General information

Switzerland is a landlocked country in Central Europe. Neighbouring countries are Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein, Italy and France.

The geography of Switzerland consists mostly of mountains (Alps in the south, Jura in the northwest) with a central plateau of plains and lakes.

Switzerland is a federalist state, with the state powers being divided between the Confederation, the cantons and the communes. Switzerland is a member of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). Local currency is the Swiss Franc.

The three major export branches are Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals, Watches and Precision Instruments and Machinery and Electronics.

Together they contribute to roughly 80% of the total export volume. Furthermore major parts of the worldwide commodities are being traded via traders located in Geneva and Zurich area.

Official languages spoken are German, French, Italian and Romansch. German is spoken throughout Central-, Northern and Eastern Switzerland, French and Italian being spoken in Western and Southern Switzerland respectively, whereas Romansch is only spoken in certain parts of the Canton Graubünden (South-East).

One of the key areas for transportation access to the international markets is the area around Basle, with many international freight forwarders having been founded here. The Rhine river connects Basle with the Ports of Rotterdam and Antwerp and there are daily rail connections to Hamburg and Bremerhaven too, among others. Swiss Rhine Ports handle roughly 100000 containers per year.

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