerland.
The Port of Switzerland in Basel is the country's main import and export hub © Wikimedia

The majority of Swiss workers are employed in the service sector, mostly in business and finance and tourism. Chemical and pharmaceutical production and mechanical engineering/metals are the main branches of the industrial sector. The importance of agriculture for the economy is in decline.

The service sector with its commercial and financial centre provides employment for the majority of Switzerland's workers. Alongside banking and insurance, commodity trading is an important sector. Tourism also plays a key role for much of Switzerland's Alpine region especially.

Agriculture is important for tourism because it has shaped Switzerland's countryside and traditions. Although the sector is in decline, it still produces the majority of the food consumed in Switzerland.

The two main branches of the industrial sector – chemicals and pharmaceuticals and mechanical/electrical engineering and metals – have a strong export focus. The watchmaking industry is Switzerland’s third largest exporter and is renowned worldwide for its high quality, tradition and innovation.


The agricultural sector is only a very small part of the Swiss economy, but it is very important for the tourism industry and the country's food security.

Chemical and pharmaceutical industry

Pharmaceuticals and chemicals account for over half of Switzerland's exports.

Machine, electrical engineering and metals industry

The machine, electrical engineering and metals industry is the largest industrial employer in Switzerland and one of the country’s leading exporters.

Watchmaking industry

The Swiss watchmaking industry has conquered the world with its high-quality products. Following a major crisis in the 1970s and 1980s, the sector found a new lease of life and is today one of the jewels in Switzerland's industrial crown.


The tourism industry is one of Switzerland’s most important economic sectors and employs around 4% of the working population.

Banks and insurance companies

Swiss banks and insurance companies are global leaders in wealth management and provide key financial services.

Commodities trade

Switzerland is one of the world's most important commodities trading hubs. The country's trade in oil and petroleum, metals, minerals and agricultural products is mainly coordinated in the regions of Geneva, Zug and Lugano.


The Swiss retail sector is dominated by two major distributors: Migros and Coop.


Thanks to its multilingualism and cultural diversity, Switzerland has a rich and extensive media landscape.