Switzerland and LiechtensteinWT/TPR/S/208 Page 105
(i) Main features
Switzerland is home to several of the world's largest multinational manufacturing companies. Despite the importance of multinationals, Swiss manufacturing is highly diversified. Most firms are small or medium-sized; they are located throughout the country, but especially in the Mittelland. Switzerland's manufacturing sector is characterized by high R&D-intensity and specialization; competitiveness has been increased through the consistent outsourcing of cost-sensitive processes.21 Some 23.7% of the labour force worked in the industrial sector in 2006. In 2007, Switzerland imported manufactured goods for US$152 billion (Major Division 3 of ISIC, Revision 2), while its exports amounted to US$168 billion.
In Liechtenstein too, the manufacturing sector is important in terms of its contribution to GDP. There are some 600 companies, mostly SMEs, active in a large number of market niches. The most important branches are mechanical engineering, electrical machinery, vehicle components, dental technology, and food products. Due to the limited domestic market, the larger enterprises, especially are heavily export-oriented. As in Switzerland, the emphasis is on the development of high quality, high-tech products. Liechtenstein's direct manufacturing exports in 2006 were estimated at some Sw F 3.6 billion.22
21 Credit Suisse (2008).
22 "Direct" exports are those not channelled through subsidiaries or logistic centres in Switzerland.