Switzerland is one of the most competitive economies in the world, in large part thanks to its flourishing service sector. By international standards public debt in Switzerland is low, and the country has a competitive tax system. Small-and medium-sized enterprises are the mainstay of the export-oriented Swiss economy.
Switzerland's comparatively low level of public debt, even during the COVID-19 pandemic, has been achieved by imposing a debt brake, i.e. a cap on public spending. The Swiss tax system reflects the country's federal structure. Competitive corporate tax rates set by the cantons make Switzerland an attractive location for companies. Switzerland has several other distinct advantages including a well-trained workforce, considerable innovative capacity, political stability, a high standard of living and its location at the centre of Europe. For all these reasons, a number of multinationals are based in Switzerland.
However, SMEs are the lifeblood of the Swiss economy. Many of these companies are export-driven, which is why Switzerland habitually runs a trade surplus.