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U.S. Department of State
Switzerland Country Commercial Guide
Office of the Coordinator for Business Affairs

                           JUNE 1995

                           TABLE OF CONTENTS


      Major Trends and Outlook
      Principal Growth Sectors
      Government Role in the Economy
      Balance of Payments Situation
      Infrastructure Situation

      Nature of Political Relationship with the United States
      Major Political Issues Affecting Business Climate
      Brief Synopsis of Political System, Schedule for Elections,
        and Orientation of Major Political Parties

      Distribution and Sales Channels
      Use of Agents/Distributors; Finding a Partner
      Direct Marketing
      Joint Ventures/Licensing
      Steps to Establishing an Office
      Selling Factors/Techniques
      Advertising and Trade Promotion
        Listing of Major Newspapers and Business Journals
      Pricing Product
      Sales Service/Customer Support
      Selling to the Government
      Protecting Your Product From IPR Infringement
      Need for a Local Attorney

      Best Prospects for Non-Agricultural Goods and Services
      Best Prospects for Agricultural Products

      Trade Barriers, Tariffs, Non-Tariff Barriers, Import Taxes
      Customs Valuation
      Import Licenses
      Export Controls
      Import/Export Documentation
      Temporary Entry
      Labeling, Market Requirements
      Prohibited Imports
      Free Trade Zones/Warehouses
      Special Import Provisions
      Membership in Free Trade Associations

      Openness to Foreign Investment
      Conversion and Transfer Policies
      Expropriation and Compensation
      Dispute Settlement
      Political Violence
      Performance Requirements/Incentives
      Right to Private Ownership and Establishment
      Protection of Property Rights
      Regulatory System: Laws and Procedures
      Efficient Capital Markets and Portfolio Investment
      Bilateral Investment Agreements
      OPIC and Other Investment Insurance Programs
      Foreign Trade Zones/Free Ports
      Capital Outflow Policy
      Major Foreign Investors

      Brief Description of Banking System
      Foreign Exchange Controls Affecting Trading
      General Financing Availability
      How to Finance Exports/Methods of Payment
      Types of Available Export Financing and Insurance
      Project Financing Available, including Lending from
        Multilateral Institutions and Projects Supported
      List of Banks with Correspondent U.S. Banking Arrangements

      Business Customs
      Travel Advisory and Visas
      Business Infrastructure


A.    Country Data
B.    Domestic Economy
C.    Trade
D.    Investment
E.    U.S. and Country Contacts
      U.S. Embassy Trade Related Contacts
      Washington-Based USG Country Contacts
      AmChams and Bilateral Business Councils
      Swiss Trade or Industry Associations
      Swiss Government Agencies
      Swiss Market Research Firms
      Swiss Commercial Banks
      Other Multipliers Relevant for Switzerland

F.    Market Research
      Recent and Upcoming USDOC Industry Subsector Analyses
      USDOC International Market Insight (IMI) Reporting
      USDA/FAS Commodity Reports and Market Briefs

G.    Trade Event Schedule

This Country Commercial Guide (CCG) presents a comprehensive look at 
Switzerland's commercial environment through economic, political and 
market analyses.  The CCGs were established by recommendation of the 
Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee (TPCC), a multi-agency task 
force, to consolidate various reporting documents prepared for the U.S. 
business community.  Country Commercial Guides are prepared annually at 
U.S. Embassies through the combined efforts of several U.S. government 


Switzerland is a small, highly developed, multilingual market situated 
at the crossroads of Europe.  Its population of 6.9 million people is 
diversified, well-educated and affluent.  It serves as an excellent test 
market for businesses hoping to introduce new products into the dynamic 
European marketplace.  Experiences gathered here can be translated into 
successes in Germany, France, Italy, Austria and elsewhere in Europe.

Economy:  Switzerland has a strong and stable economy, low inflation 
(0.9%), relatively low unemployment (4.7%), and a highly qualified 
workforce -- factors which contribute to making the Swiss Confederation 
a desirable market environment.  Per capita income is the highest in 
Europe.  Spending power for foreign goods and services is thus extremely 

Trade:  Trade and prosperity are synonymous in Switzerland.  The country 
is dependent upon export markets to absorb its production and sustain 
its wealth, but is equally dependent upon imports for raw materials and 
to expand the range of goods and services available in-country.  The 
U.S. ranks fourth as a source of Swiss imports, and third as a 
destination for Swiss exports.

Finance:  Switzerland is known for liberal trade and investment 
policies.  Fiscal policy is moderate and cautious.  The Swiss franc is 
one of the world's soundest and most stable currencies.  The country is 
famous for its high standard of banking, ensuring rapid reliable 
processing of business transactions.

Politics:  Switzerland is neutral and maintains relations with almost 
every nation.  Its political structure, headed by a seven-person Federal 
Council with rotating presidency, is stable.  The country voted in 1992 
against joining the European Economic Area.

Labor:  A motivated workforce and agreements between trade unions and 
employers' associations practically rule out labor unrest.

Infrastructure:  The country offers first-rate telecommunications and 
transportation networks.  Connections between any points in the country 
are rapid and convenient.  Traders are well served by customs bonded 
warehouses in and around all major cities.

Legal: The Swiss legal system is highly developed, commercial law is 
well defined, and investments are protected by sound policies.

Resources:  With limited natural resources, Switzerland is known for 
engineering and business expertise; these skills can benefit U.S. 
exporters in exploring third-country markets.

Manufacturing:  The machinery, metals, electronics, and chemicals 
sectors are world-renowned for precision and quality.  Together they 
account for well over half of Swiss export revenues.

Agriculture:  Switzerland is only 65 percent self-sufficient, and 
imports over $6 billion of agricultural products annually.  Swiss 
farmers are one of the most highly protected and subsidized groups of 
producers in the world.  The U.S. share of the Swiss agricultural import 
market is currently quite small, but adoption of Uruguay Round measures 
should improve the situation.

Services:  Tourism, banking, engineering and insurance are significant 
sectors of the economy and play a major role in its international 
relations.  Swiss trading companies have unique marketing expertise in 
many parts of the world, including Eastern Europe, the Far East, Africa 
and the Middle East.

Tourism:  Not only does Switzerland have its own highly-developed 
tourism infrastructure (making it a good market for tourism-related 
equipment and services), but the Swiss are also intrepid travelers.  Per 
capita, more Swiss visit the United States than any other group, 
providing significant revenue for U.S. tourism.

International:  Switzerland is the seat of many international, inter-
governmental or private organizations ranging from the United Nations 
and associated organizations to CERN, the European Laboratory for 
Particle Physics, to the International Red Cross.  Switzerland is also a 
base for many multinational corporations.

Language:  Switzerland is one of the most multilingual countries in 
Europe.  The national languages are German (used by 65% of the people), 
French (18%), Italian (12%), and Rhaeto-Romanic (1%).  English is 
commonly understood in the business environment.

Bilateral Commercial Relationship:  The Swiss feel comfortable doing 
business with Americans.  U.S. promotional themes are popular at stores, 
shopping centers and restaurants, and many social groups feature 
American activities.  American products have a favorable reputation, 
particularly high technology and labor-saving capital goods and consumer 
products.  A demonstrated commitment to the market, and a reputation for 
reliability and high quality are important factors for success.

Country Commercial Guides are available on the National Trade Data Bank 
on cd-rom or through the Internet.  Please contact STAT-USA at 1-800-
STAT-USA for more information.  To locate Country Commercial Guides via 
the Internet, please use the following World Wide Web address: www.stat-  CCG's can also be ordered in hard copy or on diskette from the 
National Technical Information Service (NTIS) at 1-800-553-NTIS.  


Major Trends and Outlook

After several years of stagnation and recession, the Swiss economy 
showed recovery in the last quarter of 1993, and has been expanding 
continuously since then.  However, real GDP increased by a modest 2.1 
percent in 1994.  The pace of expansion is expected to slow both this 
year and in 1996.

Neither private nor public consumption are expected to be robust in 
1995.  Real disposable income will increase only sightly, leaving 
consumers little room to increase consumption.  Measures to reduce 
budget deficits at all three levels of government (federal, cantonal, 
communal) will affect government consumption, which will remain at the 
previous year's level.  Investment growth, however, will be more robust, 
particularly in machinery and equipment, although the external sector 
will act as a drag on growth as a larger import component in investments 
more than compensates for continued strength in exports.

The recent trade-weighted appreciation of the Swiss currency has not 
only induced domestic producers to shift to imported inputs, but has 
also reduced Swiss export competitiveness. The Swiss franc may well have 
appreciated at a very bad time in the global economic cycle.  
Switzerland is a major supplier of investment goods and should be one of 
the primary beneficiaries of the current worldwide investment boom.  
However, Swiss exporters are losing market shares due to the exchange 
rate's evolution.

In spite of the weak growth scenario, other elements of the Swiss 
economic picture look good.  All levels of government have taken serious 
measures to reduce the substantial budget deficits of the last years, so 
that the situation of public finance should improve.  The overall 
government deficit is expected to fall to approximately 3 percent of GDP 
in 1996.

The labor market situation is also improving.  Even if the low (less 
than one percent) unemployment rates enjoyed through the late 1980s are 
a thing of the past, the number of registered jobless has been 
continuously diminishing since the peak rate of 5.2 percent in February 
1994.  In May 1995, the number of jobless represented 4.2 percent of the 
labor force (a remarkable level by European standards).  The 
unemployment rate should continue to decline, although this is due more 
to potential workers leaving the work force than to growing employment.

Traditionally, Switzerland's merchandise trade deficit is more than 
compensated by a services surplus and, above all, by receipts from 
abroad.  As merchandise trade recorded surpluses in 1993 and 1994, the 
current account showed record surpluses of 7 percent of GDP.  For 1995, 
the strength of the Swiss currency will alter this picture, but the 
balance of payments will nonetheless remain in surplus, in the range of 
SF 25 billion.

Principal Growth Sectors 

As a country with no significant natural resources, Switzerland has 
focused its economy on the manufacturing and services sectors.  
Highlights of recent economic developments by sector and outlook for the 
near term are as follows:

Manufacturing:  The machinery industry, together with metals and 
electronics, employs 12 percent of the country's workforce and 
contributes 42 percent to Swiss export revenues.  Emerging from a period 
of falling orders and declining production, the machinery industry 
(including metals and electronics) has been growing since mid-1994.  
Restructuring efforts carried out over the last few years will leave 
machinery in a stronger and more competitive position.  Companies in 
this sector put high hopes on the effects of the revitalization program 
which the Swiss Federal Council began implementing in 1993, and on the 
new value added tax system introduced in 1995.  The switch from a system 
of turnover tax to the VAT relieves the industry from a tax burden on 
investments (hidden tax) estimated at SF 1 to 2 billion per year.  In 
addition, creativity and innovation will continue to play an important 
role.  The field of environmental technology, for instance, is expected 
to have good growth potential.

The entering into force of the GATT agreement in 1995 is crucial for the 
Swiss machinery sector.  The export-oriented machinery manufacturers 
will benefit from lower tariffs and liberalization of public 
procurement.  Other agreements included in the Uruguay Round, such as 
TRIM's and TRIP's will improve conditions for direct investments abroad, 
and bring better protection of patents, technical know-how, and the 
like.  The GATT agreement will allow Swiss companies to compensate for 
price disadvantages by introducing more creative price and service 

The chemical industry was one of the few sectors in the Swiss economy 
that performed well in spite of the 1991-1993 recession.  Similar to the 
machinery sector, chemicals will also benefit from the GATT agreement; 
but because this sector is even more oriented toward the external side, 
the positive effects of the Uruguay Round will probably be of even 
higher magnitude.  Because research plays a key role in the chemical 
sector, TRIP's and TRIM's represent the biggest improvements for this 
sector.  Within the chemical branch, pharmaceuticals offer the biggest 
growth potential, since they will benefit most from longer and better 
patent protection.  The introduction of the VAT has also benefitted 
investment activities in the chemical industry.

Services:  The two most buoyant components of the services sector have 
been banking and insurance.  Within the banking sector, commercial and 
private banks show the biggest growth potential.  The increase in world 
trade and industrial activity will naturally bring more business to 
commercial banks.  With their global operations, the large Swiss 
commercial banks stand to gain a fair share of the business.  Mutual 
funds and institutional investors have gained in importance, and 
represent good growth prospects for commercial and private banks.

The insurance industry is equally important for Switzerland, and the 
Swiss are reputed to be the best-insured people in the world.  There are 
well over 100 insurance companies in the country, approximately ten 
percent of which are specialized solely in the reinsurance business; of 
the latter, Rueckversicherung is the world's second-largest reinsurance 
company.  The financial situation of the Swiss insurance companies is 
very satisfactory, and earnings are expected to grow strongly in 1995 
and beyond.

Agriculture:  In recent decades, agriculture has lost its relative 
importance in the Swiss economy, and its preservation in current form 
has been due largely to governmental intervention and support.  The 
Swiss system of protecting its farmers is now undergoing bold reforms, 
due mainly to pressure from consumers and Switzerland's trading 
partners.  The Uruguay Round results require Switzerland to eliminate 
non-tariff barriers, reduce export subsidies, make binding commitments 
on its schedule of agricultural tariffs, and decrease levels of domestic 
support payments.  Beginning July 1, 1995, the date Switzerland will 
begin implementing its Uruguay Round commitments, the Swiss agricultural 
sector will be more responsive to market forces and increasingly 
accepting of foreign goods.

Government Role in the Economy

Switzerland has a free market economy based on the principles of free 
enterprise.  Freedom of trade and of industry are guaranteed by the 
Federal Constitution, and state intervention is minimal.  Government 
policy is primarily aimed at providing the economy with favorable market 
conditions -- stable currency and prices, an efficient infrastructure, 
and training opportunities for required skills.

Under Switzerland's federal, cantonal and communal system of governing, 
the federal government is responsible for such national interest issues 
as foreign affairs, internal and external security, customs, 
communications, and monetary control, while the cantons control all 
other state functions.  In many cases, the federal government simply 
legislates and supervises, while the 26 cantons implement the 
legislation.  The cantons enjoy a high degree of administrative 
authority, with their own constitutions and laws.  The communes, of 
which there are over 3,000, also enjoy a high degree of independence, 
control local issues, and even collect taxes.  All three levels of 
government have little direct involvement in manufacturing and services.

Indirect involvement is evident in the extensive number of government 
regulations, especially at the local level.  Building codes, regulated 
hours of establishment, labor laws, zoning ordinances, garbage control, 
noise codes and administered prices are examples of areas where rules 
and regulations are more pervasive than in the United States.  Mandatory 
health insurance is a typical example of the Swiss approach to 
government involvement in the economy: insurance and  health care are 
provided privately, but the government requires employees to have the 
insurance (and subsidizes those who cannot afford it).

While government regulation is generally quite extensive, in the area of 
competition law the situation is the opposite.  Cartels are openly 
permitted and are only broken up when the government succeeds in proving 
that they are socially and economically harmful -- a daunting challenge 
the government rarely attempts.

Another anomaly is the agricultural sector.  To protect its farmers and 
adhere to national security goals to remain 65 percent self-sufficient 
in food, the government has developed a complex system of protection 
which effectively blocks imports of many agricultural commodities.  The 
Swiss constitution provides the foundation for agricultural policy.  The 
two primary objectives are preservation of a viable farm sector and 
stockpiling to ensure the availability of food.  Swiss producers, 
particularly those in Alpine and other difficult zones, are highly 
supported, with approximately 70 percent of gross farm income 
attributable to government intervention.  Milk price support is one of 
the main ways that farmers are supported, and administered prices are 
over 200 percent higher than EU prices.  

Agricultural reform has become a major issue in Switzerland due to the 
growing federal budget deficit, consumer pressures over high food costs, 
and pressure from trading partners to decrease protectionism.  The 
government's position has been that European Union membership is 
inevitable, and Swiss agricultural policies and regulations should 
therefore be adjusted to adapt to this inevitability.  The government 
has used the GATT multilateral trade negotiations to justify policy 
reform proposals.  

Pressure from consumers and trading partners involved in the GATT 
Uruguay Round negotiations has accelerated food policy reform.  Signs of 
liberalization became evident in 1993 when the Swiss government 
succeeded in increasing direct payments to farmers in exchange for 
commodity price reductions as a means to reform the agricultural sector 
in conformity with new rules being developed in the GATT.  The 
politically sensitive dairy sector was targeted for the first round of 
cuts, with fluid milk support prices being decreased (by about 10%) for 
the first time since World War II.    
The 1995 farm support package continues this process of reform.  Direct 
payments decoupled from production continue to increase, to 
approximately 33 percent of the Swiss federal budget for agriculture, 
and amounts to an average of about $7,450 per year.  Total coupled and 
decoupled direct payments to farmers amounted to $1.18 billion in 1994, 
representing 53 percent of the total Swiss federal budget for 

This early move toward GATT conformity means that the main modifications 
Switzerland will have to make include reducing export subsidies, phasing 
out all non-tariff barriers such as quantitative restrictions and 
licensing systems, and speeding up scheduled price support decreases.  
In the case of products formerly subject to non-tariff measures, high 
tariffs will be implemented to continue protecting domestic production.  
However, the Uruguay Round agreement on agriculture will improve market 
access for many U.S. agricultural exports to Switzerland, despite the 
very high tariff equivalents replacing non-tariff barriers.  

Balance of Payments Situation

Trade balance and current account:  In spite of the appreciation of the 
Swiss currency on a trade-weighted basis, robust export growth deriving 
from the economic recovery of Switzerland's trade partners combined with 
moderately expanding imports to create another unusually large trade 
surplus in 1994, only slightly less than the record SF 3.4 billion 
surplus of 1993.  Simultaneously, the traditional services surplus 
reached a new record in 1994, topping SF 14.3 billion.  Factors income 
received from abroad largely surpassed factors payments to foreign 
countries.  Switzerland's current account registered a surplus of SF 
24.8 billion, which corresponds to a high, even by major industrial 
country standards, 6.9 percent of GDP. 

Based on the first months of 1995, the trade balance by the end of the 
year should be drastically different.  Indeed, the recent appreciation 
of the Swiss franc will slow export growth while stimulating imports.  
First quarter trade statistics show a return to normality, in the sense 
that they display a trade deficit of SF 112 million (by comparison, 
first quarter 1994 figures showed a surplus of more than SF 1 billion).  
However, the services surplus and the systematically positive balance of 
factor payments will more than offset this deficit.  As usual, 1995 
should end with another current account surplus.  This scenario should 
be repeated in 1996, although the current account surplus is expected to 
represent approximately 6 percent of GDP.

Capital account:  Reflecting Swiss investment banks' deep involvement in 
portfolio management and the importance of foreign companies issuing 
bonds in the country, Switzerland's capital account has been chronically 
negative.  In 1993 (latest data available), the capital account deficit 
surged by 23 percent to reach SF 28 billion.  This evolution was the 
result of a series of events on the international financial markets.  
The European Monetary System crisis in 1993 prompted investors to 
withdraw funds from EU markets in favor of EU markets.  However, these 
funds were used by Swiss institutions to invest in foreign assets. The 
decline in interest rates induced investors to cancel their engagement 
on money markets in favor of capital markets.  Swiss portfolio 
investments abroad increased from SF 13.6 billion in 1992 to more than 
SF 44 billion in 1993.  As far as direct investment are concerned, 1993 
was characterized by booming Swiss investment abroad while net foreign 
direct investment was negative due to a change in the EU tax 

As 1994 was a disappointing year for financial markets on the whole, the 
Swiss capital account should have experienced a less dramatic evolution.  
For the future, growing Swiss direct investments abroad and the 
increasing involvement of Swiss banks in portfolio management will be 
key determinants.

Infrastructure Situation

Switzerland's infrastructure is as modern and well-developed as any in 
the world.  The country has an extremely dense and efficient rail 
network, an extensive road system (complete with tunnels to compensate 
for the mountainous terrain), two major international airports (Zurich, 
Geneva) and several smaller airports also with international 
connections, and even a marine with some 30 ocean-going vessels, and a 
more extensive riverain service with connections to the North Sea via 
tugs and barges on the Rhine river.  The port of Basel is a major 
terminus for goods handling, with efficient connections between rail, 
road and water.  Custom bonded warehouses and duty free areas exist in 
and around all major cities.

Several major projects are currently underway to upgrade or enhance the 
already existing infrastructure, and are focused on the transportation 
sector.  These include:  

NEAT -- Construction of a transportation tunnel for enhanced movement of 
goods and persons on the European-wide north-south transport axis, 
valued at some $12 billion.  Swiss voters approved construction of the 
NEAT in a referendum in 1992, and construction of a first "test tunnel" 
began in 1993.  The project gained significance following another Swiss 
referendum in 1994, which will limit international truck traffic on 
Swiss highways as of 2004.  Due to the European nature of the project, 
competition from European companies will be stiff, but U.S. firms 
competent in computerized traffic control systems, related 
signalization, and software, as well as heavy construction and drilling 
machines may find a competitive niche.  The project will likely be 
ongoing through the year 2006.  

Swissmetro -- Construction of a high-speed, magnetic underground 
passenger transportation system, valued at some $8.3 billion.  The 
ambitious project has attracted considerable attention, due to the 
magnitude of the project and the nature of the as yet unproven 
technologies.  Nay-sayers equate the project to a pipe dream, but there 
are several strong supporters in high levels of the Swiss government.  
The fact that the German government recently approved funding for a 
similar mag-lev line in Germany gives hope to the Swiss project 
proponents.  The Swissmetro project is currently in the feasibility 
study phase.

Rail 2000 -- Upgrade of the highly-developed and extensively-used Swiss 
rail network, valued at some $5.3 billion.  Work is expected to continue 
through the year 2005.  The potential for U.S. company participation is 
promising in computerized traffic control systems, related 
signalization, and software.


Nature of Political Relationship with the United States

U.S. relations with Switzerland are excellent.  There are no serious 
bilateral political disputes.  The U.S. Government welcomes the Swiss 
government's greater international engagement.  In recent years, 
Switzerland has been increasingly active in multilateral fora dealing 
with finance, export controls/
nonproliferation, refugees, law enforcement, human rights, and trade, to 
name only a few.

Major Political Issues Affecting Business Climate

In the wake of the Swiss voters' rejection of the European Economic Area 
(EEA) Agreement in 1992, the Swiss federal government is attempting to 
negotiate bilateral sectoral agreements with the European Union.  To 
what extent the government will succeed -- and on what terms -- is a 
major political issue that will affect the domestic business climate.  
The Swiss federal government is committed to achieve EU membership as a 
long term goal, although this course is opposed by a significant number 
of Swiss.

U.S. companies already doing business in and with Switzerland have not 
to date indicated any direct problems associated with the EEA rejection 
on their business; any negative repercussions to trade are more likely 
to impact domestic companies' relations with the EU.  U.S. companies 
already acclimated to EU business practices and regulations should 
experience no difficulties in Switzerland, as the underlying Swiss goal 
is not to reject EU trade, but rather to make its trading environment as 
compatible as possible with that of the EU while still maintaining Swiss 
political and economic integrity.  

Brief Synopsis of Political System, Schedule for Elections,
and Orientation of Major Political Parties

Switzerland has a relatively weak federal government and no recent 
tradition of executive leadership wielded by one individual.  Many 
executive and administrative powers are vested in the 26 cantonal 
governments rather than in the federal government in Bern.  Federal 
executive decision-making is undertaken by the seven-member Federal 
Council (cabinet).  Its members head the various federal ministries: 
Treasury, Foreign Affairs, Justice, Economics, Interior, Transportation 
and Energy, and Defense.  The entirely ceremonial position of President 
of the Federal Council (head of government) is rotated annually among 
the councilors according to seniority.  The current President is Defense 
Minister Kaspar Villiger; Economic Minister Jean-Pascal Delamuraz will 
assume the presidency in 1996.  Some councilors may exchange ministerial 
portfolios as new members are added.  The Federal Council strives to 
present a collegial image and to govern by consensus.  Its deliberations 
are private.  Contentious issues that cannot be decided by consensus are 
determined by majority vote, results of which are not released.

The composition of the Federal Council reflects the so-called "magic 
formula" coalition that has governed Switzerland since 1959.  Under this 
informal arrangement, the four largest political parties, which 
generally receive 70-75 percent of the popular vote in federal 
parliamentary elections held every four years, fill the seven positions 
on the Federal Council.  The three bourgeois parties in the coalition 
(Free Democrats, Christian Peoples' Party and Swiss Peoples' Party) 
reflect center-right constituencies.  The left-of-center Social 
Democrats are the fourth coalition party.  The three largest parties in 
terms of popular vote (Free Democrats, Christian Peoples', and Social 
Democrats) each receive two Federal Council seats; the Peoples' Party 
receives one.  In addition, it is understood that there will always be 
at least two members from French-speaking cantons on the Federal 
Council.  According to the Constitution, no canton may have more than 
one representative on the Federal Council.  Federal Councilors are 
elected by Parliament for life, but political tradition dictates that 
they retire in their 60s.

The presence of left and right-wing elements in the governing coalition 
has allowed it to coopt more extreme parties in the spectrum.  The 
coalition's ideological diversity has brought prolonged political and 
social peace.  The next parliamentary election will occur in October 
1995.  All governing parties will be under some pressure to dissolve the 
coalition to achieve greater political coherence and decision-making 
efficiency, but party leaders will be reluctant to end a system that 
guarantees them control of federal ministries and jobs.

Treaties, agreements, and legislation approved by the Parliament are 
subject to challenge by popular vote in Switzerland's unique system of 
initiative and referendum procedures.  These votes allow unusually 
intense popular involvement in the legislative process and keep the 
federal government under pressure and scrutiny.  Most of the interesting 
moments in Swiss politics occur during these initiative and referendum 


Distribution and Sales Channels

The most effective method of importation into and distribution within 
Switzerland varies according to the type of product and location of 
manufacture and distribution sites.  Capital goods manufacturers may 
find direct exporting most desirable when contracts with a limited 
number of customers represent an appreciable share of the market.  
However, a company new to the Swiss market, or one whose products 
require training for use and after-sales service, is well advised to 
engage the services of a technically-qualified Swiss agent with good 
market knowledge.

Swiss buyers of raw materials often use specialized importers.  Large 
orders may be made directly from producers overseas, specialized trading 
firms, or transshippers.  As the metals industries, except aluminum, 
tend to be less developed, imported materials are usually in 
semiprocessed and processed form.

A number of large international trading and transit companies operate in 
Switzerland.  Parent companies in Switzerland carry out the 
transactions, while foreign affiliates or representatives may handle 
such aspects as shipping, receipt, and verification of the goods.  In 
some cases, the imported goods never enter Swiss customs territory.  
These firms are members of the Confederation of Swiss World and Transit 
Trade Firms (Verband Schweizerischer Transit- und Welthandelsfirmen).  
(Key Swiss associations, with address and contact person, are listed in 
Appendix E.)

Manufacturers and exporters of consumer goods may deal with a wholesaler 
(who is in most cases also the importer), engage the services of a 
representative, or sell directly to buying offices of large retail 
chains (in the case of mass-produced items).  Most often a 
representative or agent, who is usually a specialist in one or more 
product groups, is made responsible for distribution in the whole 

Import and Wholesale Trade:  Many Swiss wholesalers are also importers, 
and they generally expect exclusive regional or national rights for the 
imported product.  Wholesalers maintain stocks of a range of products, 
and provide quality control, transport, warehousing, and financing.  
Associations of wholesalers have been created for various sectors to 
protect sector interests and to compete effectively with other forms of 
distribution.  Most wholesalers and importers also belong, either 
through sector associations or individually, to the Federation of Swiss 
Importers and Wholesale Traders (Vereinigung des Schweizerischen Import- 
und Grosshandels; address in Appendix E). 
Retail Trade:  The structure of retail trade in Switzerland has been 
changing.  One trend has been a decreasing number of independent 
retailers, giving way to an increasing number of self-service and 
discount stores, supermarkets, and the like.  The trend to concentration 
has been most noticeable among food distribution companies.  Faced with 
an increasing number of large, vertically integrated retail 
establishments having nationwide operations, individual retailers have 
set up organizations to take care of wholesale purchasing, importing, 
and other services.  Functioning as cooperatives, most of these 
retailers' buying groups and associations are in the foodstuffs 
business, but are also in such sectors as textiles, leather goods, 
sports articles, pharmaceuticals, toys, and hardware.

Vertically integrated retail firms account for a large part of the trade 
in Switzerland.  These firms, many of which are department and other 
chain stores, consumer cooperatives, discount stores and supermarkets, 
do not specialize, but rather deal in a wide range of products.  Their 
vertical structure and centralized buying give them competitive 
advantage over their independent retail competitors.

Continued strong competition has pressured retail traders to continue 
rationalizing their operations.  Scanner cash registers for bar-coded 
articles have been installed at checkout counters in many localities 
(although their prevalence is behind other European countries).  The use 
of electronic cards to rationalize payment transactions is similarly 
growing, but also not as rapidly as elsewhere in Europe.  Swiss retail 
groups joined forces in 1987 to form the Electronic Payment System 
Association (Verband Elektronischer Zahlungsverkehr).  

Mail Order Business:  The growing success of mail order business is due 
to the efforts of supplier firms to offer an up-to-date range of quality 
products.  Market research shows that customers appreciate the wide 
choice, savings in time, and possibility of comparing prices at a glance 
offered by mail order firms.  Swiss firms in the field belong to the 
Association of Swiss Mail Order Businesses (Verband des Schweizerischen 

Use of Agents/Distributors; Finding a Partner

Two principal types of representatives are provided for by Swiss law: 
(1) Agents, who are independent, can work for several firms, and are 
compensated by commission.  Their activities are governed by a 1949 
federal law on agency contracts.  Swiss law does not permit a principal 
to inspect the books of his Swiss agent.  (2) Traveling salespeople 
(Handelsreisende), who are employees of the company they represent.  
Under a 1941 federal law, they are entitled to a fixed salary, with or 
without commission, and reimbursement of travel and entertainment 
expenses.  Each salesperson is required to carry a card indicating 
whether he is selling to the wholesale or retail trade.

For a company interested in entering the Swiss market, finding and 
selecting the right person or firm for representation is important and 
sometimes difficult.  Favorable terms may be required to obtain good 
representation for a new product or an unknown firm.  Commission agents 
are usually preferred over salaried representatives, as in the latter 
case the foreign form has no direct control over the person concerned.

U.S. firms seeking representation in Switzerland should contact their 
nearest U.S. Department of Commerce District Office about the 
Agent/Distributer Search service (ADS), a customized search conducted by 
Embassy Commercial Service specialists which helps identify agents, 
distributors and foreign representatives for U.S. firms based on the 
foreign companies' examination of U.S. product literature (a fee of $250 
is charged).  Other means of locating representation include visiting 
trade fairs, advertising in Swiss periodicals, and engaging the services 
of professional organizations in the United States or Switzerland.

Once a potential partner has been identified, the U.S. Department of 
Commerce offers the World Traders Data Report (WTDR) service, to check 
the reputation, reliability and financial status of the foreign company.  
The fee is $100, and includes a recommendation from U.S. Embassy Bern's 
Commercial Section as to the suitability of the company as a trading 

For the agricultural sector, the Office of Agricultural Affairs, U.S. 
Embassy Bern, is staffed by specialists who can provide contacts in 
specific agricultural sectors.  The Office keeps an updated list of 
Swiss agricultural importers by commodity group.


More than 200 franchisors are currently operating in the Swiss market, 
some 20 of them with more than ten outlets.  Around 25 percent of all 
franchisors are of domestic origin, 20 percent are American, and over 
one-third are of French origin.  Franchising is on a marked increase in 
the service and catering sectors.  The French Accor and Wagons Lits 
group runs several restaurants (Eurest), catering systems, and hotels.  

Franchising has long been practiced by the automotive trade.  It is a 
successful distribution and retail system in clothing and in baby and 
children items.  Newly-successful areas are in beauty and personal care, 
home decorating, giftware, gardening, and the like.  Body Shop 
(cosmetics) is very successful.  Industry franchises (Coca-Cola, Pepsi, 
Yoplait, etc.) are well introduced and active.  Good opportunities exist 
in the restaurant business, in the service sector, in management and 
career improvement, as well as in children's training and schooling 
methods.  New retail concepts, home improvement services, computer 
training and systems are other areas of growth.  

McDonald's is a good example of local innovation of a global franchise.  
Its restaurants are very popular in many Swiss cities and mountain 
resorts, and its presence on selected Swiss train lines have become 
legendary.  McDonald's success in Switzerland can be attributed to a 
formula adapted to local social and cultural habits and its emphasis on 
environmental consciousness.  

Franchise experts advise new-to-market franchisors and masters to adapt 
the franchise package or business format and message to the cultural 
traits and customs of specific regions and countries of Europe.  This 
advice applies especially to a small, multilingual country like 
Switzerland, where franchise packages can be tested in different 
cultural environments (French in Geneva or Lausanne; German in Zurich, 
Basel or Bern; Italian in Lugano).  Lessons learned in Switzerland can 
be applied in larger, neighboring countries.  The availability of 
capital and Switzerland's highly-developed service, transportation and 
communications sector can be used by U.S. franchisors to control their 
franchise interests in Europe through a Swiss-based head office.

Prospective masters and franchisees should be properly screened.  It is 
advisable to make a feasibility study and invest in a pilot operation 
prior to implementing a business plan which has not been tested before 
in Europe.

Franchising's penetration of Swiss retail trade is far from the 35 
percent of all retail sales it now represents in the U.S., mainly 
because financing for one's own distribution or retail chain in 
Switzerland is readily available.  Further, the Swiss have been 
accustomed to job loyalty and security, as well as good compensation.  
With unemployment above 4 percent, however, executives and people 
disposing of start-up capital are more keen to becoming entrepreneurs on 
their own through franchising.  Outplacement and executive counselors 
often advise clients to consider franchising.  The Swiss Franchise 
Association (address in Appendix E) is active in holding seminars and 

Direct Marketing

Direct marketing is holding its own in Switzerland, although it is not 
as developed as in other parts of Europe.  In addition to mail order and 
consumer goods trade, direct marketing is used in such sales areas as 
company-to-company, financial services, insurance, and franchising.  
Electronic teleshopping and telemarketing are becoming more widely used.

Joint Ventures/Licensing

Joint ventures:  Joint ventures are usually classified under Swiss 
company law as an ordinary partnership (Einfache Gesellschaft).  
Legally, a joint venture consists of two or more individuals or 
corporations for the realization of a particular project.  Its name is 
not protected by law, nor can it be registered in the Swiss Commercial 
Register (Handelsregistrar).

Licensing:  The Swiss often rely on licensing arrangements to acquire 
know how, and excel in adding value to imported raw goods and services, 
earning revenue through exports.  Licensing can therefore be a 
successful and profitable market entry strategy for U.S. firms.  Many 
U.S. firms have adopted this approach to the Swiss market.  

In most sectors U.S. licensors will readily find prospective licensees 
with the manufacturing and marketing skills to successfully handle the 
product not only in Switzerland, but also in other countries where the 
Swiss counterpart has marketing capability.  Swiss expertise in 
exporting, flexibility in adapting to difficult markets and skill in 
precision-making and engineering will benefit a U.S. licensor.

The pros and cons of adopting a licensing strategy must, however, be 
weighed against other methods of market entry.  The key to success in 
licensing lies in screening the selected licensee's capabilities, 
interest and motivation.  Swiss intellectual property legislation 
protects know-how and patent transfer arrangements; and some cantons 
allow tax write-offs on intellectual property and tax free or 
preferential treatment of royalties earned through know how transfer and 
licensing.  Appropriate legal advice can be obtained from competent 
Swiss-based patent and licensing attorneys.  The Licensing Executives 
Society has an active chapter in Switzerland.

Steps to Establishing an Office

The actual mechanics of forming and registering an office in Switzerland 
can be accomplished in two-three weeks, but the planning process can be 
more time-consuming, and should take many factors into consideration.  
One of the most important is location within Switzerland, because tax 
laws, availability of work permits, availability of labor force, and 
availability and cost of business facilities vary widely among cantons.  
Some cantons may also offer special incentives for foreign investors.

Once a location is selected, the company must be registered in the 
Commercial Register (provided annual turnover amounts to at least SF 
100,000; if less, the company may register if all other conditions are 
met, but is not required to).  Registration documents contain the 
company name, amount of share capital, business purpose, names of 
directors and managers, and names of those who have signatory powers.  
Documents must be notarized and superlegalized by an "apostille" 
(legalization of the notary's signature), and if required by the 
particular canton, translated by a recognized translator into German, 
French or Italian.

The company's board of directors must consist of a majority of Swiss 
citizens resident in Switzerland; foreign controlled companies usually 
meet this requirement by nominating Swiss directors who hold shares and 
perform functions on a fiduciary basis.  The manager need not be a Swiss 
citizen, but at least one person authorized to sign with a sole 
signature or two persons authorized to sign by joint signature must be 
Swiss residents.

Registration also includes special wording that the company, if a branch 
of a foreign corporation, is relatively independent from the 
corporation's head office from an economic and noneconomic point of 
view, basically enabling the branch to exist as if it were a separate 
legal entity in Switzerland.  The branch must have its own books of 
account, although they may be kept by the company headquarters or a 
third party.

Once the company has been registered, the next major concern is 
employment.  Foreign employees must have work permits, which are granted 
at the cantonal level (by quota) and approved at the federal level.  
Hiring domestic residents is more straight-forward, and there is no 
minimum wage, but the company is liable for a host of benefits and 
compensations, ranging from pension plan contributions to health and 
accident insurance.

A final consideration is tax liability.  As a rule, foreign companies 
are taxable on income attributable to a Swiss permanent establishment; 
on income from immovable property located in Switzerland, including 
gains on the sale of such property; and in some cantons, on income from 
debts secured by land there.  Withholding tax is levied on dividends and 
certain interest.  Sales of foreign companies to a Swiss resident (or 
sales through an independent Swiss agent) do not create Swiss tax 

Switzerland and the U.S. have a Double Taxation Treaty.  Income from 
industrial and commercial activities is not taxed in either country 
unless derived from a permanent establishment in the taxing country.  
Switzerland taxes only those industrial and commercial profits of a U.S. 
permanent establishment in Switzerland attributable to in-country 
activities.  The same deductions are allowed in determining taxable 
income as for a Swiss corporation.  Switzerland and the U.S. are 
currently negotiating a new double taxation treaty that would bring 
further tax relief for companies and individuals from both countries.  

More detailed information regarding setting up and staffing a business 
enterprise in Switzerland is available from the Swiss-American Chamber 
of Commerce (address in Appendix E), and from "doing business guides" 
published by such organizations as Ernst & Young and Price Waterhouse.

Selling Factors/Techniques

New-to-market U.S. exporters are well advised to participate in 
established trade shows in Switzerland to give their products commercial 
exposure.  Swiss buyers, agents and distributors use the medium of trade 
shows as a means of finding new products to a much higher degree than 
their U.S. counterparts.  It is often more difficult to arrange personal 
meetings with prospective Swiss business partners if the U.S. product or 
company has not already shown its commitment to the Swiss market by 
participation in such events.  Personal participation is not mandatory, 
since catalog and video displays at shows tend to draw an excellent 
response.  Still, there is no substitute for establishing a personal 
relationship with one's Swiss business partner.

In addition, for an exporter's offer to be taken seriously, it must be 
accurate and complete.  Swiss buyers, who receive offers from all over 
the world, are generally not prepared to devote time to requesting 
additional details.  These must be provided at the outset with objective 
and detailed information, including exact product description with 
technical specifications; price details (CIF or FOB) in U.S. dollars or 
Swiss francs; method of payment; quantities available; packaging; and 
transport and delivery terms.  An offer should also include information 
on the exporting firm; production equipment available and quality 
control factors; and financial references.  If minimum quantities for 
accepting orders are set, the exporter should take into account the 
relatively small size of the Swiss market.

The first order given to a new supplier is often regarded by the 
importer as a trial for testing the quality of the goods and service 
provided, as well as consumer reaction to the product.  Commitments 
should be scrupulously observed, or the likelihood of success on the 
market may be seriously compromised, as word travels quickly in 
Switzerland.  Professionals in a given market sector are in fairly close 
contact with one another, and an exporter's reputation soon becomes 
common knowledge.

Payment terms, as in the United States, are usually stipulated in the 
sales contract, can be negotiated, and depend upon amounts involved.  
Most common terms are payment 30-60 days net (from the date of the 
invoice), payment within 10-15 days with 2-3 percent discount, and 
payment after 30-60 days with an interest charge.  Good customers may 
expect credit of up to three months.  Except for single, one-time 
transactions, or first-time transactions where there is doubt about the 
recipient's credit-worthiness, the costly letter of credit (LC) 
procedure should be avoided; it is perceived as depriving the recipient 
of the means to make deductions for faulty products or wrong shipments.  

Advertising and Trade Promotion

Despite its relatively small size, Switzerland's cultural and language 
diversity make it virtually impossible to apply a single advertising 
policy for the whole market.  Regionally-targeted advertising is far 
more advisable.  The creation of effective advertising requires an 
intimate knowledge of the country; approaches that succeed elsewhere may 
prove unsuitable to Swiss consumers' tastes.  It is generally preferable 
to employ the services of a Swiss advertising consultant, or one of the 
several U.S. advertising firms with affiliates in country.

Seriousness, unpretentiousness and impeccable presentation are the 
hallmarks of Swiss advertising.  Consumers are influenced by the quality 
of the printing and graphic presentation, which attain high standards in 
Switzerland.  Not surprisingly, and also in line with the country's high 
standard of living, advertising expenditure is one of the world's 
highest on a per capita basis.

Print Media:  Switzerland has one of the greatest per capita newspaper 
densities in the world.  The exceptionally large number of newspapers is 
primarily due to the country's many languages and cultural areas.  Most 
are oriented to particular regions or localities.  The number of dailies 
has changed only slightly in post-war years, but circulation in the same 
period has more than doubled.  Some dailies are regional editions 
(Kopfblaeter) of other newspapers.  There are over 100 free-of-charge 
announcement bulletins published on a weekly or more frequent basis.

The Swiss also publish an extensive range of periodicals, both general 
public magazines and special interest, including trade, publications.  
The latter cover such diverse topics as travel, gastronomy, medicine, 
environment, and hobbies.

Following are some of the major circulation print media.  As noted, 
given the diversity of publications and the regional or special interest 
character of many, it may be advisable to secure the services of a 
professional when planning a press campaign.

Major Swiss Newspapers and Periodicals

Der Bund
Type:  Daily Newspaper
P.O. Box CH-3001 Bern, Switzerlan
Language:  German
Circulation:  61,663
Editor-in-Chief:  Konrad Stamm
Tel:  (41-31) 385 11
Fax:  (41-31) 385 11 12

Berner Zeitung
Type:  Daily Newspaper
P.O. CH-3003 Bern, Swizterland
Language:  German
Circulation:  125,228
Editor-in-Chief:  Beat Hurni
Tel:  (41-31) 330 31 11
Fax:  (41-31) 332 77 24

Basler Zeitung
Type:  Daily Newspaper
P.O. Box CH-4002 Basel, Switzerlan
Language:  German
Circulation:  117,417
Editor-in-Chief:  H. P. Platz
Tel:  (41-61) 639 11 11
Fax:  (41-61) 631 15 82

Neue Zuercher Zeitung
Type:  Daily Newspaper
P.O. Box CH-8021 Zurich, Switzerland
Language:  German
Circulation:  152,221
Editor-in-Chief:  Dr. Buetler
Tel:  (41-1) 258 11
Fax:  (41-1) 252 13 29

Type:  Daily Newspaper
P.O. Box CH-8021 Zurich, Switzerland
Language:  German
Circulation:  273,466
Editor-in-Chief:  Roger de Weck
Tel:  (41-1) 248 44 11
Fax:  (41-1) 248 44 71

Type:  Daily Newspaper
P.O. Box CH-8021 Zurich, Switzerland
Language:  German
Circulation:  373,354
Editor-in-Chief:  F. Luchsinger
Tel:  (41-1) 259 62 62
Fax:  (41-1) 262 29 76

24 Heures
Type:  Daily Newspaper
P.O. Box 585
CH-1001 Lausanne, Switzerland
Language:  French
Circulation:  93,406
Editor-in-Chief:  J. M. Vodoz
Tel:  (41-21) 349 44 44
Fax:  (41-21) 349 41 10

Le Matin
Type:  Daily Newspaper
P.O. Box
CH-1001 Lausanne, Switzerland
Language:  French
Circulation:  54,476
Editor-in-Chief:  A. Exchaquet
Tel:  (41-21) 349 49 49
Fax:  (41-21) 349 41 10

Journal de Geneve
Type:  Daily Newspaper
P.O. Box
CH-1211 Geneva, Switzerland
Language:  French
Circulation:  22,254
Editor-in-Chief:  A. Maurice
Tel:  (41-22) 819 88
Fax:  (41-22) 819 89 89

Le Nouveau Quotidien
Type:  Daily Newspaper
78, chemin de Montelly
CH-1007 Lausanne, Switzerland
Language:  French
Circulation:  35,000
Editor-in-Chief:  Jacques Pilet
Tel:  (41-21) 626 25 24
Fax:  (41-21) 626 25 23

Tribune de Geneve
Type:  Daily Newspaper
P.O. Box 434
CH-1211 Geneva 11, Switzerland
Language:  French
Circulation:  60,480
Editor-in-Chief:  Guy Mettan
Tel:  (41-22) 322 40 00
Fax:  (41-22) 781 01 07

La Liberte
Type:  Daily Newspaper
P.O. Box 1056
CH-1701 Fribourg, Switzerland
Language:  French
Circulation:  35,385
Editor-in-Chief:  Jose Ribeaud
Tel:  (41-37) 86 44 11
Fax:  (41-37) 86 44 00

Corriere del Ticino
Type:  Daily Newspaper
Ai Mulini CH-6933 Muzzano, Switzerland
Language:  Italian
Circulation:  36,521
Editor-in-Chief:  S. Caratti
Tel:  (41-91) 58 31 31
Fax:  (41-91) 58 29 77

Giornale del 
Type:  Daily Newspaper
Via San Gottardo 50
CH-6903 Lugano, Switzerland
Language:  Italian
Circulation:  23,166
Tel:  (41-91) 23 22 72-75
Fax:  (41-91) 23 28 05

Die Weltwoche
Type:  Weekly Magazine
CH-8021 Zurich, Switzerland
Language:  German
Circulation:  106,511
Editor-in-Chief:  R. Baechtold/J. Ramspeck
Tel:  (41-1) 207 73 11
Fax:  (41-1) 202 61 27

Type:  Newsmagazine
CH-8021 Zurich, Switzerland
Language:  German
Circulation:  122,881
Editor-in-Chief:  U. Haldimann
Tel:  (41-1) 248 40 40 
Fax:  (41-1) 242 47 83

Type:  Newsmagazine
CH-8008 Zurich, Switzerland
Language:  German
Circulation:  360,477
Editor-in-Chief:  F. Luchsinger
Tel:  (41-1) 259 62 62 
Fax:  (41-1) 251 80 06

Schweizer Illustrierte
Type:  Weekly Magazine
Dufourstrasse 23 
CH-8008 Zurich, Switzerland
Language:  German
Circulation:  196,265
Editor-in-Chief:  Peter Rothenbuehler
Tel:  (41-1) 259 63 63
Fax:  (41-1) 262 04 42

Type:  Weekly News
Hohlstrasse 192 
CH-8021 Zurich, Switzerland
Language:  German
Circulation:  50,000
Editor-in-Chief:  Markus Gisler
Tel:  (41-1) 242 80 77
Fax:  (41-1) 242 90 41

Type:  Monthly Magazine
P.O. Box 3153
CH-1005 Lausanne, Switzerland
Language:  French 
Circulation:  55,000
Editor-in-Chief:  J.-C. Peclet
Tel:  (41-21) 320 36 11
Fax:  (41-21) 320 36 17

Type:  Monthly Magazine
Edenstrasse 20
CH-8021 Zurich, Switzerland
Language:  German
Circulation:  70,000
Editor-in-Chief:  Medard Meier
Tel:  (41-1) 207 72 21
Fax:  (41-1) 201 59 16

Schweizer Handels-Zeitung
Type:  Weekly News
Seestrasse 37
CH-8027 Zurich, Switzerland
Language:  German
Circulation:  37,039
Editor-in-Chief:  Dr. K. Speck 
Tel:  (41-1) 201 35 55
Fax:  (41-1) 202 01 26

Type:  Monthly Magazine
Av. de la Gare 33
P.O. Box 585
CH-1001 Lausanne, Switzerland 
Language:  French
Circulation:  21,528
Editor-in-Chief:  Max Mabillard
Tel:  (41-21) 349 48 22
Fax:  (41-21) 349 40 80

Radio and TV:  The Swiss Broadcasting Company (SRG) holds a monopoly on 
production and broadcasting of Swiss radio and TV programming.  It is 
private, nonprofit, and financed through compulsory listener/viewer 
fees.  Matching the linguistic division of the country, Switzerland has 
three TV stations.  An extensive cable system permits receipt of radio 
and TV programming from other European countries.

Unlike the U.S. but similar to the rest of Europe, Swiss TV advertising 
is grouped in blocks of time rather than interspersed throughout and 
between programs (although as of April 1992, programs over 90 minutes 
may have one commercial break).  TV advertising is subject to certain 
restrictions, e.g., commercials for cigarettes, alcoholic beverages and 
pharmaceuticals are banned.  There is no radio advertising in 
Switzerland, except by local radio stations.  The Corporation for 
Television Advertising (AG fuer das Werbefernsehen, Postfach 610, 
Giacomettistrasse 15, CH-3000 Bern 31, Switzerland; tel: (41-31) 351-
2221; fax: (41-31) 351-2310) takes order for television advertising.  TV 
advertising prices are based on 1,000 contacts (targeted viewing 
audience), and vary by time of day from SF 20-27 per unit of contacts; 
seasonal and large contract discounts are offered.

Trade Promotion: As noted, the Swiss place a high emphasis on 
participation in trade promotion events.  Switzerland has major 
exhibition centers in Zurich, Geneva, Basel, Montreux, Lausanne and 
Bern, as well as a number of smaller show sites in other cities.  All 
have a full calendar of regional, national and international events, 
taking place at intervals from twice a year to once every four years.  
Appendix G summarizes the major trade events, many supported by Embassy 

Pricing Product

In determining the selling price of a product, particularly consumer 
goods, an exporter must take into account the considerable difference 
between the price an importer is prepared to pay and the prevailing 
retail selling price.  The cost of distribution and the intermediaries' 
and retailers' margins may increase the selling price several fold.  
Markups in Switzerland generally range from 20 to 100 percent, but can 
be even higher.

Price controls, part of Swiss competition law since 1986, are primarily 
aimed at reducing abusive prices for goods and services resulting from a 
lack of competition, and apply only to members of a cartel or similar 
organizations subject to this law.  There are, however, some products 
whose price is influenced by protective or assisting measures from the 
government; these are primarily agricultural goods and some 

Sales Service/Customer Support

Finding a reliable means of providing rapid and efficient quality 
service and after-sales customer support is absolutely essential in 
Switzerland.  Concluding a contract is usually dependent upon the 
ability to provide this follow-up.  Means of accomplishing this aim 
include one or all of the following: opening one's own office in 
Switzerland; finding a competent agent/distributor to provide after-
sales service; and/or keeping stock in a Swiss or European warehouse for 
rapid resupply. 

Selling to the Government

Swiss government agencies use competitive bids for procurement.  In 
general, the Swiss comply with GATT rules on procurement by government 
entities (Switzerland implemented the GATT multilateral code Agreement 
on Government Procurement in 1981).

Procurement at the federal level is generally limited to projects in 
sectors in which it has primary responsibility -- utilities,  
transportation, communications, defense and construction.  Total federal 
government procurement averages $6 billion annually.  The Defense 
Ministry and the PTT (the public post, telephone and telegraph 
corporation within the government) have some restrictions on foreign 
purchases (small arms, clothing and boots, telecom equipment).  Many 
public projects are carried out by cantonal and communal governments; 
their procurement is about two and one-half times the federal government 

The federal government exercises a great deal of discretion in inviting 
bids, and selective, discretionary tenders are more common than public 
discretionary tenders.  Contrary to cantonal and communal practice, 
federal authorities are not required to inform unsuccessful bidders of 
the tender accepted or reasons for the choice.  In general, quality and 
technical criteria are more important than price.  Cantons and communes 
usually prefer local suppliers.  Foreign firms may be required to 
provide a Swiss bank guarantee if they have no local office or 

Notices of Swiss government tenders are published in the official trade 
journal Handelsamtblatt.  Tenders of potential interest to U.S. firms 
are made known through the U.S. Department of Commerce Trade Opportunity 
Program; TOP leads are printed in many U.S. commercial journals and are 
distributed electronically via the Commerce Department Economic Bulletin 
Board.  Tender documents can be obtained free from the Swiss government 
agency.  While there is no requirement to have a local agent to bid, it 
is  advantageous when equipment needs training, service or parts.

Protecting Your Product From IPR Infringement

Switzerland has one of the best regimes in the world for the protection 
of intellectual property, and protection is afforded equally to foreign 
and domestic rightsholders.  Switzerland is a member of all major 
international intellectual property rights conventions and was an active 
supporter of a strong IPR text in the GATT Uruguay Round negotiations.

Patent protection is very broad, and Swiss law provides rights to 
inventors comparable to those in the United States.  Switzerland is a 
member of both the European Patent Convention and the Patent Cooperation 
Treaty, making it possible for inventors to file a single patent 
application in the United States (or other PCT country, or any member of 
the European Patent Convention, once it enters into force) and receive 
protection in Switzerland.  If filed in Switzerland, a patent 
application must be made in one of the country's three official 
languages (German, French, Italian) and must be accompanied by detailed 
specifications and if necessary by technical drawings.  The duration of 
a patent is 20 years.  Renewal fees are payable annually on an ascending 
scale.  Patents are not renewable beyond the original 20-year term.

According to the Swiss Patent Law of 1954, as amended, some items cannot 
be covered by patent protection: surgical, therapy and diagnostic 
processes for application on humans and animals; inventions liable to 
disturb law and order and offend "good morals".  Nor are patents granted 
for species of plants and animals and biological processes for their 
breeding.  In virtually all other areas, coverage is identical to the 

Should a firm have concerns about possible patent infringement in 
Switzerland, access to the courts is readily available and there is a 
well-established and highly regarded patent bar.

Trademarks are also well-protected.  Switzerland recognizes well-known 
trademarks and has established simple procedures to register and renew 
all marks.  The initial period of protection is 20 years.  Service marks 
also enjoy full protection.  Trademark infringement is very rare in 
Switzerland -- street vendors are relatively scarce here, and even they 
tend to shy away from illegitimate or gray-market products.

A new copyright law in 1993 improved a regime that was already quite 
good.  The new law explicitly recognizes computer software as literary 
works and establishes a remuneration scheme for private copying of audio 
and video works which distributes proceeds on the basis of national 
treatment.   Owners of television programming are fully protected and 
remunerated for rebroadcast and satellite retransmission of their works, 
and rights-holders have exclusive rental rights.  Collecting societies 
are well established.  Infringement is considered a criminal offense.  
The term of protection is life plus 70 years.

The Swiss also protect layout designs of semiconductor integrated 
circuits, trade secrets, and industrial designs.  Protection for 
integrated circuits and trade secrets is very similar to that available 
in the U.S., and protection for designs is somewhat broader.  Because of 
the complexities involved in ensuring protection in these areas, 
individuals and corporations seeking protection are advised to engage 
the services of a specialist.

Need for a Local Attorney

Where American citizens are involved in disputes (with private 
individuals or business enterprises) and the controversy cannot be 
settled amicably, the normal recourse is to seek remedy provided by the 
law of the appropriate cantonal jurisdiction.  American diplomatic or 
consular officers may not act as attorney, agent, or representative in a 
fiduciary capacity in such matters.  The Martindale-Hubbell Law 
Directory contains an extensive list of lawyers licensed to practice in 
Switzerland.  The Embassy's Consular Section also maintains a list of 
local English-speaking lawyers.  The fax number is (41-31) 357-7366.  
Please specify the canton for which the list is needed.

The only method for a non-Swiss court or lawyer to obtain testimony or 
service process in civil matters in Switzerland is through a letter 
rogatory.  For information on this rather cumbersome legal process, 
contact either the Embassy Bern Consular Section or the Office of 
Citizens Consular Services in the Department of State (202) 647-3445.


Best Prospects for Non-Agricultural Goods and Services

Rank        Name of Sector Opportunity/Best Prospect          Code

1.          Computer Software                                 CSF
2.          Computers and Peripherals                         CPT
3.          Telecommunication Services                        TES
4.          Telecommunications Equipment                      TEL
5.          Travel and Tourism Services                       TRA
6.          Aircraft and Parts                                AIR
7.          Medical Equipment                                 MED
8.          Pollution Control Equipment                       POL
9.          Laboratory Scientific Instruments                 LAB
10.         Analytic Process Control Instruments              PCI
11.         Industrial Process Controls                       PCI
12.         Renewable Energy Equipment                        REQ
13.         Electronic Components                             ELC
14.         Security and Safety Equipment                     SEC
15.         Sporting Goods and Recreational Equipment         SPT
16.         Industrial Chemicals                              ICH
17.         Drugs and Pharmaceuticals                         DRG
18.         Automotive Parts and Service Equipment            APS
19.         Plastic Materials and Resins                      PMR
20.         Apparel                                           APP


U.S. software enjoys the best reputation and is very popular in 
Switzerland, especially in desktop, personal computer, portable 
computer, and data communication applications.  Software solutions which 
aim at increasing productivity, automating transaction processing, and 
labor-saving operations are in great demand.  There are now over 2 
million computers in Switzerland, of which more than three fourths are 
PCs (personal computers, workstations and desktop models).  The home, 
and personal, professional markets are in fast expansion, along with the 
commercial (office) segment.

Switzerland's sophisticated mechanical engineering, chemical and 
precision instrument industries, as well as its highly-developed service 
sectors (tourism, banking and insurance) all need effective software 
solutions.  Only through adequate systems and software will they be able 
to maintain, if not increase their productivity, and compete 

Multitasking, groupware, multimedia, word processing and office, desktop 
publishing, presentation, electronic mail, CAD/CAM/CAL and related 
engineering software applications, including graphic user interface 
software products in general, are among those packages or custom 
solutions which are in great demand.

Most of the PC's used in Switzerland come or are interfaced with a 
server with CD drives.  It is, therefore, of advantage to package mass 
software on CD-ROM disks.  CD-ROM disks have made a rapid market entry 
both in the commercial and consumer segments in the last 12 months.  In 
mobile and notebook systems, PCMCIA cards have become the standard.

In sum, U.S. suppliers of software should find a ready, albeit demanding 
market in Switzerland, even though large accounts are known to be heavy 
users of custom and proprietary software.

DATA TABLE (in U.S. $ millions)

                               1994         1995         1996

A)  Total Market Size          2,495        2,575        2,702
B)  Total Local Production     1,772        1,793        1,847
C)  Total Exports                263          268          265
D)  Total Imports                986        1,050        1,120
E)  Imports from U.S.            810          875          927
    Exchange Rates Used: $ = SF    1.40         1.25         1.25

NOTE: The above statistics are unofficial estimates.


Switzerland is one of the world's most computerized countries. In spite 
of its relatively small size, it is seen as an attractive, highly-
developed and competitive test market in central Europe.  This high 
degree of computerization is explained by the presence of sophisticated 
industries and of active business and service sectors needing computers 
to compete effectively in the international marketplace.  In addition, 
Switzerland is host to a number of international organizations and to 
regional or world headquarters of multinational corporations which need 
the latest computer and communications technology.  

The total number of computer in Switzerland now exceeds 2 million units, 
of which around 1.8 million are PCs.  Market observers report that 
500,000 units will be purchased this year, either as new installations 
or to replace less powerful or outdated models and dumb terminals (the 
latter figure includes mobile or laptop/notebook computers).  

Demand is strong in desktop equipment.  In the last five years, the 
consumer and home market for personal computers has exploded.  Good 
opportunities also exist in laptop and notebook computers.  
Surprisingly, demand is picking up, albeit modestly, for mainframe and 
midrange computers as well, computer categories too often regarded on 
the decrease.  It is strong for network systems and data communications 
in organizations which operate integrated information systems.  So is 
demand for computer security.  Likewise, Swiss industry, engineers and 
architects are keen users of CAD/CAM/CIM and similar computers and 
workstations.  In the latter category, demand is strong for SPARC 
architecture, Pentium and Alpha-chip driven workstations.  The business, 
financial and insurance sectors constitute another important target 

Market observers believe that even though prices are likely to decrease, 
market share and imports from the U.S. will increase on an average of 3-
4 percent in the next two years, depending on the type of equipment 
needed by Switzerland's active banking, business, and engineering 
sectors.  To a lesser degree, computers are also required in industrial 
automation.  In general, U.S. suppliers are well introduced and enjoy 
the best reputation in this liberal, albeit demanding and rich market 
(its average per capita income stands at a high $ 36,000!). 

DATA TABLE (in U.S. $ millions)

                               1994        1995        1996

A)  Total Market Size          3,325       3,662       3,759
B)  Total Local Production       415         460         464
C)  Total Exports                 60          65          70
D)  Total Imports              2,970       3,267       3,365
E)  Imports from U.S.            632         760         792
    Exchange Rates Used: $ = SF    1.40        1.25        1.25

NOTE: The above statistics are unofficial estimates.


Switzerland's internationally-oriented industry, service and business 
sectors rely on fast, effective telecommunication services with the 
United States.  Switzerland is host to more than 600 U.S. companies.  In 
addition, Swiss companies have sizeable direct investments in U.S. 
operations.  The multilingual, educated and affluent Swiss, and 
international business originating from Switzerland, have created a 
strong user base for advanced telecommunication services.  In addition 
to voice, electronic mail, teleconferencing, the leased line business, 
data transmission, voice and image compression, frame relay, virtual 
private networks, outsourcing, mobile and radio services are targets of 
opportunity for U.S. operators and suppliers.  Information highways such 
as Internet, Compuserve, groupware software and private operator 
networks are other drivers of this sector.  

A new development is the establishment of Unisource, a Swiss PTT Telecom 
venture with the Swedish, Spanish and Dutch telecom organizations.  
Unisource provides international business network and V-Sat services.  
Unisource has joined the Worldpartner cooperative venture of AT&T in 
carrier services.  Other U.S. carriers (MCI, Sprint) are well 
represented by their own operations in Switzerland, along with foreign 
operators, such as British Telecom, France Telecom, or KDD.

Whereas basic (voice) services will not be deregulated before 1998, a 
sustained, growing demand for value added services which are subject to 
a competitive environment, is expected both on the part of the business 
sector larger accounts, and smaller users, including the mass consumer 
segment.  In the latter segment, U.S. callback service companies have 
recruited a great number of international customers in Switzerland.  The 
telephone card business (of AT&T, MCI, Sprint) has incited the Swiss PTT 
Telecom to introduce its own Telecom card to Swiss-based subscribers and 
international travelers.  Unisource is considering extending its 
activities in international mobile services and the card business as 
well.  Licenses for international voice services have been obtained by 
private corporation network operators organized in closed user groups.  

Last but not least, the International Telecommunication Union, which has 
its headquarters in Geneva, is an important facilitator in world 
telecommunications. It issues standard recommendations, and organizes 
important conferences and the quadrennial Telecom exhibitions.  This 
next world summit in telecommunications, taking place in Geneva October 
3-11, 1995, will be a unique meeting place and showcase for the latest 
telecom services.

DATA TABLE (in U.S. $ millions)

                               1994        1995        1996

A)  Total Market Size           947        1,098       1,207
B)  Total Local Production      333          400         430
C)  Total Exports               121          155         161
D)  Total Imports               735          853         938
E)  Imports from the U.S.       358          450         792
    Exchange Rates Used: $ = SF   1.40         1.25        1.25

NOTE: The above statistics are unofficial estimates.


Switzerland ranks high among European countries with the most per capita 
investment in telecommunications.  In order for its sophisticated 
industry, business, touristic and service sectors (among which banks and 
insurance companies) to operate effectively and competitively in the 
international marketplace, Switzerland will continue to modernize its 
public networks in ISDN (integrated services, digital networks), broad 
band communications, and mobile systems.  The Swiss Federal Railroads 
(CFF/SBB) likewise will continue to upgrade their own fiber optic, 
digital networks.  The Swiss Military Department is also expected to 
invest in radio systems.

Under the present telecommunications regime, voice transmission and 
networks are still considered the monopoly of the Swiss PTT Telecom.  A 
new law has been drafted, which should be implemented by January 1998, 
and should open the voice and network business to private operators, in 
line with EU recommendations and plans. 

Meanwhile, the value-added service sector (in data communications and 
transmission; and in pre-approved, closed user groups for voice) and the 
interconnect and customer premise equipment market are deregulated and 
part of the free market competitive system.  No doubt that the forces of 
deregulation and privatization at work in Europe, and the directives of 
the European Commission calling for opening the market, will greatly 
affect Swiss policies as well, even though Switzerland is not a member 
of the European Union.   At the same time, the Swiss PTT Telecom has 
become active in the revenue-generating value-added sector through its 
participation in Unisource and ATT's Worldpartner consortium.  In doing 
so, it has become a direct competitor to U.S. carriers (MCI, Sprint), 
and non-U.S. operators (British Telecom, France Telecom, Deutsche 
Telekom, etc.).

Mobile communications have become very popular.  The PTT Telecom has 
introduced the digital GSM system, in addition to the Nordic analog 
Natel C system.  New paging and cordless systems are likewise being 
introduced.  While creating new opportunities in future areas of growth, 
the overall liberalization developments have resulted in a loss of 1,500 
jobs in the Swiss-based telecommunications industry.  

In general, present trends are expected to be favorable for foreign (and 
U.S.) suppliers, in particular those selling equipment and services 
meeting European (ETSI) specifications and the needs of affluent, and 
demanding business, industrial, and private users.  Opportunities are 
especially good for U.S. mobile communication systems, network 
equipment, multiplexers, codecs, modems, interfaces, fiber optic 
systems, teleconferencing equipment, microwave equipment and supplies.  
The predominant role of the Swiss PTT Telecom still makes the former 
monopolistic operator an important strategic partner for U.S. firms.

DATA TABLE (in U.S. $ millions)

                               1994        1995        1996

A)  Total Market Size          4,521       5,168       5,323
B)  Total Local Production     4,172       4,635       4,774
C)  Total Exports                797         885         916
D)  Total Imports              1,146       1,418       1,465
E)  Imports from U.S.            113         127         132
    Exchange Rates Used: $ = SF    1.40        1.25        1.25

NOTE: The above statistics are unofficial estimates.


The USA successfully keeps its top rank among the Swiss outbound 
travellers' favorite overseas destinations.  The unexpected steep drop 
of the dollar vs. the Swiss franc this year makes travel in the U.S. a 
real bargain for the Swiss, and major travel agencies note that the U.S. 
is now also within lower income reaches.  Florida is again attracting 
vacationers who used to take holidays on the Mediterranean.  Further, as 
opposed to other nationalities Swiss tourists like to venture out into 
the country.  Small businesses (outfitters, motels, etc) in many 
Southwestern states rank Swiss visitors second among their foreign 

What makes the Swiss particularly attractive is their high purchasing 
power.  Shopping has become a lucrative by-product of a U.S. vacation.  
The Swiss seem to be particularly attracted by such items as sporting 
goods (golfing, tennis, shoes, apparel, physical fitness equipment), 
clothing (designer brands), electronics (laptop computers, software, 
games) and musical instruments.  The high volume of Swiss travel has 
clearly had a positive effect on the sale of U.S. made consumer goods 
and cars back in Switzerland.  American automobiles are very popular, 
and items can be found on store shelves which one would not have thought 
of a few years ago. 

Although destinations such as Australia and Asian countries are making 
headway, the popularity of the U.S. will be hard to beat.  Much will 
depend upon future development of the exchange rate.  However, the Swiss 
market has proven amazingly resistant even against a much more expensive 
dollar.  Travel agents, airlines and major tour operators remain 
optimistic for the years to come.

DATA TABLE (in U.S. $ millions)

                               1994        1995        1996

A)  Total Market Size          6,099       6,943       7,051
     (Swiss outbound travel)
B)  Total Local Production       N/A         N/A         N/A
C)  Total Exports                N/A         N/A         N/A
D)  Total Imports                N/A         N/A         N/A
E)  Imports from the U.S.        990       1,119       1,152
     (Swiss money spent in the US)
    Exchange Rates Used U.S. 
     Dollars                      40           1.25        1.25

NOTE:  The above statistics are derived from estimates obtained from the 
Swiss Federal Statistical Office, USTTA, two major tour operators and 


Inspite of a more complex political environment, imports of aircraft 
parts and components are expected to increase.  The main reasons are 
seen in the expansion of the SWISSAIR fleet and that of commuter airline 
CROSSAIR in particular.  SWISSAIR is also expected to assume maintenance 
of certain models of SABENA's airliners, as a result of a recent 
acquisition of 49.5 percent of SABENA stock.  Pilatus Aircraft Works, 
the largest Swiss aircraft producer, was forced to move some of its 
manufacture of PC-7 and PC-9 advanced pilots training aircraft out of 
country, after they were used in Mexico and other countries for 
counterinsurgency operations.  Despite these difficulties, Pilatus was 
able to secure new orders for less problematic end-users.  They also are 
successfully marketing their new commuter aircraft PC-XII, of which 30 
units are in production.

Sales of general aviation aircraft are up as a direct result of the 
economic recovery.  In addition, retrofitting programs to adapt small 
aircraft to more stringent environmental standards (noise, fuel 
efficiency) are continuing.  Additional impulses are expected to result 
from the local assembly of the F/A-18 military aircraft as well as other 
military hardware (remotely controlled reconnaissance drones).  

U.S. manufacturers of instrumentation, avionics and aircraft parts still 
command a leading position despite a loss in market share in general 
aviation aircraft and commercial airliners.  It can be attributed to the 
fact that many competing aircraft include a substantial portion of U.S. 
made components, including engines and avionics.  Main third-country 
competition are U.K. as well as French and German manufacturers.  Local 
competition is insignificant.  It should be noted that about two-thirds 
of all imported instruments and components are being reexported. 

DATA TABLE (in U.S. $ millions)

                               1994        1995        1996

A)  Total Market Size           889        1,007       1,028
B)  Total Local Production      379          436         456
C)  Total Exports               279          324         338
D)  Total Imports               789          985         910
E)  Imports from the U.S.       289          358         365
    Exchange Rates Used: $ = SF   1.40         1.25        1.25

NOTE: The above figures were obtained from official statistics, combined 
with estimates from one trade magazine and two importers of aircraft and 


Switzerland maintains one of the best health care systems in the world.  
The dispersed nature of its health care system which follows the pattern 
of its federal structure with 26 autonomous cantons (states), 
contributes to the buoyancy and diversity of the market.  At the same 
time, it favors a great variety of equipment and devices.  

U.S. equipment and supplies enjoy a good reputation.  Many Swiss doctors 
and professors of medicine have been trained or have practiced in the 
United States.  Interchange in procedures and techniques is good between 
both countries.  These factors create a strong demand for U.S. equipment 
and devices.  

Soaring health care costs have created strong demand for home health 
care and outpatient devices and services, a field in which U.S. 
suppliers operating in a domestic mass market with volume production 
have a marked lead and mostly a price advantage over European 
competitors.  At the same time, because of the high cost of health care 
in a sophisticated high-income country like Switzerland, health 
authorities and hospitals have become very cost conscious.  Labor saving 
devices or those contributing to containing the cost of health care will 
find a good market.

Owing to budget restrictions, capital investment in large type of 
equipment has flattened.  Life cycles of costly equipment and 
instruments are prolonged.  A good local after-sales service is, 
therefore, of great importance.  A great number of qualified Swiss 
distributors stand ready to assist U.S. firms in their market entry, 
maintenance, and distribution needs.  In addition, Switzerland can serve 
as a test market for advanced medical equipment in Europe.  Experiences 
gathered in selling medical equipment in this multilingual and educated 
marketplace can be translated into successes in Germany, France, Italy, 
Austria and other European countries.

Opportunities are good for advanced diagnostic equipment (scanners, 
imaging systems, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance/NMR scanners), monitoring 
and intensive care devices, cardiology equipment, electronic medical 
instruments, clinical laboratory equipment, outpatient supplies, and, in 
general, orthopedic supplies and disposables, as well as surgical 
consumables.  In the latter volume supplies, as well as in other product 
categories, U.S. suppliers have a marked price advantage, not only 
because of the favorable exchange rate, but also because the scale of 
production in the U.S. and the market size far exceed production and 
sales volumes of competitor nations.

DATA TABLE (in U.S. $ millions)

                                  1994        1995        1996

A)  Total Market Size              901        1,022       1,028
B)  Total Local Production         540          608         610
C)  Total Exports                  125          142         143
D)  Total Imports                  486          556         561
E)  Imports from U.S.               98          112         115
    Exchange Rates Used: $ = SF      1.40         1.25        1.25

NOTE: The above statistics are unofficial estimates.


Pollution control continues to rank high on the agenda of important 
Swiss issues.  The country has one of the world's densest networks of 
sewage treatment plants.  Air pollution control is equally important and 
enforced at all levels, from cars to private homes to industrial plants, 
which are all monitored and inspected at regular intervals.  Solid and 
hazardous wastes are recycled or burned in special incinerating plants.  
In fact, there is insufficient waste to be burned in order to keep all 
plants in operation, and Switzerland is considering importing waste from 
neighboring countries.  Fees and financial incentives have played a key 
role in reducing waste.  Additional steps (incentives) to reduce CO2 
etc. may be introduced in the near future.

Investments are presently focused on expanding and modernizing existing 
sewage treatment plants.  Some $12 billion will be required for that 
purpose until the year 2000, mostly financed by Cantons (states) and 
communities, with some federal subsidies.

Plant expansions are combined in nearly all cases with the addition of 
new, improved treatment processes (third and fourth stage 
treatment/advanced water treatment).  Most plants will receive automated 
process controls or existing systems will be updated.  Large plants will 
be equipped to monitor and control additional chemical parameters.

The U.S. is an established, leading supplier of advanced wet-chemistry 
analytical process control instruments.  Manufacturers of analytical 
instruments for on-line application (O2, Ph, DO, TOD, TOC, 
chromatographic and spectrometric analyzers) should be beneficiaries of 
this program.  Of special interest are also analyzers to detect heavy 
metals (mercury in particular) as well as other hazardous parameters.  
The market for air pollution control and monitoring systems is almost 

Competition should be expected to be active and competent.  Switzerland 
has several manufacturers of advanced DO analyzers (portable and 
stationary) as well as most other instruments such as Ph, conductivity, 
flow, temperature etc.  German and Japanese manufacturers provide 
chromatographic and spectrometric analyzers covering all types of 
applications.  U.S. exporters must consider them to be their main 

DATA TABLE (in U.S. $ millions)

                                  1994        1995        1996

A)  Total Market Size              999        1,020       1,129
B)  Total Local Production         950        1,080       1,088
C)  Total Exports                  505          559         568
D)  Total Imports                  554          599         609
E)  Imports from the U.S.           99          114         117
    Exchange rate used: $ = SF       1.40         1.25        1.25

NOTE: The above statistics are based on data obtained from EAWAG (Water 
Pollution Control Institute of the Swiss Federal Institute of 
Technology), two importers of analytical instruments and Von Roll AG 
(environmental division).  Also note that pollution control equipment is 
being exported by Swiss manufacturers, particularly to the Middle East 
and Asia.  An estimated 5-7% of the instruments in para. A) are 
reexports integrated in locally assembled systems.


Switzerland, although small, ranks among the world's top 10 nations in 
R&D, investing some 2.7 percent of GDP, or about $7.6 billion annually, 
for that purpose.  About two-thirds are covered by the private sector; 
the remainder includes state R&D as well as international research 
organizations and programs.  Swiss R&D focuses on physical, chemical and 
biomedical research.  Applied research is concentrated in the 
metallurgical (machinery) and electro-technical industries, as well as 
in areas such as industrial automation (CIM).

Switzerland is chairing the European EUREKA program this year, which is 
creating further R&D impulses.  The country's main challenge results 
from its non-adherence to the EU.  Swiss researchers, as a result, are 
excluded from certain important R&D projects.  Bilateral negotiations 
are in an advanced stage, and it is expected that Switzerland will "buy 
its way" back into European R&D in the near future.  Also worth noting 
is that Swiss companies have invested some $5.9 billion in R&D abroad.  
Some programs were moved to foreign facilities for political reasons, 
particularly in politically sensitive areas such as genetic research.  
Importers of scientific laboratory instruments remain carefully 
optimistic for the future.  Virtually all major companies plan to keep 
their main R&D base in Switzerland.

R&D is a key to the success of the export-oriented Swiss economy.  
Investments in the latest technology in scientific instruments should 
remain high in the years to come.  Swiss parliament is also looking at a 
program to additionally further R&D and to create a political and legal 
environment for that purpose.

U.S. manufacturers of scientific laboratory instruments have always 
enjoyed a privileged position as major suppliers.  This is expected to 
remain, although some Japanese suppliers have made inroads in areas such 
as chromatographic analyzers.  German, French, Italian and UK 
manufacturers of certain instruments (spectrometers) also hold niches.  
They tend to be somewhat more responsive to local market needs than 
American counterparts.  U.S. manufacturers can draw from the strong 
American position as the principal suppliers of computers.  Nearly all 
scientific laboratory instruments are now attached to PC's as integrated 
systems and compatibility is an important issue. 

DATA TABLE (in U.S. $ millions)

                                  1994        1995        1996

A)  Total Market Size              334         389         408
B)  Total Local Production         150         173         182
C)  Total Exports                   84         101         110
D)  Total Imports                  268         317         327
E)  Imports from the U.S.           68          86          95
    Exchange Rates Used: $ = SF      1.40        1.25        1.25

NOTE:  The above statistics are based on data obtained from the Swiss 
Federal Office of Statistics, two importers of scientific laboratory 
instruments, as well as the Swiss Federal Office for Education & 


This sector overlaps to some extent with pollution control instruments; 
a clear separation is not possible.  The important Swiss 
pharmaceuticals, chemicals and food industries (e.g., CIBA-GEIGY, 
HOFFMANN-LAROCHE, SANDOZ, NESTLE) with their large numbers of small and 
medium subcontractors provide the basis for an attractive market for 
analytical process control instruments.  The market is, in every 
respect, state-of-the-art and highly competitive.  Process automation is 
a must to counter high Swiss production costs.  Manufacturers are 
reportedly concentrating their production in Switzerland on key high 
tech ingredients requiring even more complex equipment and processes, 
whereas cheaper components are manufactured abroad.  Credits for new 
investments seem to be flowing more freely after a period of budget cuts 
during the years 1991-1993.  Several companies are said to be updating 
existing plants.  Importers and local manufacturers of instrumentation 
are carefully optimistic and expect further investments connected to the 
economic recovery.  

Virtually all producers of advanced analytical process control 
instruments are active on the Swiss market.  It is considered a test 
market, in particular for Japanese instrumentation.  U.S. suppliers hold 
a solid position although it was somewhat eroded by local competition in 
the fields of inductive flow meters, pH, conductivity and similar 
instruments.  German exporters are also very active, offering complete 
systems as opposed to their U.S. counterparts, who are rather suppliers 
of key components.

DATA TABLE (in U.S. $ millions)

                                  1994        1995        1996

A)  Total Market Size              341         397         416
B)  Total Local Production         205         235         254
C)  Total Exports                  194         224         238
D)  Total Imports                  330         386         400
E)  Imports from the U.S.           94         111         117
    Exchange Rates Used: $ = SF      1.40        1.25        1.25

NOTE: The above statistics are unofficial estimates (based on 
information obtained from the Swiss Chemical Industry Association, the 
trade magazine Laborscope, two importers of instrumentation, and the 
local manufacturer Endress & Hauser AG).


Switzerland's industrial machinery industry reported an output of over 
$40 billion in 1994.  It ranks sixth among the world's main producers of 
industrial equipment.  Some $33 billion were exported.  Its demand for 
advanced process and quality control systems make it a major OEM market 
for optoelectronic and laser based non-contact process and quality 
control systems.  The market, as a result, is disproportionately 
significant compared to the size of the country.  Technological progress 
in electro-optical and laser based precision vision and control systems 
keeps widening the already broad field of applications.  On line quality 
control of complex manufacturing processes are now made possible and are 
becoming standard.

Swiss machinery manufacturers consider use of the latest technology 
vital to justify the high cost of their equipment.  In addition, the 
high purchasing power of the Swiss franc favors procurement of foreign-
made advanced process controls and other components for inclusion in 
locally-made equipment.  This applies particularly to items invoiced in 

Competition includes a selection of German, Japanese and also French 
manufacturers.  All offer state-of-the-art vision systems.  U.S. 
manufacturers should be able to take advantage of the strong U.S. 
position as a supplier of computer hard- and software, which are key 
components of advanced electro-optical and laser based process and 
quality control systems.  

DATA TABLE (in U.S. $ millions)

                                  1994        1995        1996

A)  Total Market Size              118         146         153
B)  Total Local Production          99         123         129
C)  Total Exports                   93         111         120
D)  Total Imports                  112         134         144
E)  Imports from the U.S.           30          42          51
    Exchange Rates Used: $ = SF      1.40        1.25        1.25

NOTE:  The above statistics are unofficial estimates, obtained from two 
importers of PCI equipment (vision systems), one major manufacturer 
(OEM) and the VSM (Swiss Machinery Mfgrs. Assn.).  Also note that some 
40% of the systems included in para. A) covers systems which are 
integrated and reexported in locally- made machinery.  


Renewable energy is one of the pillars of the Energy 2000 program 
launched by the Swiss Federal Government in 1991.  The goal is, in a 
first step by the year 2000, to cover 3.5 percent of the country's 
energy consumption by renewable energy.  This equals some 3.5 million 
KWH.  A budget of $192 million was approved in 1994 to finance pilot 
plants, equipment and for related R&D.  The private sector is expected 
to spend at least twice the amount for its related programs.  Energy 
2000 is expected, as a side-effect, to substantially further the use of 
efficient energy management systems, an area of particular interest to 
the United States.

The U.S. is considered a main and important potential source of supply 
for renewable energy generating systems.  The first two wind turbine 
powered pilot power plants are about to be installed.  They will consist 
of some 120 units imported from the U.S. for a total of some $90 
million.  Energy 2000 has resulted in a small boom at the level of 
individual homes.  Home owners, similar to the U.S., are now allowed to 
feed excess electric energy (produced at their homes) back into the 
networks.  The U.S., with many years of experience in this specific 
area, is believed to have interesting products and technology to offer.  

Competition to U.S. manufacturers include mostly local as well as German 
firms.  Swiss companies are very active, trying to meet this emerging 
market.  They can draw from a powerful industrial base and tradition in 
power generation and distribution.  The same is true for German 
manufacturers which are following closely and which are very familiar 
with the Swiss market.   

DATA TABLE (in U.S. $ millions)

                                  1994        1995        1996

A)  Total Market Size              116         212         221
B)  Total Local Production          80         123         132
C)  Total Exports                   39          61          75
D)  Total Imports                   75         150         167
E)  Imports from the U.S.           25          78          92
    Exchange Rates Used: $ = SF      1.40        1.25        1.25

NOTE: The above statistics are unofficial estimates (obtained from two 
major power generating companies, the Swiss Federal Office of Energy and 
the marketing division of ABB).


Switzerland's sophisticated machinery, telecom, precision control and 
instrument industries are the primary users and integrators of advanced 
integrated circuitry and electronic components.  The Swiss market 
represents less than one percent of worldwide electronic components 
consumption, but it is highly specialized, and per capita consumption is 
one of the highest in the world.  

Even though Switzerland lacks significant consumer electronics, computer 
and automotive industries, a burgeoning demand has been noted on the 
part of Swiss distributors and vendors of microprocessors and memories 
for U.S. made components assembled by Swiss makers of PC clones.  The 
watch industry produces domestically most of the components integrated 
in electronic timepieces.  It nevertheless constitutes an attractive 
target group, partly because of its diversification in communication and 
paging devices some of which are incorporated in wristwatches.

In general, U.S. electronic components find good acceptance in the Swiss 
signal processing, precision instrument, sensor, process control, 
robotics, and mechanical engineering industries.  U.S. suppliers are 
well represented by their own subsidiaries or local distributors 
(Motorola maintains a European marketing and design center in Geneva), 
and enjoy a good technical reputation.  Several locally active 
distributors are qualified to distribute or sell U.S. componentry.  They 
are usually well introduced with industry and large accounts.  

DATA TABLE (in U.S. $ millions)

                                  1994        1995        1996

A)  Total Market Size              574         644         676
B)  Total Local Production         229         250         255
C)  Total Exports                   56          63          66
D)  Total Imports                  401         457         487
E)  Imports from U.S.              195         224         235
    Exchange Rates Used: $ = SF      1.40        1.25        1.25

NOTE: The above statistics are unofficial estimates.


The Swiss security and safety equipment market has grown at a steady 
pace of 6-8 percent annually over the past decade.  The Swiss invest 
about 2.5 times more per individual alarm system than is the case in the 
United States.  They obviously prefer more complex, professionally 
installed alarm systems.  However, security consciousness as a whole is 
rising sharply, resulting in a new market for security systems, 
particularly for home use.  Major supermarket chains and department 
stores are now offering a growing selection of security devices and 
systems.  The market is opening up to new products, after years of 
nearly total domination by two major local manufacturers, Cerberus AG 
and Securitas AG.  Further significant changes will occur in connection 
with steps aimed at deregulating the market.  Deregulation will ease 
certain electrical safety and self-imposed quality standards.  Quality 
standards, in particular, combined with lower insurance premiums (only 
for licensed equipment) were used to discourage potential buyers of non-
licensed equipment.

U.S. manufacturers should find the Swiss market considerably more 
receptive for their products than has been the case before.  
Professional security systems are becoming standard with the majority of 
medium and large companies.  U.S. manufacturers should look specifically 
at the fields of access control (non contact), shop lifting prevention 
systems, intelligent perimeter security (radar, seismic detection, IR), 
security software, secure communication and security services.  Home 
security systems (consumer type equipment) range from security locks to 
electronic alarm systems with several detectors.

DATA TABLE (in U.S. $ millions)

                                  1994        1995        1996

A)  Total Market Size              248         273         292
B)  Total Local Production         180         219         240
C)  Total Exports                   94         114         125
D)  Total Imports                  162         168         177
E)  Imports from the U.S.           44          51          59
    Exchange Rates Used: $ = SF      1.40        1.25        1.25

Note:  The above statistics are unofficial estimated, based on data 
obtained from two major importer/manufacturers and one insurance 


Due to reluctant consumer spending, the sporting goods and recreational 
equipment market stagnated in 1994.  Particularly hit were tennis 
rackets and snow skis, whereas the trendy runner-ups like snowboards and 
in-line skates did best.  The outlook is expected to improve in 1995 and 

Competition is very keen and dominated by specialized sporting goods 
dealers who make up 72 percent of the market.  The remaining 28 percent 
of sales are made by mass merchandisers, supermarkets and department 

The bulk of U.S. shipments is in the following product categories:  
Bicycles, snow skis, snowboards, pistols, revolvers, sporting firearms, 
exercising equipment, golf clubs and bowling equipment.  Prominent U.S. 
label high-end products often come from Asian low wage countries, which 
distorts the reality of the true U.S. export market share.

The U.S. has a reputation for being a leader in trends and fads.  For 
example, there has been recent increased interest in street- and 
baseball outfits, teamsports apparel and equipment, trekking/survival 
gear and hiking/mountaineering equipment. 

DATA TABLE (in U.S. $ millions)

                                  1994        1995        1996

A)  Total Market Size              575         650         663
B)  Total Local Production          49          52          55
C)  Total Exports                   12          15          17
D)  Total Imports                  538         613         625
E)  Imports from the U.S.           20          28          29
    Exchange Rates Used: $ = SF      1.40        1.25        1.25

NOTE: The above statistics are unofficial estimates.


The Swiss chemical industry has been characterized by a high share of 
pharmaceuticals and a concentration on high value added niche products, 
which has led to less interdependency compared with other countries.  
Faced with stiff competition from former East Block and Asian emerging 
countries, European competitors who formerly produced commodity items 
are also switching to specialties, which has resulted in reduced prices 
and profits.

More than 75 percent of Swiss exports are intra-company transfers to 
foreign subsidiaries.  The same hold true for imports.  While the 
domestic market volume has experienced only a very modest growth of 1-2 
percent, exports have performed better.

American companies and subsidiaries of large Swiss multinational 
chemical firms in the U.S. are especially strong in supplying organic 
chemicals such as saturated acids, phenolic materials, esters and many 
other organic/inorganic compounds, in particular heterocyclic compounds, 
and vitamin and hormone intermediates.

U.S. suppliers have gained competitiveness due to the recent improvement 
in exchange rates.  Should this trend continue, the forecast for 
incremental imports from the U.S. (see data table) may turn out to be 
rather conservative.

DATA TABLE (in U.S. $ millions)

                                  1994        1995        1996

A)  Total Market Size            11,918      13,384      13,354
B)  Total Local Production       19,740      22,736      23,128
C)  Total Exports                16,779      19,584      19,976
D)  Total Imports                 8,957      10,232      10,202
E)  Imports from the U.S.           588         657         690
    Exchange Rates Used: $ = SF       1.40        1.25        1.25

NOTE: The above statistics are unofficial estimates.


The pharmaceutical sector with the big three - Ciba, Sandoz, and Roche - 
is a key sector of Swiss industry.  Pharmaceuticals account for 13 
percent of total Swiss exports.

The Swiss pharmaceutical industry is both innovative and world-market 
oriented.  Our table with imports higher than the total market size 
indicates that many imported products are refined, finished, packed and 
reexported.  R&D expenditures for pharmaceuticals amount to 20 percent 
of ex-factory sales.

Faced with high labor costs, government impediments, and public pressure 
in the field of bio- and gene technology, the sector has tended to shift 
production, as well as R&D, to third countries.  Escalating Swiss 
government expenditures in a time of budget constraints have resulted in 
actions to freeze contributions and to curb costs wherever possible.  
This also applies to health insurance, which is mandatory in 
Switzerland.  Health insurance companies are advocating the increased 
use of generics, and refuse to reimburse exorbitant doctor bills.

On pharmaceuticals and drugs, the profit margin of the wholesale and 
retail level combined is 43 percent of the retail price which leaves 57 
percent to the manufacturer.  Sixty-two percent of dispensing is done by 
the country's 1,614 pharmacies; the 3,068 self-dispensing doctors 
account for 18 percent; hospitals 12 percent, and drugstores 8 percent.

Most common disease are heart/coronary, cancer, and those of the 
respiratory and digestive tract.  There is a persisting trend toward use 
of over-the-counter and homeopathic products.  Biotechnologically-
produced products in excellent demand encompass Hepatitis B vaccine, 
human insulin, human growth hormones, alpha and gamma interferon, 
Interleukin-2, erythropoietin, blood factor VIII and various 

DATA TABLE (in U.S. $ millions)

                                  1994        1995        1996

A)  Total Market Size              1482       1709        1743
B)  Total Local Production         7195       8334        8543
C)  Total Exports                  8424       9811        9950
D)  Total Imports                  2711       3186        3150
E)  Imports from the U.S.           218        268         290
    Exchange Rates Used: $ = SF       1.40       1.25        1.25

NOTE: The above statistics are unofficial estimates.


After a decrease in the previous year, 1994 new car sales picked
up by 3.8 percent to 270,000 units; and second-hand cars by 2.2 percent 
to 635,000 units.  Attractive new models from Detroit and the favorable 
exchange rate resulted in new U.S. car imports of 12,000 units, a 
healthy increase over the 1993 figure of 10,000.

Garage owners, however, are not overly investment prone.  With a 
relatively young fleet circulating in Switzerland, service intervals 
have become longer.  Additionally, new legislation requiring exhaust gas 
tests in two years' intervals instead of one has added to this attitude.  
Also, as of October 1, 1995 individuals may directly import new EU-type-
approved cars without undergoing the formerly-required costly 

However, the newly implemented requirement for diesel exhaust gas 
testing has spurred sales of these analyzers and boosted relating 
tuning, spares and retrofitting.  In the field of test benches the many 
car makes on the market often favor a specific brand which is then 
recommended to the dealers.  The tightly organized OEM parts market is 
gaining ground at the expense of non-OEM.

U.S. suppliers of automotive parts and service equipment will find 
market opportunities in Switzerland.  The most promising subsectors 
include clutches, bearings, drives, electrical parts and pistons for 
U.S., European and Japanese cars.  In the field of car maintenance 
equipment, there is only room for newly developed, outerperformance 

Major Swiss parts and service equipment importers/distributors are 
annually invited to visit the BIG I show in Las Vegas. 

DATA TABLE (in U.S. $ millions)

                                  1994        1995        1996

A)  Total Market Size            1,152       1,325       1,352
B)  Total Local Production          73          84          86
C)  Total Exports                   26          30          31
D)  Total Imports                1,105       1,271       1,297
E)  Imports from the U.S.          129         148         152
    Exchange Rates Used: $ = SF      1.40        1.25        1.25

NOTE: The above statistics are unofficial estimates.


The unformed plastic materials and resins sector has overcome the 
recessionary period of 1990-1993.  In 1994, imports grew by 8.8 percent 
and exports by 10.3 percent.  Exports are higher than local production, 
since many products are further processed and reexported, according to 
the Swiss Plastics Association (KVS Kunststoff Verband Schweiz).

While the field of blow molding (mainly packaging) is stagnating because 
of environmental pressure by consumers, thin-gage packaging, injection 
molded parts, housings and components are buoyant.  Increased use of PET 
bottles (recycled) is popular in the mineral water and soft drink 
industry.  In the construction industry, the downturn in new houses 
could be balanced out owing to increased remodelling and refurbishing of 
old houses, which is revitalizing the paint and varnish industry.

If the favorable dollar-franc exchange rate persists, the outlook for 
incremental U.S. shipments is promising.  U.S. shipments are substantial 
in ethylene, propylene, acrylic and vinyl/chloride polymers, epoxy and 
polyester resins and polyamides.   

DATA TABLE (in U.S. $ millions)

                                  1994        1995        1996

A)  Total Market Size              811         965        1013
B)  Total Local Production         493         608         638
C)  Total Exports                  780         928         974
D)  Total Imports                 1098        1285        1349
E)  Imports from the U.S.           72          90         102
    Exchange Rates Used: $ = SF      1.40        1.25        1.25

NOTE: The above statistics are unofficial estimates.


The value of apparel imports in Swiss francs has been declining since 
1991.  This may be a consequence of a very strong local currency which 
appreciated by some 23 percent vis-a-vis the dollar.  Other reasons are 
the trend to shift production to, and buy cheaper apparel from, low wage 
countries like China and India.  In the five year period 1990-1994, the 
gross weight volume of imported apparel increased by 18 percent.  Of 
total imports, women's apparel accounts for two-thirds.

Swiss production, plagued by high labor cost and customs duty levied by 
the European Union on foreign country value-added products, amounts to 
less than 10 percent of the market volume.  The export share of high 
price, high-end quality apparel is 75 percent of the total output.

U.S. apparel shipments to Switzerland, however, have continued to be 
buoyant, and increased 15.5 percent in 1994.  Best selling products are 
jeans, jeanswear, licensed team sportswear and headgear, quality 
bodywear and lingerie, T-shirts and sweatshirts.  Oversized but 
functional streetball and snowboard apparel and trendy disco items are 
also very popular. 

DATA TABLE (in U.S. $ millions)

                                  1994        1995        1996

A)  Total Market Size             3,681       4,041       4,003
B)  Total Local Production        1,005       1,103       1,092
C)  Total Exports                   754         828         817
D)  Total Imports                 3,430       3,766       3,728
E)  Imports from U.S.                33          40          44
    Exchange Rates Used: $ = SF       1.40        1.25        1.25

NOTE: The above statistics are unofficial estimates.

Best Prospects for Agricultural Products


Following implementation of GATT Uruguay Round results in 1995, tariffs 
will be cut by 36 percent, resulting in increased access and a duty 
savings of $58,000 (at current import levels).  In addition, amendments 
to the Swiss food law in 1995 allow retail sales of horsemeat in any 
retail store, not just horsemeat butcher shops.  This change, in 
addition to Uruguay Round adjustments, is expected to significantly 
increase U.S. exports.
DATA TABLE (in metric tons)

                                  1994        1995        1996

A)  Total Consumption             5,664       5,700       5,750
B)  Total Local Production        1,521       1,450       1,500
C)  Total Exports                   --           --         --
D)  Total Imports                 4,143       4,250       4,250
E)  Imports from the U.S.         1,629       1,750       1,800

NOTE: The above statistics are unofficial estimates.


Until 1995, with the revision of the Swiss food law, imports and sales 
of wine coolers were effectively prevented, because there was no 
definition under existing laws for this product.  Per capita wine 
consumption in Switzerland is one of the highest in Europe, and fruit 
juices are also popular.  With aggressive marketing, wine coolers could 
be positioned in Switzerland as a new and unusual product of interest to 
adults of all ages.

DATA TABLE (in hectoliters)

                                  1994        1995        1996

A)  Total Consumption              --         5,000     10,000
B)  Total Local Production         --           --         --
C)  Total Exports                  --           --         --
D)  Total Imports                  --         5,000     10,000
E)  Imports from the U.S.          --         4,000      9,000

NOTE: The above statistics are unofficial estimates.


Despite a general decline in Swiss wine imports, U.S. shipments have 
experienced strong growth.  Consumers have shown an increased preference 
for low-priced wines in bottles.  A retail price of about $8 to $10 is 
seen as the upper limit for a quality wine sold in supermarkets.

Currently, there are minimal restrictions on red wine imports.  As of 
July 1, 1995, white wine imports will be limited by a 75,600 hl tariff-
rate quota.  The implementing legislation for Switzerland's Uruguay 
Round commitments eliminates the allocation of licenses for white wine 
imports by historical share, and, most importantly, allows individuals 
to apply for unlimited amounts of the tariff-rate quota quantity.  As a 
result, the new system offers an unprecedented opportunity for U.S. wine 
exporters seeking entry into the $456 million Swiss wine import market.

DATA TABLE (in thousands of hectoliters)

                                  1994        1995        1996

A)  Total Consumption             2,957       2,955       2,952
B)  Total Local Production        1,188       1,200       1,180
C)  Total Exports                    14          14          15
D)  Total Imports                 1,753       1,765       1,770
E)  Imports from the U.S.            24          25          27

Note: The above statistics are unofficial estimates.


U.S. exports of fresh green asparagus continue to enjoy buoyant demand.  
U.S. fresh asparagus sales were valued at $14 million in 1994 (up from 
$11 million in 1993) of which 99 percent were green.  The U.S. supplies 
96 percent of total Swiss fresh green asparagus imports, which amounts 
to a consumption rate of around one half kilo per person.  Switzerland 
is an excellent market for U.S. fresh green asparagus because of the 
Swiss preference for larger-stalked asparagus.  The Swiss are willing to 
pay a premium price for this product which U.S. exporters have found 
almost impossible to sell in most other markets.  

Recent reform of Swiss import restrictions on fresh green asparagus will 
result in significant opportunities for U.S. exporters.  Following 
implementation of Switzerland's Uruguay Round commitments on July 1, 
1995, Switzerland will switch from non-tariff protection to a tariff-
rate quota.  

A tariff-rate quota with an out-of-quota rate of 8.64 SF/kg may be 
applied to imports a maximum of forty-six days between May 1 and June 15 
each year.  Imports outside the period of restriction will face a low 
tariff which will eventually be reduced to zero.  During the period of 
restriction, certain quantities of imports will continue to enter the 
domestic market at the in-quota rate.  The Swiss government will set 
import quantities based on input from representatives of producer, 
consumer, and importer groups.  
Weekly allowable import quantities during the period of restriction will 
be set well in advance.  This will improve transparency in the market 
and provide U.S. exporters with more certainty of specific import 
opportunities during the period.     

DATA TABLE (in metric tons)

                                  1994        1995        1996

A)  Total Consumption             3,919       4,005       4,050
B)  Total Local Production          200         200         200
C)  Total Exports                   --          --          --
D)  Total Imports                 3,719       3,805       3,850
E)  Imports from the U.S.         2,485       3,650       3,680

NOTE: The above statistics are unofficial estimates.


Sweet corn is growing in popularity in Switzerland.  Once considered a 
novelty item, or something traditionally used as fodder (field corn), 
sweet corn is now appearing with greater frequency in Swiss 
supermarkets.  The U.S./Swiss bilateral agreement includes a tariff 
concession on fresh sweet corn to reduce the present 25 Swiss franc per 
100 kilogram tariff to zero.  This concession is expected to be 
particularly advantageous to U.S. exporters competing against other 
suppliers with significantly lower transportation costs, such as France.

DATA TABLE (in metric tons)

                                  1994        1995        1996

A)  Total Consumption             6,400       6,485       6,475
B)  Total Local Production          --          --          --
C)  Total Exports                    11          15          15
D)  Total Imports                 5,446       6,500       6,490
E)  Imports from the U.S.         1,739       1,800       2,000

NOTE: The above statistics are unofficial estimates.


Pet food has been a growing sector in the past several years, totalling 
approximately $300,000 per year.  The U.S. market share remains small, 
but nonetheless offers opportunities to U.S. exporters.  Several U.S. 
pet food manufacturers have distributors in Switzerland, and products 
are sold through both pet shops and veterinarians.  Some Swiss 
distributors say they would be more interested in carrying U.S. products 
if the U.S. manufacturers would not insist on large (for Switzerland) 
minimum orders.

DATA TABLE (in metric tons)

                                  1994        1995        1996

A)  Total Consumption           222,000     223,000     224,000
B)  Total Local Production      153,486     153,000     153,000
C)  Total Exports                15,734      16,000      17,000
D)  Total Imports                84,266      86,000      88,000
E)  Imports from the U.S.         5,666       6,000       6,500

NOTE: The above statistics are unofficial estimates.

BEEF (0111000)

Prior to implementation of the Uruguay Round, licenses for beef were 
granted depending on the amount of domestic beef an importer purchased.  
Swiss importers were able to earn higher profit margins on beef from 
low-cost countries and preferred not to import relatively high-priced 
U.S. beef, because they could not earn the highest profit margins.  
American style (grain fed) beef is attractive, however, to Swiss 
restaurants and hotels and there is demand for additional quantities 
despite higher prices.  Swiss consumers can afford more expensive cuts 
of beef and are familiar with the special characteristics of grain-fed 

Under the GATT Uruguay Round reforms, tariff equivalents calculated by 
the Swiss for beef are:

SF per 100 kg.    Ad val      equivalent
HS 0201.1000         892      190%
HS 0201.2000       1,609      223%
HS 0201.3000       2,602      225%
HS 0202.1000         892      190%
HS 0202.2000       1,450      223%
HS 0202.3000       2,420      257%

Following Switzerland's implementation of its Uruguay Round commitments 
on July 1, 1995, the U.S. will have access to an increased quota of 
1,500 mt for high-quality beef.  Beef imports meeting the USDA 
requirements of "choice" or "prime" will qualify for the quota.

Several legislative changes to the Swiss licensing system for beef 
imports will significantly improve U.S. access to the Swiss market.  
First, under specific conditions, licenses will be allocated to "end-
users" such as restaurants for the first time.  Second, consumer-ready 
cuts will be accepted.  Third, licenses will no longer be allocated 
according to cuts (such as rumps or loins).  These changes, along with 
the increased quota amounts, will provide improved market access 
opportunities for beef.

DATA TABLE (in metric tons)

                                  1994        1995        1996

A)  Total Consumption           122,314      20,000     120,000
B)  Total Local Production      124,917      123,600    121,850
C)  Total Exports                   243*         100         50
D)  Total Imports                12,544       14,000     16,000
E)  Imports from the U.S.         1,186        1,350      1,600

    * Shipments to Bulgaria

NOTE: The above statistics are unofficial estimates.

RAW TOBACCO (1211000)

Swiss manufacturers play a major role in national policy concerning farm 
support and protection.  Specifically, the Swiss cigarette manufacturing 
industry has a long-standing arrangement with the Swiss government and 
Swiss farmers to ensure that imports of raw tobacco enter duty free.  
Manufacturers support Swiss tobacco production by buying all domestic 
production at prices fixed by the government, but farmers are required 
to limit production to 730 hectares.  This policy makes it possible to 
maintain Swiss producer prices at a higher level than imported goods, 
but also provides cigarette manufacturers a means to purchase the 
majority of its raw tobacco needs at low cost.

The U.S. is the third largest supplier of raw tobacco with shipments.  
The implementation of GATT Uruguay Round concessions will indirectly 
impact U.S. tobacco exports to Switzerland.  There are currently no 
tariffs applied to imports of raw tobacco into Switzerland.  Significant 
tariff reductions in Switzerland's export markets may help Swiss 
cigarette producers in the near future, although all GATT cigarette 
producing countries will benefit from MFN tariff reductions.  In 
addition, lower cigarette consumption in Western Europe may be offset by 
increasing market opportunities in Eastern Europe.

DATA TABLE (in metric tons)

                                  1994        1995        1996

A)  Total Consumption            32,546      32,600      33,990
B)  Total Local Production        1,318       1,400       1,350
C)  Total Exports                 7,770       7,800       7,700
D)  Total Imports                38,018      39,000      41,000
E)  Imports from the U.S.         4,153       4,200       4,500

NOTE: The above statistics are unofficial estimates.


Trade Barriers, Including Tariffs, Non-Tariff Barriers and 
Import Taxes 

With the possible exception of agricultural products, Swiss barriers to 
trade are more annoying than major roadblocks.  Concerns for exporters 

1.  Agricultural Products -- Until July 1, 1995, Switzerland's highly 
subsidized agricultural sector operated behind a variety of import 
restrictions -- licensing, quotas, supplementary import charges, 
variable levies, conditional import rules, import calendars, and the 
like.  Prices of most agricultural imports were raised to domestic 
levels by variable import duties and specific non-tariff requirements on 
importers of agricultural products.  A wide variety of U.S. agricultural 
products, including wines, felt the effects of these barriers.

Swiss food law also served to effectively prevented imports of some U.S. 
products.  Wine coolers were prohibited for lack of legal definition for 
the product.  The food law also artificially dampened demand for some 
meat products of particular interest to the U.S.  For example, retail 
sales of horsemeat were only permitted in horsemeat butcher shops.   

According to Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development 
(OECD) estimates, these policies resulted in Switzerland having one of 
the most highly protected agricultural sectors in the world.  Swiss 
consumers have one of the highest levels of per capita expenditures for 
food, totalling over $4,000 per year, and Switzerland imported $6.4 
billion of agricultural products in 1994.  As a result, Switzerland 
poses particular challenges to U.S. agricultural exporters, exemplified 
by the fact that currently less than 5 percent of agricultural imports 
are shipped from the United States.

However, beginning July 1, 1995, and over the next six years, Swiss 
agricultural policy will undergo a process of "reinstrumentation" in 
accordance with the GATT Uruguay Round negotiations.  This 
"reinstrumentation" requires Switzerland to change its non-tariff 
measures into tariffs and to reduce its export subsidies and domestic 
support payments linked to production.  U.S. exporters of agricultural 
products will face new market opportunities as a result of these 

2.  Food Retailing System -- A continuing obstacle to U.S. exporters, 
particularly those of high value products, is the food retailing system.  
The retail market is dominated by two retail giants who account for 
nearly half of grocery sales.  U.S. exporters are disadvantaged by this 
system because the two food chain stores emphasize their own store brand 
products and favor products produced in their own processing plants.  
They are devoted to in-house brands, and, following that, to 
international brands to which they have exclusive rights to market in 
Switzerland.  These two retailers are also particularly resistant to 
allowing U.S. in-store promotion programs.        

3.  Swiss Cartels -- Some 500 cartels have a strongly determining voice 
in what comes into the country, how it is packaged, where it is sold, 
who may sell it, and how much it will cost.  Services are also affected.  
A recent OECD study found that average prices of goods and services for 
private consumption in Switzerland are 40 percent higher than in other 
OECD countries.  Price fixing or exclusive supply contracts exist in 90 
percent of 72 industrial activities, ranging from building products to 
health insurance.

Agricultural products are similarly affected by cartel practices.  The 
marketing of many domestic farm products, and of competing imports, is 
controlled by cartel-like organizations of producers, wholesalers, 
processors, and retailers.  Prior to Switzerland's implementation of its 
Uruguay Round commitments in 1995, these organizations were involved in 
the implementation of non-tariff import restrictions, with government 
support.  These groups will continue to have an important role in 
formulating import policy.

Complaints regarding the system come primarily from consumer groups, 
because once a producer or exporter (through a distributor) joins a 
cartel, the protection afforded is appealing.  The Swiss have recently 
established a Cartel Commission to review and draft further legislation 
on competition policy.  Ongoing effort to make Switzerland's laws Euro-
compatible should lead to further liberalization.

4.  Testing and Certification -- Switzerland imposes technical standards 
and testing and labeling requirements for certain products; Swiss 
electrical safety standards (SEV-Standards) require that electrical 
equipment be tested before it can be marketed; tests may be costly and 
time-consuming.  In most cases, procedures can be simplified for those 
manufacturers whose equipment has already been cleared in another 
country participating in the CENELEC (European Committee for Electro-
technical Standardization) Certification Agreement (CCA).  Other 
certifying requirements apply to drugs (prescription and over-the-
counter), which must receive approval from the inter-cantonal drug 
commission.  Imported products must also be labeled in all three 
official languages (German, French, Italian).

5.  Telecommunications -- Until recently, the Swiss PTT maintained a 
full monopoly over the telecommunications industry and market.  A 1992 
law continues to give the PTT a dominant role in basic (voice) services 
and network technical aspects of broadcasting, but a separate federal 
office (BAKOM) now certifies equipment.  The telephone set market has 
been deregulated, but all equipment connected to the public networks -- 
which remain under PTT monopoly -- must be tested and certified.  
Preference therefore exists for equipment procured from companies 
domiciled in Switzerland for accessibility to support and maintenance.

Customs Valuation

The Swiss customs tariff uses the Harmonized System (HS) for the 
numerical classification of goods.  All countries are afforded GATT 
most-favored-nation treatment.  Customs duties on imports are, with few 
exceptions, based on weight rather than on value.  In many instances, 
especially with high-value, low-weight items, customs duties are almost 
negligible.  With tariff rates averaging about 3.2 percent in the 
industrial goods sectors, Switzerland's tariff policy favors the 
development of trade.

As noted, customs duties are calculated on the basis of gross weight, 
unless some other method of calculation is specified in the tariff 
(e.g., per unit, per meter, per liter), usually designated as XX Swiss 
francs per 100 kilograms of gross weight.  The gross dutiable weight 
includes the actual weight of the goods and their packaging, including 
the weight of any fixing material and supports on which the goods are 
placed.  The net weight includes the actual weight of the goods, 
including the weight of the supports and the immediate packing material, 
but excluding the packing material for protection of the goods during 
international transport.  The tare is the difference between the gross 
weight and net weights.

Goods whose packaging ensures sufficient protection against damage 
resulting from transport are liable to duty on the basis of their gross 
weight.  Goods that are not packed, as well as those whose packaging 
does not provide sufficient protection against transport damage, are 
liable to an additional tare calculated by customs authorities on the 
basis of the net weight.  The decision as to whether packaging is 
adequate is determined by the packaging requirements which the goods 
must fulfill for international transport by rail.

In addition to customs duties, the Swiss customs administration levies a 
three percent statistical tax on the total customs duty payable.  This 
fee is designed to cover the cost of preparing relevant foreign trade 

Additional duties are charged on certain goods such as beer, grain used 
in the preparation of brewing malt, some alcoholic beverages (including 
wine), raw materials for distilling, and motor fuels.  Certain products 
used as fuel are subject to countervailing duties.  

In agriculture, the myriad non-tariff barriers currently in place will 
be "tariffied" or changed into tariff-only protection in 1995 -- an 
outcome of the Uruguay Round negotiations on agriculture.  Market access 
for U.S. agricultural exports into Switzerland will improve, despite the 
very high tariff equivalents replacing current non-tariff barriers.  The 
most important U.S. exports to Switzerland are currently fruits and nuts 
(mainly almonds and walnuts for processing), vegetables, cotton, 
tobacco, and meat.

In addition, the U.S.-Swiss bilateral agreement under the Uruguay Round 
produced lower tariffs on several items of particular interest to U.S. 
exporters, including sweet corn, fresh berries, dried fruits, peanuts, 
oilseeds, parboiled rice, and grapefruit juice concentrate.  These 
concessions could result in significant market growth, particularly if 
the highly concentrated Swiss retail sector would provide more 
opportunities for branded and generic promotions of U.S. products.  

Value Added Tax:  In January 1995, Switzerland introduced a value added 
tax system, similar to the VAT in the EU countries, to replace its old 
turnover tax system.  The main advantage is the elimination of the so-
called "hidden tax", which prevented companies from deducting the 
turnover tax on investment purchases.  The VAT is levied on all 
deliveries of goods and services in Switzerland, including deliveries of 
investment and consumer goods, deliveries of animals and plants, 
consulting and entertaining services, license fees and the sale of 
rights.  Imports of goods and services are also subject to VAT.

The standard VAT rate is 6.5 percent, although there is a reduced rate 
of 2 percent for certain goods and services, such as water transported 
by pipes; foodstuff and drinks (excluding alcoholic beverages and 
prepared meals); meats of all kinds; cereals; plants, seed and flowers; 
some basic farming supplies; medicine and drugs; newspapers, magazines, 
books and other printed materials; and services of radio and TV 
companies other than those for commercial use.  A reduced rate of 3 
percent for the tourism industry was proposed by the Federal Council in 
June 1995, and will be discussed by parliament shortly.

Import Licenses

Import licenses are required only for a limited number of products, and 
generally fall into two categories -- measures for the protection of the 
country's agriculture, and measures of state control.  Under protection 
of the country's agriculture, Switzerland imposes quantitative 
restrictions in order to ensure the country's food supply in the event 
that supplies from abroad are cut off.  Products under these 
restrictions include cattle, meat, milk and dairy products, indigenous 
fresh fruit and vegetables, seasonal cut flowers, cereals and forage 
products, wine and grape juice.

Products subject to quota may not be imported without an import license, 
and licenses are granted only to importers established in Switzerland.  
Most quotas vary from year to year according to the size of harvests, 
volume of stocks and market requirements.  In some cases, importers may 
be required to take a certain quantity of domestic products of equal 

The system of import licensing for agricultural products will be 
significantly modified in 1995, following implementation of the GATT 
Uruguay Round reforms for agriculture.  For example, Switzerland made 
sweeping changes to the licensing requirements for its $37.4 million 
import market for white wine (red wine imports are virtually 
unrestricted).  The new licensing system associated with Switzerland's 
white wine tariff-rate quota will provide significant new opportunities 
to U.S. wine importers.  Switzerland will continue to block trade 
through high tariffs, however, as described in the section on tariffs 
and import taxes.

Import licenses are also required for certain products not subject to 
quotas, but which are covered by special regulations concerned with 
public health, plant health, quarantine (plants), veterinary regulations 
and regulations concerning the protection of species, safety measures, 
prices control measures (for certain textile products), and measures for 
protection of the Swiss economy and public morality.  Such import 
licenses are also issued only to persons and firms domiciled in 

Export Controls

Switzerland retains a mixed reputation on export controls for having 
previously allowed shipments of sensitive technology to countries 
seeking weapons of mass destruction (nuclear, chemical, biological) and 
associated delivery systems.  For example, Swiss firms were heavily 
involved -- like firms from many other industrial nations -- in 
providing dual-use technology for Iraq's clandestine programs to develop 
nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction prior to the Gulf war.

The Swiss government's performance in this area is improving, however, 
since it has recently endeavored to join the evolving international 
consensus on nonproliferation-related export controls.  Switzerland 
participates actively in multilateral nonproliferation export control 
regimes, including the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and Missile 
Technology Control Regime (MTCR).  The Swiss government basically shares 
the U.S. view of which nations pose serious proliferation risks.  It now 
scrutinizes sales of sensitive dual-use equipment to questionable end-
users.  The U.S. and Swiss governments frequently exchange views on such 
sales, and the Swiss take our positions into account before issuing 

The Swiss government has taken steps to tighten its export controls in 
recent years.  The February 1992 Nonproliferation Ordinance placed 
controls on exports of material and technology related to weapons of 
mass destruction.  An additional ordinance, effective March 1, 1993, 
amended the February 1992 ordinance to include the complete Nuclear 
Suppliers Group dual-use list, as well as annexes for the MTCR list and 
chemical and biological equipment.  The government is now at work on 
further tightening its export control laws.  Three new laws in 
preparation, on export trade, war materials, and nuclear energy, should 
result in tougher standards by 1996.  As a last resort, the federal 
government has a right to halt any export shipment -- whether or not it 
violates Swiss or international export control law -- if it is deemed to 
create a serious foreign policy question.

While some Swiss firms may serve as intermediaries for illicit or 
questionable trading with entities in proliferation-risk countries, the 
federal government does not encourage this and tries to prevent it.  
However, Swiss government monitoring and enforcement are not as tough as 
they should be.  Some Swiss officials and businessmen fear that 
multilateral export controls will discriminate--intentionally or not--
against Swiss firms.  The U.S. Government continues to encourage the 
Swiss government to remain vigilant and bring Swiss law to bear on firms 
that may attempt to circumvent export controls.

Import/Export Documentation

All imported or exported goods must be presented to the appropriate 
customs office and declared for clearance.  Goods imported into 
Switzerland must be declared to customs within the following time limits 
from arrival in the country: by road, 24 hours; river, 48 hours; rail, 7 
days; and by air, 7 days.  The importer may examine goods before they go 
through clearance.

For Swiss customs purposes, an ordinary commercial invoice in duplicate 
or triplicate is considered sufficient documentation.  The invoice 
should contain the following details: description of the products and 
packaging, gross and net weight of each package, quantity (in metric 
terms), country of origin, and value CIF (cost, insurance and freight) 
to the Swiss border.  As Swiss duties are specific, indication of value 
is required only for statistical purposes.  No consular or other stamp 
is required.

A certificate of origin is not normally required.  An exception is if 
preferential duty rates are requested.  Additionally, a certificate of 
origin may be required for health reasons (meats and plants) or for 
reasons of quality control (appellation wine).

Special health certificates, stamped by the competent government 
authorities of the country of origin, are required for the import of 
horses, bovine animals, farm animals, certain domestic animals, bees and 
eggs for hatching, as well as for meat, game, seafood, beeswax and comb 
honey.  Shipments of some vegetables, fresh fruits and wild plants must 
be accompanied by official plant health certificates of the country of 

Swiss importers are normally cooperative in informing the exporter of 
Swiss requirements, and in assisting in meeting those requirements from 
the Swiss side.   

Temporary Entry

Goods imported from abroad which are to be reexported or transported to 
another customs office or a customs warehouse may be cleared on the 
basis of a "Begleitschein" or free-pass certificate.  The importer must 
apply for the certificate from the Customs Administration and provide 
security for the customs charges applicable to the imported goods.  The 
certificate must be presented to customs within the stipulated time, 
together with the goods in unchanged condition for reexport.

Goods transiting Switzerland must be declared for clearance at the 
point-of-entry customs office, covered by a national or international 
transit document (bond note, TIR carnet, T1/T2 dispatch declaration, or 
international waybill).  These goods must be reexported intact within 
the designated time limit.  No transit duties or fees are levied.

A transit permit is required only for narcotic drugs, armaments, and 
nuclear fuels and their residues.  In the case of direct transit by 
rail, duties and taxes are guaranteed by the railway authorities.  The 
issuing authority is the guarantor of road transit covered by a TIR 
carnet.  A surety or financial deposit is required for transit covered 
by a bond note or transit through the EU covered by a T1/T2 dispatch 

Goods temporarily imported or exported for processing or repair may be 
eligible for customs favored treatment.  Reduction in duty or duty-free 
treatment can be granted when justified by economic interests of Swiss 
industry.  Authorization is granted only to residents who do the 
processing or repair themselves, or commission a third party.  
Authorization is for particular goods that are to undergo specified 
processing.  Special conditions may be imposed for customs handling and 

Goods for display at public exhibitions are eligible for free passage 
(Freipass) through Swiss customs.  Certification by the fair authorities 
that the goods are entering Switzerland for the exhibition is usually 
required.  Exhibition goods must be reexported within one month of the 
end of the exhibition.  If the goods are sold to a Swiss resident off 
the exhibition floor, the buyer incurs a liability for the customs 

Labeling, Market Requirements

Swiss labeling requirements apply mostly to food products.  False 
descriptions are strictly prohibited.  As a rule, the label or packaging 
for sale to consumers must indicate the specific name of the product (in 
French, German or Italian), metric measure, sale price and unit price, 
weight of each component in the case of mixed products, and ingredients 
and additives in decreasing order of weight.  All particulars of weight 
and measurements must comply with the regulations of the Federal 
Metrological Office (Eidg. Amt fuer Messwesen).  (See Appendix E for 

The Foodstuffs Ordinance specifies additional information that must be 
provided in the case of certain products, such as the name of the 
manufacturer or distributor, country of origin of the product, and "use 
by" date.  A growing number of distributors prefer to provide additional 
information on their labels, such as the "EAN code" for computerized 
data retrieval, and/or the nutritional or energy value of the product.

Switzerland recently issued draft implementing regulations for revisions 
to its food law passed by the Swiss parliament in 1992.  Changes bring 
Swiss law into general conformity with European Union food law, and the 
resulting elimination of non-tariff barriers could significantly 
increase U.S. exports to Switzerland.  According to Swiss regulators, 
all of the new standards will be equal to or less strict than EU 
standards, except for aflatoxins, microtoxins, and certain pesticides 
such as the level of pesticides in water for drinking and food 
processing.  The proposed regulations cover all food products as well as 
tobacco and packaging and labeling standards. 

Two U.S. export commodities, horsemeat and winecoolers, will gain 
significantly increased access following implementation of the reforms 
in 1995.  The new law lifts restrictions limiting retail sale of 
horsemeat to only horsemeat butcher shops.  This could significantly 
impact market access opportunities for U.S. exporters who currently hold 
40 percent of the horsemeat import market (1,600 mt per year, worth over 
$12 million in 1994).  Additional market access opportunities will be 
created for U.S. wine exporters as the revised Swiss food law permits 
wine coolers to be sold domestically.  The regulations also lift the 
current prohibition on sorbate additives in wine.  This restriction 
effectively blocked several types of California wines from the Swiss 
market which have enjoyed significant sales in the EU.  

Prohibited Imports

Strictly speaking, there are no prohibited imports in licit, commercial 
trade with Switzerland.  The Swiss method of controlling unwanted 
imports is through the imposition of restrictions, quotas and other 
rules and regulations such as detailed in other parts of this section.

Standards (e.g., ISO 9000 usage)

The umbrella organization for Swiss standards is the Schweizerische 
Normen-Vereinigung (SNV, or Swiss Standards Association), a private, 
nonprofit association under Swiss law which groups Swiss governmental 
and private agencies and firms for the purpose of developing industrial 
standards and technical regulations.  Certification rests with a variety 
of governmental and private agencies such as the Swiss Association of 
Machinery Manufacturers (VSM), Swiss Association of Electrical Apparatus 
Manufacturers (SEV), Federal Health Office, and the PTT.  (See Appendix 
E for addresses.)

The SNV is in turn a member of the International Standards Organization 
(ISO) in Geneva, in which some 2,000 industry associations worldwide 
participate in the establishment of a system of quality management and 
recommendations.  In its Series 9000, ISO has issued recommendations 
aiming at introducing some 20 issues in basic processes dealing with 
quality testing and management for manufactured products.

Swiss industry is increasingly adopting ISO 9000 standards.  More Swiss 
producers are seeking certification, even though Swiss certification 
according to ISO standards is not yet recognized by the European Union.  
To overcome this, Swiss exporters are turning to agents or their own 
subsidiaries in the EU to obtain equivalent certification under the EN 
29000 series of European Quality Management Standards, or double 
certification through an international network of private quality 
management associations.

Swiss industries incorporating U.S. components in their end products, 
especially in machinery and instrumentation (key Swiss export 
commodities), increasingly specify ISO 9000 standards for imports.  
Under the EN 29000 directives issued by the EU, the equivalent ISO 9000 
series of norms are becoming a sales factor in the EU, and in 
Switzerland, even when not explicitly stated.

In the service sector, the Swiss banking industry and financial 
institutions are gradually looking at ISO's Series 9001 recommendations, 
which deal with product or service development and design, as well as 
with training.  The ISO Series 9001-9003 recommend specific approaches 
and processes in systematic quality control.  9003 concentrates on end 
testing.  Among the 1,000 Swiss organizations which have been certified 
so far, two banking giants, Union Bank of Switzerland and Swiss Bank 
Corporation, were the first to seek certification under the 9001 series.

Swiss industry, trade and quality management associations, as well as 
official agencies such as the Swiss Federal Testing Agency EMPA 
recommend or conduct audits.  Switzerland is also represented within the 
private European Organization for Testing and Certification Group 
(EOTC).  A system of joint audits offering reciprocal treatment has been 
introduced between participating quality control associations in 
different European countries under the so-called E-Q-NET (European 
Network for Quality System, Assessment and Certification).  In addition, 
reciprocity for quality management certification is on the agenda of 
negotiations between the government of Switzerland and the EU.

Free Trade Zones/Warehouses

There are no free trade zones per se in Switzerland, but there are four 
ways of maintaining goods not cleared through customs -- free ports, 
federal bonded warehouses, private bonded warehouses, and in transit in 
the Rhine River port of Basel.  Free ports are considered 
extraterritorial, and goods may be stored indefinitely without customs 
inspection.  Goods may be unpacked and repacked, as well as undergo 
certain processing such as analysis, sorting, mixing and sampling.  
Major processing resulting in changes of tariff classification may be 
undertaken only with customs authorization.  One or more free ports 
exist in or near virtually every major city around the country.

Federal bonded warehouses, considered to be on Swiss customs territory, 
are subject to stricter regulations.  Goods stored are under customs 
control, involving registration of arrivals and departures.  Storage may 
not exceed five years, and only processing essential for the 
preservation of the goods may be undertaken.  There are some dozen 
federal bonded warehouses.

Private bonded warehouses are operated by companies to store goods not 
cleared for free circulation through customs.  Only wholesale traded 
goods are generally accepted.  An import license or customs clearance 
note must be shown when goods covered by import restrictions or quotas 
are imported and cleared through customs for storage in a private bonded 
warehouse.  Clearance for private storage is on the basis of a bond 
note, testifying to a cash deposit or bond to cover customs charges 

The Rhine River port of Basel has transit warehouses for grain and 
similar goods for mass consumption; storage time is unlimited.  Similar 
goods imported by ship in quantities of at least 12 tons may be stored 
for up to two years.  Liquid fuels in transit are also stored. 

Special Import Provisions

Other than those import regulations already discussed in other portions 
of this Section, there are no special provisions governing the import of 
goods and services into Switzerland.

Membership in Free Trade Associations

Switzerland is a member of the European Free Trade Area.  EFTA members 
(currently Iceland, Norway, Switzerland) maintain their own external 
tariffs, while tariff duties on trade in industrial products among 
member countries have been eliminated.  EFTA countries have free trade 
agreements with the European Union (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, 
France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, 
Portugal, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom), whereby trade in industrial 
goods is duty free.  Preferential Swiss duty rates apply to goods 
imported from the EU-EFTA free trade area when an importer makes a 
request on the import declaration and produces a certificate of origin. 

In December 1992, the Swiss population voted not to join the European 
Economic Area (EEA), whose aim is to achieve more complete economic 
integration between EU and EFTA members.  The reasons for the rejection 
are many and varied, but basically involve instinctive fears of external 
control (from Brussels) and an unwanted insurge of foreigners.  The 
Swiss government has nonetheless maintained an application for eventual 
EU membership, is making a concerted effort to bring Swiss laws and 
regulations into line with those of the EU, and is negotiating bilateral 
agreements with the EU to gain as many of the economic advantages of EU 
membership as possible without sacrificing perceived traditional Swiss 
values and political and economic freedoms.  


Openness to Foreign Investment

The Swiss welcome foreign investment and accord it national treatment.   
Foreign investment is neither actively encouraged nor unduly hampered by 
barriers. The federal government adopts a relaxed attitude of benevolent 
non-interference towards foreign investment, confining itself to 
creating and maintaining the general conditions that are favorable both 
to Swiss and foreign investors.  Such factors include economic and 
political stability, a firmly established legal system, a reliable 
infrastructure, and efficient capital markets.  The government does not 
offer large-scale incentives to prospective investors, and those that 
exist are open to foreign and domestic investors alike.  The principal 
incentives provided by the federal government consist of low-interest 
loans to promote the hotel and catering/restaurant industry in mountain 

Somewhat more substantial benefits are offered by cantonal governments 
of predominantly rural areas which have introduced "economic development 
laws" covering investment incentive programs open also to foreign 
investors.  In fact, priority is often given to foreign businesses 
bringing new, high technology product lines.  The most common incentives 
are subsidies or loans by cantons for the development of industrial 
sites; cantonal guarantees on bank loans; capital loans at below-market 
interest rates; grants for facilities conducting R&D projects; subsidies 
to defray certain investment costs and to finance staff training; 
exemptions from taxes on profits and capital gains for specific periods; 
and liberal depreciation allowances.  Performance requirements, either 
linked to incentives or other investment-related conditions, do not 
exist.  There is no screening of foreign investment nor are there any 
sectoral or geographical preferences or restrictions.

With the exception of national security areas, such as hydroelectric and 
nuclear power, operation of oil pipelines, transportation of explosive 
materials, operation of airlines and marine navigation, national 
treatment is granted to foreign investors.  Government-financed or -
subsidized research and development programs are open to foreign 
companies if they have their headquarters in Switzerland.  Major U.S. 
companies, like IBM and DEC, participate in research projects funded by 
the Swiss government.  Concerning visa or work permit requirements, U.S. 
companies frequently cite difficulties in obtaining permits for non-
Swiss workers as an impediment to foreign investment.

A major law affecting foreign investment is the 1983 Federal Law on 
Authorization of Acquisition of Real Estate by Persons with Residence or 
Headquarters Abroad (Lex Friedrich).  This law limits the freedom of 
foreigners to purchase real estate in Switzerland and makes such 
purchases subject to local government approval.  A modified law that 
would have removed the necessity for foreigners to have an authorization 
to acquire property for residential and commercial activity purposes, 
was rejected by the Swiss electorate in June 1995.  Although the 
concrete impact of this rejection is minor, it is a negative signal for 
foreign investors in Switzerland.

There are no discriminatory or preferential export and import policies, 
including relevant tariff or significant non-tariff barriers, seriously 
affecting foreign investors.  There are some requirements which could be 
perceived as non-tariff barriers, mainly in the areas of technical 
standards and testing requirements for certain industrial products.  
There is also a requirement for labeling imported products in all three 
official languages (German, French, Italian).  All drugs (prescription 
and over-the-counter) must be approved and registered by the 
Intercantonal Drug Office.  However, none of these measures can be 
considered discriminatory, since they apply to all importers and 
distributors, foreign and domestic.

There are no price controls on imported products.  Switzerland has 
liberalized over 90 percent of its imports from GATT countries, to which 
it extends most-favored-nation tariff treatment.  Import duties are 
generally low, under three percent for most raw materials and industrial 
products.  Preferential duties are offered to a large number of 
developing countries.  However, imports of virtually all agriculture 
products, regardless of origin, are subject to import and supplementary 
duties and to variable import quotas.  Under the new GATT agreement, 
Switzerland will tariffy all non-tariff barriers and lower tariffs on 
most imported agricultural products.  Subsidies on cheese exports, the 
only important area where Switzerland applies export subsidies, will be 
reduced as well.

Conversion and Transfer Policies

There is complete freedom of transfer of investment income, royalties, 
and repatriation of capital.  There are no Swiss government policies or 
laws that regulate or limit the inflow or outflow of capital.

Expropriation and Compensation

In accordance with Article 22 of the Swiss Constitution, property rights 
are assured.  Within the framework of their constitutional powers, the 
federal and cantonal governments can, through a legal process, provide 
for expropriation or restrictions to property if this is in the public 
interest.  In the event of expropriation or property restriction, full 
compensation must be made.  Disputes are settled by an independent 
court, as required under the European Human Rights Convention.  As a 
rule, recourse to expropriation is only taken in cases involving major 
public construction projects, such as highways, railroads or airports.

Dispute Settlement

The U.S. Embassy is not aware of any significant investment disputes in 
recent history, nor are there any known major cases of expropriation or 
nationalization involving domestic or foreign investors.  The Swiss 
legal system includes commercial and bankruptcy laws, and provides 
sufficient protection of secured interests in property.  Laws are 
consistently applied and enforced.  Switzerland has been a member of the 
International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) 
from its inception in 1966.

Political Violence

Switzerland continues to be a country of political and social stability, 
and there are no signs of possible political violence.

Performance Requirements/Incentives

Neither the federal nor cantonal governments impose performance 
requirements or offer performance incentives.  There is no requirement 
that nationals own equity in foreign investments or that technology be 
transferred on certain terms.

Right to Private Ownership and Establishment

Foreign and domestic enterprises may engage in all forms of remunerative 
activities and may freely establish, acquire and dispose of interests in 
business enterprises.  Legal restrictions apply to the following areas:

1.  Corporate boards.  The Swiss Code of Obligations (article 708) 
stipulates that boards of corporations registered in Switzerland must 
have a Swiss majority.  The Federal Council may grant exceptions to this 
rule to holding companies whose major business is conducted outside 
Switzerland.  However, even in this case, at least one director entitled 
to represent the company must be domiciled in Switzerland.  The law is 
not designed to prevent or discourage the establishment or acquisition 
of companies by foreigners, but to provide protection to creditors and 
company shareholders.

2.  Hostile takeovers.  Swiss corporate shares can be issued both as 
registered shares (in the name of the holder) or bearer shares.  
Provided their shares are not quoted on the stock exchange, Swiss 
companies may in their articles of incorporation impose certain 
restrictions on the transfer of registered shares to prevent unfriendly 
takeovers by domestic or foreign companies (Article 685a of the Code of 
Obligations).  Unwelcome takeovers can also be warded off by public 
companies, but legislation introduced in 1992 has made this practice 
more difficult.  Public companies must now cite in their statutes 
significant reasons, relevant for the survival,  conduct and purpose of 
their business, to prevent or hinder a takeover by an outsider.  As a 
further measure, public corporations may limit the number of registered 
shares that can be held by any one shareholder to a certain percentage 
of the issued registered stock.  As practice has shown, most 
corporations limit the number of shares to between two and five percent 
of the relevant stock.

A Federal Law on Stock Exchanges was approved by parliament in March 
1995 and is scheduled to enter into force by mid-1996.  The new law will 
regulate the authorization of stock exchanges and security dealers.  It 
will also provide rules on takeovers and disclosure of changes in share 

3.  Foreign banks.  In general, foreign controlled banks wishing to 
establish operations in Switzerland must obtain prior approval from the 
Swiss Banking Commission.  This is granted under the following 
conditions: reciprocity on the part of the foreign state; the foreign 
bank's name must not give the impression that the bank is Swiss; the 
bank must adhere to Swiss monetary and credit policy; and a majority of 
the bank's management must have permanent residence in Switzerland.  
Otherwise, foreign banks are subject to the same regulatory requirements 
as domestic banks.

Under a new Swiss Banking Act that entered into force in 1995, the Swiss 
government can conclude international treaties that would remove the 
additional requirements mentioned above.  Foreign or domestic investors 
must inform the Federal Banking Commission before acquiring or disposing 
of a qualified majority of shares of a bank under Swiss law.  
Participation in a company outside the financial and insurance areas 
exceeding 10 percent of its stock must not exceed 15 percent of a bank's 
own capital.  Such participations must not exceed 60 percent in total of 
the bank's own funds.  Banks organized under Swiss law must inform the 
Banking Commission before they open a branch, subsidiary or 
representation abroad.  In case of exceptional temporary capital 
outflows threatening Swiss monetary policy, banks can be obliged to seek 
National Bank approval to issue foreign bonds or other financial 
instruments that would cause capital outflow.

4.  Insurance.  This is subject to an ordinance requiring placement of 
all risks physically situated in Switzerland with companies located 
here.  Therefore, foreign insurers wishing to provide liability coverage 
in Switzerland must establish a subsidiary or branch.

Protection of Property Rights

Switzerland maintains an excellent system for the protection of 
intellectual property.  Both foreign and domestic rights-holders are 
accorded equal treatment.  The Swiss adhere to all major international 
intellectual property rights conventions, and were active supporters of 
forceful IPR provisions in the GATT Uruguay Round negotiations.

Regulatory System: Laws and Procedures

In its international trade, Switzerland has reached a high level of 
liberalization, practically unhampered or distorted by government 
regulations.  By contrast, a considerable number of obstacles hinder 
competition on the domestic market, caused by planning regulations, 
local building codes, equipment standards, approval procedures, shop 
opening hours, and requirements proving "public need" for restaurants, 
to name but a few.  Cartels are not prohibited under Swiss law, as long 
as their "social and economic impact" cannot be considered harmful, and 
as a result, the Swiss economy is highly concentrated.  Companies in a 
number of industrial and service branches have organized themselves, 
through trade and industry associations, into horizontal and vertical 
cartels.  Such arrangements exist in the market for prescribed 
medicines, sanitary ware, kitchen equipment, optical products, books, 
beverages, food retailing, dietary products, property and health 
insurance, and other sectors.  Authorities justify their tolerance of 
cartels by their alleged positive impact on country-wide supplies, 
public health, technical progress, environment, and for cultural policy 

Under a revitalization program launched after Switzerland rejected the 
EEA in 1992, the Swiss government presented a revised cartel law that, 
while not prohibiting them, would be  more restrictive.  Consumer 
organizations would have the right to denounce cartels, and a Federal 
Office for Competition would investigate the market against harmful 
collusive behavior.  Price, geographical, and output cartels would be 
considered illegal since they distort competition.  Even if this does 
not imply a reversal of the burden of proof of cartel's harmfulness, 
this new approach would facilitate the authorities' task since they 
would only have to determine if an exception could be granted.  In 
addition, preventive controls would be set up in order to hinder 
companies from bypassing the Cartel Act.  The draft bill passed the 
lower house in June 1995, and should be discussed in the upper house in 
Fall 1995.

Switzerland also has a law on price surveillance to complement the 
Cartel Act.  It relates in particular to cases where the establishment 
of effective competition is seen as desirable.  An official price 
inspector is commissioned to observe price developments and to prevent 
or rectify abusive pricing behavior.  However, his powers are limited to 
issuing recommendations on behalf of the concerned economic branches, 
and in practice, there is little price competition in most Swiss retail 

Efficient Capital Markets and Portfolio Investment

Switzerland is among the world's top financial centers.  The Swiss-franc 
denominated foreign bond market is one of the largest markets for 
foreign borrowers, and Zurich is one of the largest gold trading centers 
in the world.  Zurich is well-known to institutional investors, whereas 
Geneva appeals to private investors.  Lugano is a smaller financial 
center focusing on financial services for clients based in nearby Italy.  
Basel is the seat of the Bank for International Settlements.

There are no restrictions on the purchase or sale of foreign currencies 
and equities; however, the federal transfer tax (stamp tax) on the 
purchase, sale, or exchange of foreign securities is double (0.3%) that 
on Swiss securities if the transaction takes place between two Swiss 
security dealers.  Residents and non-residents may conclude foreign 
exchange contracts, whether of a commercial or financial nature, in all 
currencies.  Exchange controls exist only for countries with non-
convertible currency.  Forward transactions can be made at free market 
rates, by Swiss and foreigners.  Payments for imports from all sources 
may be made freely, and exporters are free to dispose of their proceeds.  
No legal impediments apply to payments for, or receipts from, 
invisibles.  Repatriation of invested capital is unrestricted.  

The credit market is open to foreign investors without restriction, at 
the same terms and conditions as for Swiss investors.  A variety of 
credit instruments is available.  With the exception of hidden reserves 
that companies in Switzerland are entitled to hold, legal, regulatory, 
and accounting systems are transparent and consistent with international 

To prevent misuse of the very liberal market framework, provisions to 
regulate certain aspects of portfolio investment have been enacted.  One 
is the Due Diligence Convention among Swiss banks, under which banks 
must identify the beneficial owner of invested funds.  The government 
enacted provisions against money laundering in 1990, and additional 
measures were proposed by the government in mid-1993.  In its report on 
Switzerland, the Financial Action Task Force on money laundering (FATF) 
considered the Swiss measures against money laundering as exemplary for 
the banking sector, but still insufficient for the non-banking sector.  
Aware of the problem, the government has drafted a money laundering bill 
to include the non-banking sector.  The proposed law has been criticized 
by the private sector, however, and has not been discussed by 
parliament.  Switzerland is a signatory to the money laundering 
agreement of the European Council.

Portfolio investment should be further encouraged by a revised law on 
mutual funds, which enters into force in 1995.  The law will remove all 
restrictions on the type of assets mutual funds are allowed to hold in 
their portfolio.  A recent study estimated the worldwide fortune of 
institutional investors in Switzerland to be over SF 1,000 billion.  
Insurance companies were estimated to own SF 300 billion, and pension 
funds SF 275 billion.

Despite some structural changes, the Swiss banking system is considered 
healthy and sound.  A crisis in the real estate market in 1991 triggered 
a concentration process affecting mainly regional banks; with the 
exception of one bank closed by the Federal Banking Commission, the 
process evolved smoothly without loss for depositors.  Between 1991 and 
1994, the number of regional banks dropped from 189 to 135, and in 1993 
Volksbank, the fourth largest commercial bank, was taken over by Credit 
Suisse, which became the second largest bank.  In 1994, total assets of 
the country's five largest banks were SF 676 billion, representing 55 
percent of all bank assets in Switzerland.

Foreign investment is not restricted by "cross-shareholding" or "stable 
shareholder" arrangements.  There is no discrimination against foreign 
investors of any kind, except limitations cited earlier in this section.

Bilateral Investment Agreements

To date Switzerland has concluded 70 Investment Protection Treaties with 
developing countries and the former Soviet bloc.  Of these, 62 are in 
force: Tunisia, Niger, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Congo, Cameroon, 
Liberia, Rwanda, Togo, Madagascar, Malta, Tanzania, Costa Rica, Benin, 
Chad, Ecuador, Upper Volta, South Korea, Uganda, Zaire, Central African 
Republic, Egypt, Indonesia, Sudan, Mauritania, Jordan, Syria, Malaysia, 
Singapore, Mali, Sri Lanka, Panama, Morocco, China, Bolivia, Turkey, 
Hungary, Uruguay, Poland, Czechoslovakia, (former) Soviet Union, 
Jamaica, Argentina, Ghana, Bulgaria, Cape Verde, Chile, Peru, Paraguay, 
Vietnam, Albania, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Uzbekistan, Belarus, 
Romania, Venezuela.  Eight treaties have been signed, but not yet 
ratified: Honduras, Gambia, Kazakhstan, Namibia, Brazil, El Salvador, 
Barbados and the Ukraine.

OPIC and other Investment Insurance Programs

OPIC is not active in Switzerland.  However, Switzerland is a member of 
the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA).  


Switzerland's only major raw material is its labor force of 
approximately 3.7 million people.  Over 60 percent are employed in the 
services sector -- mainly tourism, banking, insurance, consulting, 
public administration and health care.  Industry employs 29 percent of 
the workforce.  The biggest branches are machinery and electronics, 
followed by chemicals and pharmaceuticals, watchmaking, textiles, and 
food processing.  The remaining 4 percent work in the agricultural 
sector.  Because Swiss wages are among the highest in the world, the 
economy is capital intensive and geared toward high technology products.

The government does not fix minimum wages.  Salaries are freely 
negotiated between employers and employees; so are, to an extent, work 
conditions.  However, the Federal Labor Act and the Code of Obligations 
contain regulations covering maximum work hours, minimum holiday length, 
sick and maternity leave, military service, termination, and others.  In 
the industrial labor field, wages are in most cases determined by 
collective agreements between major labor unions and employers 
associations.  Often collective agreements serve as models for other 
work contracts.

About one-third of the country's labor force is unionized.  In general, 
labor management relations are excellent.  They are characterized by a 
willingness on both sides to settle disputes by negotiation rather than 
by strike; days lost to strikes are among the lowest in the OECD member 

Foreign Trade Zones/Free Ports

Foreign trade zones do not exist in Switzerland.  There are 27 free 
ports at major frontier posts, at the international airports of Geneva 
and Zurich, and at most of the larger trade and industrial centers 
within Switzerland.  Their establishment and operation is governed by 
the Customs Law of 1925.  They are all operated by private enterprises, 
and foreign investors are free to participate.  Local as well as foreign 
investors may also open new free port facilities, provided they can 
prove that a need for additional establishments exists.

Capital Outflow Policy

The Swiss government has no policy on, or any laws to regulate or even 
monitor, the outflow of capital.  The only incentive it offers for 
encouraging investment by Swiss companies in developing countries is a 
type of investment guarantee, and the framework of bilateral investment 
treaties which it has concluded with many developing countries.

Major Foreign Investors

The capital stock of foreign companies in Switzerland represented SF 54 
million (16 percent of GDP) in 1993.  With SF 15.5 million, U.S. 
companies had the largest capital stock in Switzerland, followed by 
companies from France (SF 8.8 billion), Germany (SF 6.5 billion), the 
Netherlands (SF 6 billion), and Italy (SF 5.7 billion).  Over 88 percent 
of capital stock was invested in services, where financial and holding 
companies accounted for 39 percent of total capital stock.

The net flow of foreign direct investment in Switzerland has been 
declining in recent years, and was in 1993, for the first time in almost 
a decade, negative.  This means that foreign companies have been 
withdrawing part of their invested capital from Switzerland.  Before 
reaching a negative amount of SF 0.3 billion in 1993, capital imports 
amounted to SF 6.2 billion in 1990, then dropped to SF 3.7 billion in 
1991, and to SF 0.6 billion in 1992.

EU companies withdrew SF 598 million from Switzerland, with Italian 
companies divesting SF 400 million, followed by French and Luxembourg 
companies.  With SF 459 million, the most important capital withdrawal 
came from U.S. companies.  On the other hand, the most important direct 
investment capital flows came from Japan (SF 168 million) and Canada (SF 
122 million), but  these positive flows could not offset the larger 

According to the Swiss National Bank, divestment of foreign companies in 
Switzerland was mainly due to fiscal reasons.  In 1992, a EU guideline 
on holding companies came into force.  The guideline provided 
significant fiscal advantages for holding companies within the EU, by 
not taxing dividends paid out by sister companies to their holding 
company.  Dividends paid out to holding companies in Switzerland, 
however, remained subject to a withholding  tax, which prompted EU-
controlled holding companies to move from Switzerland into a EU country.


Brief Description of Banking System

Switzerland is one of the world's most important banking centers.  The 
banking network is highly developed, and Swiss banks are among the world 
leaders in specialized fields such as private banking and asset 
management.  At the same time, most banks offer a comprehensive range of 

The Central Bank

The Swiss National Bank, incorporated in 1905, has executive offices in 
Bern and Zurich and suboffices in eight other cities.  More than one-
half of its share capital is held by the cantons, the cantonal banks and 
other public bodies; remaining shares are owned by Swiss citizens.  
Although the federal government is not a shareholder, it has statutory 
power to appoint 25 of the bank's 40 council members, including the 
president, vice-president, and board of directors.  Further, the federal 
government approves the bank's regulations, its annual report and 
financial statements.

Supervision of the National Bank is the responsibility of the Bank 
Council, which appoints ten of its members to the Executive Committee.  
The latter meets at least monthly and advises on the fixing of bank 
rates with the three-member board of directors.

The most important duties of the National Bank include the determination 
and implementation of monetary and credit policy, exclusive right to 
issue or withdraw bank notes and coins, and functions as a clearing-
house for interbank transfers.  Swiss National Bank approval is required 
for capital exports by banks and bank-like finance companies, such as 
loans or new issues, in excess of SF 10 million and for longer than one 
year.  The supervision of the banks and the banking system as such, 
however, is the duty of the Federal Banking Commission located in Bern.  
It is elected by the federal government, to whom it reports.

The Banking Market

The banking market covers eight categories of banks and finance 
companies subject to Swiss National Bank reporting requirements:

1.  Cantonal banks: There are 27 cantonal banks, at least one for each 
canton, involved mainly in acceptance of savings deposits, issue of 
mortgages or debentures to satisfy local commercial and private credit 
needs, and granting loans to public authorities.  However, there are 
also some full commercial cantonal banks; in fact, the Zurich cantonal 
bank has more total assets than the smallest of the four "big banks" 
(see below).  In most instances, the banks' liabilities are guaranteed 
by the canton.

2.  Big banks: The four big banks (Union Bank of Switzerland, Swiss Bank 
Corporation, Credit Suisse, and Swiss Volksbank) are universal banks 
engaged in all types of banking business -- acceptance of deposits, 
provision of credit facilities, mortgage loans, dealing in foreign 
exchange and precious metals, portfolio management, underwriting, etc.  
As members of the stock exchanges in Zurich, Geneva, and other cities, 
they deal in securities.  The formation and management of investment 
trust and mutual funds is also a feature of the big banks' securities 
dealing and portfolio management business.  Most of the big banks are 
represented in all major financial centers abroad.

3.  Regional and savings banks: Originally founded as mortgage and 
savings banks, regional and savings banks are now beginning to expand 
their services.  Although similar to cantonal banks by virtue of their 
local character, most regional and savings banks are corporations or 
cooperative societies.  A number of mergers of regional banks and of 
acquisitions by big banks may indicate a trend toward concentration 
among the regional and savings banks.

4.  Lending associations: The Federation of Raiffeisenkassen and the 
Federation Vaudoise de Credit Mutuel are made up of legally independent 
cooperative societies, established in small communities all over the 
country.  The main purpose of these banks, largely used by farmers and 
small business owners, is to utilize resources of local communities, 
which are recirculated as credit at favorable interest rates.

5.  Other banks: The domestically-owned banks in this category are 
mainly closely-held private corporations; they are engaged in all types 
of banking activity and are located primarily in Zurich, Geneva, Lugano, 
and Lausanne.  The foreign-controlled "other banks" established as 
limited companies cover a wide variety of specialist areas.

6.  Finance companies: Companies whose assets consist primarily of long-
term loans to, and investments in, other companies are considered 
finance companies.  If funds are publicly raised, such companies are 
treated as banks.  If funds are raised through intra-group funding or 
bank loans, they need only comply with Articles 7 and 8 of the Swiss 
Banking Law, which require them to provide annual financial statements 
and statistical information to the National Bank and to seek permission 
before making significant foreign investments (over SF 10 million and 
for over one year).  If financing is only through bond issues, no 
specific Banking Law rules apply.  In recent years, finance companies 
have been established by foreign banks to maintain a presence on the 
Swiss market (for bond issues, foreign exchange and securities dealing, 
portfolio management) with minimal formal requirements.  In 1990 the 
Federal Banking Commission introduced a new definition for companies to 
be fully subject to the Banking Law.  All entities financing themselves 
to a large degree from a number of unrelated persons or corporations or 
participate in public issues of securities or rights with a similar 
function and which publicly offer these securities on the primary market 
now qualify as banks.  Bank-like finance companies active in these areas 
must comply with all Banking Law rules.

7.  Private banks: These are generally organized as partnerships and 
bear the name of at least one partner with unlimited liability.  Their 
main business includes portfolio management, underwriting, new issues, 
and stock exchange transactions.

8.  Branches of foreign banks: A number of foreign-controlled banks, 
some of which are universal banks, operate as branches.

The Important Role of Foreign Banks

Foreign banks play a very prominent role in the Swiss banking sector.  
Foreign banks and bank-like finance companies comprise about 41 percent 
of total banking institutions in Switzerland, accounting for about 11 
percent of total assets.  The number of foreign institutions has grown 
steadily in recent years, with assets reaching SF 131.6 billion.  The 
foreign banks' non-Swiss assets account for 70 percent of total assets.  
North American banks have a 15 percent share in the foreign bank 

Foreign banks in Switzerland have continued their restructuring process, 
with a clear trend toward concentration on services.  More favorable 
market conditions and the growing significance of this off-balance-sheet 
business (above all asset management) have led to greater profitability 
with a simultaneous reduction of staff.  A notable aspect of this 
development was the transfer of funds from fiduciary deposits to other 
forms of investment due to changes in interest rates.

The many attractions of Switzerland as a place of business for foreign 
banks include:

1.  Political and economic stability of the country
2.  Legally protected banking secrecy
3.  Presence in one of the world's important financial centers
4.  Foreign banking facility for domestic customers
5.  Contact with Swiss companies with business interests in the
    country of the foreign bank
6.  Portfolio management services
7.  Facilities for raising finance at relatively low interest/tax
    rates for reinvestment abroad
8.  Direct access to worldwide communication networks

Specialized Financial Institutions

In addition to the finance companies described above, specialized 
financial institutions exist for the clearing of funds and securities, 
as follows:

1.  Postal check system: Run by the PTT, it is the main system used by 
individuals for settling local currency denominated obligations.  Many 
companies maintain a postal check account, primarily to facilitate 
collection of remittances from customers.

2.  Local currency denominated interbank clearing: Handled by a 
computerized system (SIC -- Swiss Interbank Clearing) run under the 
auspices of the Swiss National Bank by Telekurs AG, a service company 
owned by all participating Swiss banks.

3.  Swiss securities: In most instances, these are cleared by banks 
through SEGA (Schweiz. Effekten-Giro AG), another service company owned 
by participating Swiss banks.

4.  Swiss Corporation for International Securities Settlements 
(Intersettle): Intersettle started operations in June 1989, offering 
banks and finance companies in Switzerland an electronic clearing system 
for securities traded in Switzerland and abroad.

5.  Swiss Options and Financial Futures Exchange (SOFFEX): The first 
exchange operating without a trading floor, it is administered by SOFFEX 
AG, which is owned by the big banks and the three major stock exchanges.

Specialized financial services are also offered by banks.  For example, 
some large Swiss banks have subsidiaries engaged in leasing and 
factoring, bill discounting, installment purchase, and international 
trade finance.  Certain private bank institutions also specialize in 
these particular fields of finance.  In addition, some commercial banks 
now offer insurance in cooperation with insurance companies.

1994 Performance of the Banking System

The Swiss banking center is in a process of structural adjustment.  
After a turbulent and difficult period for regional and savings banks in 
1993, the situation improved in 1994.  Nonetheless, the number of 
registered banks and bank-like finance companies declined from 529 in 
1993 to 494 at the end of 1994.

Securities business and transactions with derivative products clearly 
left their mark on the balance sheets.  A temporary increase in interest 
rates in 1994 had a negative effect on Swiss stock markets.  Bank 
revenues from commissions declined by 0.8 percent, and revenues from the 
securities business declined by 50 percent.  In addition, the turmoil on 
currency markets caused revenues from trading in currencies and precious 
metals to drop 31 percent.  Total bank assets increased by 0.5 percent 
in 1994, reaching SF 1,225 billion.  After a year of record profits in 
1993, bank profits declined by 18 percent to SF 5.8 billion.

Recent Developments in Banking Legislation

A new Stock Exchange Act, based on the self-regulation principle, is 
scheduled to replace existing cantonal legislation by mid-1996.  
Supervision will be carried out by the "Federal Banking and Stock 
Exchange Commission" -- the new name for the Federal Banking Commission 
(FBC).  The new law would give FBC more flexibility in adopting its 
guidelines.  Moreover, the proposed law is characterized by a high 
degree of self-regulation, and contains the principle of national 

A new Banking Law entered into force January 1, 1995.  The law permits 
foreign banks to open subsidiaries, branches, or representative offices 
in Switzerland without approval by the FBC.  This opportunity is based 
upon reciprocity, and requires a prior agreement between Switzerland and 
foreign governments.  The new law also requires banks to announce any 
acquisition or sale of its shares by a major shareholder (min 10 percent 
of capital or voting rights) to the FBC (shareholders engaging in such 
activity must notify the bank).  Major shareholders of a bank can also 
be held liable for improper conduct by the bank.  To enforce compliance 
with these shareholder requirements, the FBC is authorized to block 
their voting rights if they fail to comply.  Finally, the FBC will be 
authorized to exchange information and documents with foreign bank 
supervisors.  The FBC will also be allowed to give out information to 
foreign criminal authorities in cases covered by mutual legal assistance 
agreements. This modification will not change legal assistance, but 
speed up exchange of information between authorities investigating 
criminal matters.

Besides the new banking law, a new law on investment funds entered into 
force at the beginning of 1995, whose main purpose is to make Swiss 
practice compatible with EU legislation.  To encourage financial 
institutions to keep funds in Switzerland, the new law removed all 
restrictions on the type of assets they can hold.  A clear separation 
between mutual fund management and custodian bank is also stipulated.  
Together with the partial removal of the stamp tax in April 1993, this 
liberalization should favor the setting up of investment funds in 

While the revised banking law should speed up exchange of information 
for legal assistance, the Swiss government sent a proposal for a revised 
Legal Assistance Act to parliament in Spring 1995.  The proposed Act is 
intended to accelerate procedures in connection with sensitive requests 
for legal assistance.  The Swiss government recognized that rapid and 
efficient international aid in criminal proceedings is in the interest 
of Switzerland as a financial center.  Bank secrecy will, however, not 
be affected.

Foreign Exchange Controls Affecting Trading

The Swiss franc is freely convertible.  With the exception of certain 
regulations applicable to banks and finance companies, there are no 
exchange controls.  The National Bank has authority to introduce 
measures concerning minimum reserve requirements, foreign currency 
position, foreign source funds and a calendar for public issues of bonds 
and shares, but these are intended for use only to counter exceptional 
circumstances such as massive speculation resulting in permanent over-
valuation of the Swiss currency, causing problems for the Swiss export 
industry.  Bank accounts may be maintained in local or foreign 
currencies either in or outside Switzerland without restriction.  There 
is no distinction between resident and nonresident accounts.

Repatriation of capital, loans, dividends, interest, royalties, service 
fees and branch office profits can be effected without limitation 
through any bank.  Export proceeds may be disposed of freely.  Leading 
and lagging of import and export payments is allowed; there are no 
limitations, nor is prior authorization required.  Netting of trade-
related payments and financial transactions is also allowed, without 
prior authorization.

General Financing Availability

All traditional means of financing are fully available to businesses in 
Switzerland, including access to the stock exchange and issuing publicly 
quoted bonds and stock.  Small- and medium-size businesses usually 
approach their banks for finance, and are offered a tailored package 
drawn from a wide range of financing products.  The venture capital 
market is still relatively new in Switzerland, but banks offer venture 
capital, and there is an increasing number of venture capital companies.  
There are no restrictions on foreign investors' access to financing in 
Switzerland.  Foreigners are free to invest in government securities and 
in debt instruments of Swiss-quoted companies. 

How to Finance Exports/Methods of Payment

Export financing is primarily conducted through commercial sources.  
Payment terms are arranged with the bank or financing institution.

Types of Available Export Financing and Insurance

The government makes no special provisions for export financing.  
Financing is freely available through commercial sources.

Insurance is also usually obtained through commercial sources.  The 
Swiss government does administer the Federal Export Risk Guarantee (ERG) 
program to assume some risks in connection with foreign trade over which 
neither the exporter nor the foreign buyer has control, and for which no 
other insurance coverage is available.  The guarantee is granted to 
companies resident in Switzerland for exports of Swiss goods (except 
weapons and ammunition), Swiss construction and engineering projects, 
and Swiss licensing agreements.  Local content requirements are 
flexible.  ERG coverage does not include nonpayment of private debtors, 
damages due to complaints about defective goods delivered or services 
rendered, or losses incurred due to revaluation of the Swiss franc.  
Risk coverage generally ranges from 50 to 95 percent, depending upon the 
size of the contract.  In June 1995, the Federal Council asked 
parliament for an extension of the ERG program to selected private 
default risks; such an extension would mainly benefit the machinery 

Project Financing Available, including Lending from
Multilateral Institutions and Types of Projects Supported

Generally speaking, there is no special financing available for projects 
in Switzerland.  The federal government may grant long-term loans at 
preferential interest rates for infrastructure projects in designated 
regions threatened with economic decline (primarily remote, mountainous 
regions).  Cantonal and communal governments offer a wider variety of 
incentives, including financing, for investment projects in their 
respective areas.  Most cantons maintain economic development agencies, 
some even with offices or representatives abroad, for the purpose of 
dealing with projects and investments.  For further information, contact 
the cantonal chambers of commerce listed in Appendix E.    

List of Banks with Correspondent U.S. Banking Arrangements

The Swiss banks listed in Appendix E have correspondent relationships 
with U.S. banks, as do most other large Swiss banks.  More importantly, 
the following U.S. banks have offices or representatives in Switzerland 
and are quite interested in trade and project financing.

American Express Bank (Switzerland) SA
Carlo Cammelli, General Manager
16, rue de Contamines
P.O. Box 351
CH-1211 Geneva 12, Switzerland
Tel:  (41-22) 702 08 08
Fax:  (41-22) 789 22 28

Bank of America NT & SA
Marcel Claes, VP & Country Manager
Giesshuebelstrasse 45
CH-8027 Zurich, Switzerland
Tel:  (41-1) 455 33 11
Fax:  (41-1) 455 34 24

Bank Morgan Stanley AG
Adolf Bruendler, General Manager
Bahnhofstrasse 92
P.O. Box 6740
CH-8023 Zurich, Switzerland
Tel:  (41-1) 220 91 11
Fax:  (41-1) 211 98 07

Bankers Trust AG
L. Jack Staley, General Manager
Dreikoenigstrasse 6
P.O. Box 
CH-8022 Zurich, Switzerland
Tel:  (41-1) 208 81 11
Fax:  (41-1) 201 11 70

The Chase Manhattan Bank, N.A.
Josiane Fleming, Vice President
Genferstrasse 24
P.O. Box 162
CH-8027 Zurich, Switzerland
Tel:  (41-1) 206 61 11
Fax:  (41-1) 206 62 89

The Chase Manhattan Private Bank (Switzerland)
James H. Risch, General Manager
63, rue du Rhone
P.O. Box 257
CH-1204 Geneva, Switzerland
Tel:  (41-22) 787 91 11
Fax:  (41-22) 736 24 30

Chemical Bank Zurich Representative Office
Bettina Steffen, Representative
P.O. Box 1031
CH-8039 Zurich, Switzerland
Tel:  (41-1) 202 29 91
Fax:  (41-1) 202 09 53

Citibank, N.A.
Robert D. Botjer, Managing Director
Haus zur Enge, Seestrasse 25
P.O. Box 244
CH-8022 Zurich, Switzerland
Tel:  (41-1) 205 71 11
Fax:  (41-1) 205 71 55

Citibank (Switzerland)
Philippe Holderbeke, Division Executive
Bahnhofstrasse 63
P.O. Box 244
CH-8021 Zurich, Switzerland
Fax:  (41-1) 205 71 11
Tel:  (41-1) 205 71 7177 33

Goldman, Sachs & Co. Bank
Walter H. Haydock, General Manager
Muensterhof 4
CH-8001 Zurich, Switzerland
Tel:  (41-1) 224 10 00
Fax:  (41-1) 224 10 10

Lehman Brothers Bank (Switzerland)
Michael Fornara, General Manager
13, route de Florissant
P.O. Box 376
CH-1211 Geneva 12, Switzerland
Tel:  (41-22) 789 07 45
Fax:  (41-22) 789 08 03

Merrill Lynch Bank (Suisse) S.A.
Alfred B. Berger, Chairman
7, rue Munier-Romilly
P.O. Box 84
CH-1211 Geneva 3, Switzerland
Tel:  (41-22) 703 17 17
Fax:  (41-22) 703 17 27

Merrill Lynch International Inc. (Zurich)
Bruno J. Widmer, Managing Director
Muehlebachstrasse 25
CH- 8024 Zurich, Switzerland
Tel:  (41-1) 261 66 77
Fax:  (41-1) 252 83 66

Morgan Guaranty Trust Company of New York
Dr. Karl Preisig, Managing Director & General Manager
Stockerstrasse 38
P.O. Box 4672
CH-8022 Zurich, Switzerland
Tel:  (41-1) 206 81 11
Fax:  (41-1) 206 85 80

J. P. Morgan (Suisse) S.A.
William L. Oullin, General Manager 
3, place des Bergues
P.O. Box 
CH-1211 Geneva 1, Switzerland
Tel:  (41-22) 731 58 00
Fax:  (41-22) 732 26 55


Business Customs

As a prosperous, highly developed Western democracy with a modern market 
economy, Switzerland's business customs and practices are akin to those 
of other northern European countries.  While some American business 
people may find their Swiss counterparts somewhat conservative in such 
things as dress and the formal use of family (rather than first) names, 
conducting business in Switzerland is quite similar to how business 
operates in the United States.  Punctuality, particularly in German-
speaking areas, is highly valued.  Allowing ample lead time in setting 
up business appointments is also considered polite; one should not 
expect to "drop in" without appointment on a business client.

Travel Advisory and Visas

A valid passport is required to enter Switzerland, but a Swiss visa is 
not for business trips of up to ninety days.  Swiss residency and work 
permits for longer stays and/or employment are extremely difficult to 
obtain, as the Swiss government imposes severe limitations on 
immigration and the country's foreign work force.  All foreigners, 
including Americans, must have a work permit before commencing 
employment.  The complicated process of obtaining a work visa takes 
several months.  For more information contact the Consular Section of 
the Swiss Embassy in Washington, or the Swiss Consular Office in 
Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, or San Francisco 
(addresses in Appendix E).    
Switzerland is a stable, prosperous democracy with a low rate of violent 
crime.  However, pickpocketing and purse-snatching do occur, especially 
during peak tourist periods and where major conferences, shows, or 
exhibits are held.  A typical scam used against businessmen is for a 
thief to grab an attache case in a hotel or airport while an accomplice 
distracts the victim.  Loss or theft of a U.S. passport should be 
reported to the local police immediately and to the American Embassy in 
Bern at (031) 357-7234.  Under most circumstances, a replacement can be 
issued in the course of a working day.

Countrywide emergency telephone numbers are: Police 117; Fire 118; and 
Ambulance 144.  There is usually an English-speaking contact available.


Swiss national holidays in 1995 and 1996 are listed below.  Unlike the 
U.S. practice, holidays in Switzerland falling on a weekend are not 
compensated for on the following Monday; most of the holiday dates vary 
yearly according to the Church calendar; and many Swiss cities have one 
or more local holidays in addition to the national holidays indicated 
below.  U.S. Embassies and Consulates are closed on all U.S. and Swiss 

January 1               (Sunday)                New Year's
January 2               (Monday)                Baerzelistag
April 14                (Friday)                Good Friday
April 17                (Monday)                Easter Monday
May 25                  (Thursday)              Ascension Day
June 5                  (Monday)                Whitmonday
August 1                (Tuesday)               Swiss National Day
December 25             (Monday)                Christmas
December 26             (Tuesday)               St. Stephans Day

January 1               (Monday)                New Year's
January 2               (Tuesday)               Baerzelistag
April 5                 (Friday)                Good Friday
April 8                 (Monday)                Easter Monday
May 16                  (Thursday)              Ascension Day
May 27                  (Monday)                Whitmonday
August 1                (Thursday)              Swiss National Day
December 25             (Wednesday)             Christmas
December 26             (Thursday)              St. Stephans Day

Business Infrastructure 

The Swiss business infrastructure is excellent.  The country is served 
by major international airports in Zurich and Geneva, and smaller ones 
in Basel and other regional centers.  Road and rail networks, despite 
the country's mountainous terrain, are well-maintained and efficient.  
Urban public transport is unsurpassed.  

The Swiss enjoy one of the highest standards of living in the world, 
with an exceptionally high cost of living to match.  Everything is 
available, albeit at prices higher than in the United States, from 
modern communications, a wide variety of food, good housing, well 
developed tourist facilities, to excellent health care.  (Note: U.S. 
medical insurance is not always valid outside the United States.  
Travelers should check their companies for specific overseas coverage.)

Switzerland is a multilingual country.  The majority of Swiss in the 
center and northeast part of the country speak German.  French is the 
principal language of Geneva and the western cantons, and Italian is 
spoken in the south, especially Ticino Canton (Lugano/Locarno).  English 
is also widely spoken in business and tourist centers throughout the 


The economic information which follows in Appendices A-D is derived from 
official Swiss sources, converted to U.S. dollars at the official annual 
exchange rate.  All figures are expressed in millions of U.S. dollars, 
unless otherwise noted.  


Population:  6.9 million
Population Growth:  1.0% per annum
Religions:  Roman Catholic (49%); Protestant (48%); Jewish (0.3%)
Government:  Federal State, headed by 7-member Federal Council; Current 
President:  Kaspar Villiger; federal elections every 4 years.
Languages:  German (65%); French (18%); Italian (12%); Romansch (1%); 
Other (4%)
Work Week:  Monday-Friday; 8:30 am - 5:30 pm

B.  DOMESTIC ECONOMY       (USD Millions, except as noted)

                  1993        1994        1995        1996        Source

GDP (current)   233,851    259,974     303,927     288,965        c,a
Real GDP Growth 
  rate (%)           -0.9        2.1        1.4          1.8      b,a
GDP Per 
  Capita ($)     33,623     37,677      43,356      41,210        c,a
Govt. Spending 
  % of GDP           14.5       14.3        13.6        13.3      f,a
Inflation (%)         3.3        0.9         1.9         2.0      b,a
Unemployment (%       4.5        4.7         4.2         3.7      b,a
For. Exchange 
  Reserves       27,601     31,763        36,500      32,000      c,a
Avg. Exchange Rate 
  ($1=SF)             1.48        1.37       1.20        1.30     c,a
Debt Service Ratio    -0-       -0-           -0-        -0-      a  
U.S. Economic 
  Assistance          -0-       -0-           -0-        -0-      a  
U.S. Military 
  Assistance          -0-       -0-           -0-        -0-      a  

C.  TRADE (USD Millions, except as noted)

                   1993        1994        1995        1996      Source

Total Country 
  Exports         84,456      93,281      66,878      68,583     d,a
Total Country 
  Imports         72,858      80,774      64,034      65,177     d,a

Exports to the 
  U.S.            5,549        5,758       6,673       6,313     d,a
Imports from the 
  U.S.            3,771        3,661       4,430       4,253     d,a

U.S. % of Swiss 
  Imports             5.8          8.8         6.9         6.5   d,a

Imports of Manufactured Goods *
  from World)    37,585       42,052      51,370       9,553     d,a

From the U.S.     2,562        2,901       3,647       3,518     d,a

U.S. Share of Manuf.
  Imports (%)         6.8          6.9         7.1         7.1   d,a

Manufactured Trade
Balance with 
  U.S.            1,488          1,635    1,330        1,350     d,a
 - Projected Avg. Annual Growth
    from World through 1996 (%) (1994-96: 3.5)                     a
 - Projected Avg. Annual Growth
    from U.S. through 1996 (%)  (1994-96: 3.0)                     a

Imports of Agricultural Goods
 - Total (from World)       5,353     6,090     7,231     6,875  d,a
 - From the U.S.              218       256       325       316  d,a
 - U.S. Share of Agr.
    Imports (%)               4.1       4.2       4.5       4.6  d,a
 - Agricultural Trade
    Balance with U.S.        -112      -119      -140      -135  d,a

Trade Balances with Three Leading Partners in 1993 and 1994

  1.  Germany              -7,847    -5,964                       d
  2.  France               -1,310    -1,071                       d
  3.  Italy               - 1,529    -1,574                       d

Principal U.S. Exports to Switzerland in 1994 (source=d):

machinery (Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) 84); jewelry and precious 
metals (HTS 71); electronics (HTS 85); motor vehicles (HTS 87); optical 
instruments (HTS 90); aircraft (HTS 88); chemical products (HTS 28/29); 
pharmaceutical products (HTS 30).

Principal U.S. Imports from Switzerland in 1994 (source=d):

machinery (HTS 84); chemical products (HTS 28/29); watches (HTS 91); 
jewelry and precious metals (HTS 71); electronics (HTS 85); optical 
instruments (HTS 90); pharmaceutical products (HTS 30).

D.  INVESTMENT           (USD Millions)

                    1993  1994  1995  1996  Source
                                      est.  est.

Tot. For. Dir. Investment  n/a   n/a   n/a  n/a  ** 
U.S. Direct Investment  28,662   n/a   n/a  n/a  e  
U.S. Share of Total
 Foreign Investment        n/a   n/a   n/a  n/a  ** 

Principal Foreign Investors:  Germany, France, USA

n/a  =  not available
*    =  Total imports less raw materials (including raw agricultural 
products), semi-manufactured goods and energy.
**   =  Switzerland does not release figures on total foreign direct 

a) Post reporting and/or estimates; b) Union Bank of Switzerland; c) 
Swiss National Bank; d) Schweizerische Aussenhandelsstatistik, Eidg. 
Oberzolldirektion; e) U.S. Department of Commerce trade and investment 
data; f) Swiss Federal Department of Finance.


-     U.S. Embassy Trade Related Contacts

U.S. Embassy Bern
Ambassador:                         M. Larry Lawrence
Deputy Chief of Mission:            Michael C. Polt
Commercial Counselor:               Kay R. Kuhlman
Commercial Specialist:              Daniel Schaubacher
Commercial Specialist:              Werner Wiedmer
Commercial Assistant:               Elisabeth Altmann
Commercial Librarian:               Marianne Hubler
Economic/Political Counselor:       L. Allen Nelsen
Economic Officer:                   John Schmonsees
Political Officer:                  Charles Cohen
Pol/Econ Specialist:                Patrick Uelfeti
Pol/Econ Specialist:                Jean-Marc Audetat
Agriculture Attache:                Sharon Bylenga
Agricultural Specialist:            Fritz Blaser

Street/International Mail           U.S. Pouch Address

Jubilaeumsstrasse 93-97             American Embassy Bern
P.O. Box                            U.S. Department of State
CH-3001 Bern                        Washington, D.C. 20521-5110

Telephone:  (41-31) 357-7011;    Fax:  (41-31) 357-7336

American Consulate General Zurich
Consul General                      Sheldon Krebs
Commercial Officer:                 Anthony J. Belfiglio
Commercial Specialist:              Paul Frei
Commercial Librarian:               Elisabeth Schmid

Street/International Mail           U.S. Pouch Address

Zollikerstrasse 141                 American Consulate Zurich
CH-8008 Zurich                      Department of State
Switzerland                         Washington, D.C. 20521-5130

Telephone:  (41-1) 422-2070;    Fax:  (41-1) 382-2655

America Center of Geneva

Commercial Director:                Ronald Burgess

International Mail                  U.S. Pouch Address

ACG, c/o U.S. Mission               ACG, c/o U.S. Mission Geneva
Route de Pregny 11                  Department of State
CH-1292 Chambesy-Geneva             Washington, D.C. 20521-5120

Located at

World Trade Center (former IBC)
Rte. de Pre-Bois 29
Geneva Airport

Telephone:  (41-22) 798-1662;    Fax:  (41-22) 798-1630

Washington-Based USG Country Contacts

U.S. Department of Commerce
14th and Constitution Avenues, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20230

Country Desk Officer:  John Larsen
Room 3039
Tel:  (202) 482-2920;  Fax:  (202) 482-2897

Commercial Service Dir., Europe:  George Knowles
Assoc. Dir., Non-EU Europe:  Alain DeSarran
Room 3130
Tel:  (202) 482-1599;  Fax:  (202) 482-3159

U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20520

Country Desk Officer, Switzerland:  Debbie Cavin
                                    Scott Hancock
Room 4228
Tel:  (202) 647-2005  Fax:  (202) 647-5117

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS)
14th and Independence Avenue, S.E.
South Building
Washington, D.C.  20250

For Swiss agricultural trade policy issues, contact the:  

Trade Policy/Western Europe & Inter-America Division 
Tel: (202) 720-1340;  Fax: (202) 690-2079 

For specific agricultural commodity questions, contact the: 

Tobacco, Cotton & Seeds Division
Tel: (202) 690-0494;  Fax: (202) 690-1171

Horticultural & Tropical Products Division
Tel: (202) 720-6590;  Fax: (202) 720-3799

Forest Products Division
Tel: (202) 720-0638;  Fax: (202) 720-8461

Oilseeds & Products Division
Tel: (202) 720-7037;  Fax: (202) 720-0965

Grain & Feed Division
Tel: (202) 720-6219;  Fax: (202) 720-0340

Dairy, Livestock, & Poultry Division
Tel: (202) 720-8031;  Fax: (202) 720-0617

High Value Products Division
Tel: (202) 690-0752;  Fax: (202) 690-4374

AmCham and Bilateral Business Councils

There is no central chamber of commerce for all of Switzerland, rather 
each canton has its own chamber.  There are also chamber associations 
covering business between Switzerland and most major trading partners.  
Following is the address of the Swiss-American Chamber of Commerce, as 
well as a selection of cantonal chambers.

Swiss-American Chamber of Commerce        Contact: W. Diggelmann
Talacker 41                               Tel:  (41-1) 211 24 54
CH-8001 Zurich, Switzerland               Fax:  (41-1) 211 95 72

Aargauische Industrie- & Handelskammer    Director: Dr. Suter
Entfelderstrasse 11                       Tel:  (41-64) 25 55 77
CH-5001 Aarau, Switzerland                Fax:  (41-64) 22 68 61

Basler Handelskammer                      Director: Dr. Fueg
St. Alban-Graben 8                        Tel:  (41-61) 272 18 88
CH-4001 Basel, Switzerland                Fax:  (41-61) 272 62 28

Berner Handelskammer                      Director: Dr. Portmann
Gutenbergstrasse 1                        Tel:  (41-31) 382 17 11
CH-3001 Bern, Switzerland                 Fax:  (41-31) 382 17 15

Chambre Fribourgeoise du                  Director: Mr. Uebersax
Commerce et de l'Industrie                Tel:  (41-37) 22 56 55
1, rue de la Banque                       Fax:  (41-37) 23 10 45
CH-1701 Fribourg, Switzerland

Chambre de Commerce et de                 Director: Patrick Coidan
l'Industrie de Geneve                     Tel:  (41-22) 819 91 11
Bd du Theatre 4, C.P. 5039                Fax:  (41-22) 819 91 00
CH-1211 Geneve 11, Switzerland

Glarner Handelskammer                     Secretary: Dr. Landolt
Spielhof 14a                              Tel:  (41-58) 61 11 73
CH-8750 Glarus, Switzerland               Fax:  (41-58) 61 74 35

Bundner Handels- und Industrieverein      Contact: Dr. Ettisberger
Poststrasse 43                            Tel:  (41-81) 22 63 06
CH-7002 Chur, Switzerland                 Fax:  (41-81) 22 04 49

Chambre de Commerce et                    Director: Mr. Gerber
d'industrie du Jura                       Tel:  (41-66) 66 24 65
Chemin de la Perche 2                     Fax:  (41-66) 66 44 18
CH-2900 Porrentruy, Switzerland

Zentralschweizerische Handelskammer       Secretary: Mr. Schlatter
Kapellplatz 2                             Tel:  (41-41) 51 68 65
CH-6002 Luzern, Switzerland               Fax:  (41-41) 51 52 88

Chambre Neuchateloise du                  Director: Mr. Bernoulli
Commerce et de l'Industrie                Tel:  (41-38) 25 75 41
Rue de la Serre 4                         Fax:  (41038) 24 70 92
CH-2001 Neuchatel, Switzerland

Solothurnische Handelskammer              Director: Dr. Meyer
Grabackerstrasse 6                        Tel:  (41-65) 22 23 24
CH-4502 Solothurn, Switzerland            Fax:  (41-65) 22 36 93

St. Gallen
Industrie- und Handelskammer              Director: Dr. H. Schmid
St. Gallen - Appenzell                    Tel:  (41-71) 23 15 15
Gallusstrasse 16                          Fax:  (41-71) 22 47 27
CH-9001 St. Gallen, Switzerland

Thurgauer Industrie- und Handelskammer    Director: Mr. Fehle
Postfach 317                              Tel:  (41-72) 22 19 19
CH-8570 Weinfelden, Switzerland           Fax:  (41-72) 22 62 57

Camera di Commercio del                   Director: Mr. Camponovo
Cantone                                   Tel:  (41-91) 23 50 31
Corso Elvezia 16                          Fax:  (41-91) 22 03 41
CH-6901 Lugano, Switzerland

Chambre Valaisanne de Commerce            Director: Mr. Gsponer
Rue Pre-Fleuri 6                          Tel:  (41-27) 22 75 75
CH-1951 Sion, Switzerland                 Fax:  (41-27) 22 97 27

Chambre Vaudoise de Commerce              Director: J.L. Strohm
et de l'Industrie                         Tel:  (41-21) 617 72 91
Avenue d'Ouchy 47                         Fax:  (41-21) 617 73 03
CH-1000 Lausanne 13, Switzerland

Handelskammer & Arbeitgebervereinigung    Secretary: Mr. Heitz
Winterthur (HAW)                          Tel:  (41-52) 242 49 55
Hermannstrasse 1                          Fax:  (41-52) 242 14 24
CH-8403 Winterthur, Switzerland

Zurcher Handelskammer                     Director: Mr. Boesch
Bleicherweg 5                             Tel:  (41-1) 221 07 42
CH-8022 Zurich, Switzerland               Fax:  (41-1) 211 76 15

Swiss Trade or Industry Associations

The following lists trade associations most relevant to U.S. companies 
pursuing business in Switzerland.  For a complete listing of 
associations, please consult the Publicus 1993/94 "Schweizer Jahrbuch 
des oeffentlichen Lebens", published by Schwabe & Co. AG Verlag, P.O. 
Box 254, CH-4132 Muttenz, Switzerland; Tel: (41-61) 461-2761; Fax: (41-
61) 461-2500.

Vorort des Schweizerischen                Dir: Dr. Kurt Moser
Handels- und Industrievereins (SHIV)      Tel:  (41-1) 382 23 23
(Union of Commerce and Industry Assns)    Fax:  (41-1) 382 23 32
Mainaustrasse 49 
CH-8008 Zurich, Switzerland

Schweizerische Zentrale                   U.S. Desk: Ms. Kuenzli
fuer Handelsfoerderung (OSEC)             Tel:  (41-1) 365 51 51
(Swiss Office for Trade Promotion)        Fax:  (41-1) 365 52 21
Stampfenbachstrasse 85
CH-8035 Zurich, Switzerland

Vereinigung des Schweizerischen           Director: Dr. Zeller
Import- und Grosshandels (VSIG)           Tel:  (41-61) 271 33 85
(Federation of Importers & Wholesalers)   Fax:  (41-61) 272 30 39
P.O. Box 656
CH-4010 Basel, Switzerland

Verband Schweizerischer Transit           Sec: Dr. M. Pfeifer
und Welthandelsfirmen                     Tel:  (41-61) 272 72 00
(Transit and World Trade Confederation)   Fax:  (41-61) 272 80 90
P.O. Box 526, Aeschenvorstadt 4
CH-4010 Basel, Switzerland

Verband Schweiz. Versandhandels (VSV)     Contact: M. Meier
(Mail Order Association)                  Tel:  (41-1) 830-16 02
Brandenbergstrasse 30                     Fax:  (41-1) 830 16 08
CH-8304 Wallisellen, Switzerland

Verein Schweizerischer                    Director: Dr. Erb
Maschinenindustrieller (VSM)              Tel:  (41-1) 384 48 44
(Machinery Manufacturers Association)     Fax:  (41-1) 384 48 48
Kirchenweg 4
CH-8032 Zurich, Switzerland

Verband des Schweiz. Maschinen-           Contact: M. Pfeiffer
und Werkzeughandels                       Tel:  (41-1) 482 37 22
(Machine Tool Trade Association)          Fax:  (41-1) 338 25 49
Kilchbergstrasse 112
CH-8038 Zurich, Switzerland

Verein schweiz. Metallwarenfabrikanten    Contact: P. Schnadt
(Metal Product Manufacturers Assn)        Tel:  (41-42) 21 61 34
Gartenstrasse 3                           Fax:  (41-42) 21 88 43
CH-6304 Zug, Switzerland

Schweizerische Normen-Vereinigung (SNV)   Director: Dr. H. Zuerrer
(Standards Association)                   Tel:  (41-1) 254 54 54
Muehlebachstrasse 54                      Fax:  (41-1) 254 54 74
CH-8008 Zurich, Switzerland

Schweiz. Technischer Verband (STV)        Secretary: G. Spicher
(Technical Association)                   Tel:  (41-1) 261 37 94
Weinbergstrasse 41                        Fax:  (41-1) 251 48 02
CH-8006 Zurich, Switzerland

Schweizer Automatik Pool (SAP)            Contact: Ms. E. Neyroud
(Electronics, Automation Equipment &      Tel:  (41-1) 286 31 11
Computer Manuf. & Distr. Assn)            Fax:  (41-1) 202 92 83
c/o ATAG Ernst & Young AG
P.O. Box 5272
CH-8022 Zurich, Switzerland

ProTelecom                                Director: P. Steiner
(Telecommunication Association)           Tel:  (41-31) 382 44 44
Laupenstrasse 18a, P.O. Box               Fax:  (41-31) 382 33 31
CH-3001 Bern, Switzerland

ASUT                                      President: M. Sialm
(Swiss Telecommunications Users Assn)     Tel:  (41-1) 793 11 11
P.O. Box                                  Fax:  (41-1) 793 11 12
CH-8023 Zurich, Switzerland

SWICO                                     Director: B. Baumann
(Information, Communication, Software     Tel:  (41-1) 492 48 48
& Business Organization Association)      Fax:  (41-1) 492 35 09
Badenerstrasse 356
CH-8040 Zurich, Switzerland

Groupement Romand de l'Informatique       Contact: E. Jucker
(French-speaking Computer Users Assn)     Tel:  (41-21) 652 30 70
Av. Boveresse 50                          Fax:  (41-21) 652 57 00
CH-1010 Lausanne, Switzerland

Verband Schweiz. Firmen fuer              Contact: N. Markwalder
Arzt- und Spitalbedarf (FAS)              Tel:  (41-31) 382 44 24
(Medical & Hospital Supply Association)   Fax:  (41-31) 382 46 20
Monbijoustrasse 8
CH-3011 Bern, Switzerland

Schweiz. Ingenieur & Architekten Verein   Contact: Dr. H. H. Gasser
(Society of Engineers and Architects)     Tel:  (41-1) 283 15 15
Selnaustrasse 16                          Fax:  (41-1) 201 63 35
CH-8039 Zurich, Switzerland

Swiss Textile Federation                  Director: Dr. A. Hafner
P.O. Box 4838                             Tel:  (41-1) 201 57 55
CH-8022 Zurich, Switzerland               Fax:  (41-1) 201 01 28

Schweiz. Gesellschaft f. Chemische        Director: Dr. R. Ulrich
Industrie (SGCI) (Chemical Ind. Assn)     Tel:  (41-1) 368 17 11
Nordstrasse 15                            Fax:  (41-1) 368 17 70
CH-8035 Zurich, Switzerland

Swiss Franchise Association               President: M. Frei
Pilatusstrasse                            Tel:  (41-41) 22 20 02
CH-6003 Lucerne, Switzerland              Fax:  (41-41) 22 20 04

Schweizerische Bankiervereinigung         Secretary: J. P. Chapuis
(Swiss Banking Association)               Tel:  (41-61) 295 93 93
P.O. Box 4182, Aeschenplatz 7             Fax:  (41-61) 272 53 82
CH-4002 Basel, Switzerland

Verband Auslandsbanken in der Schweiz     President: C. Generali
(Foreign Banks in Switzerland)            Tel:  (41-1) 261 54 40
Asylstrasse 81                            Fax:  (41-1) 251 91 52
CH-8030 Zurich, Switzerland

Verband Elektronischer Zahlungsverkehr    President: H. Thuli
(Electronic Payment Systems Assn)         Tel:  (41-1) 382 11 80
Wiesenstrasse                             Fax:  (41-1) 383 25 22
CH-8008 Zurich, Switzerland

Swiss Government Agencies

The following lists Swiss government agencies of relevance to U.S. 
companies doing business in and with Switzerland.  The complete Swiss 
government register is the Eidg. Staatskalender, published by Eidg. 
Drucksachen- und Materialzentrale (Fed. Printing Office), CH-3000 Bern, 

Bundesamt fuer Aussenwirtschaft (BAWI)    Secretary: F. Blankart
(Fed. Off. of External Economic Aff.)     Tel:  (41-31) 322-22-11
Bundeshaus Ost                            Fax:  (41-31) 322-23-30
CH-3003 Bern, Switzerland

Director: J. Nordmann
(Fed. Off. of Industry, Trade and Work)   Tel:  (41-31) 322 29 44
Bundesgasse 8                             Fax:  (41-31) 322 27 49
CH-3003 Bern, Switzerland

Bundesamt fuer Konjunkturfragen           Director: Hans Sieber
(Federal Office for Economic Policy)      Tel:  (41-31) 322 21 33
Belpstrasse 53                            Fax:  (41-31) 372 41 02
CH-3003 Bern, Switzerland

Bundesamt f. Umwelt, Wald, Landschaft     Director: P. Roch
(Environmental Protection Agency)         Tel:  (41-31) 322 93 11
Hallwylstrasse 4                          Fax:  (41-31) 322 70 54 
CH-3003 Bern, Switzerland

Bundesamt fuer Zivilluftfahrt             Director: Andre Auer
(Federal Office for Civil Aviation)       Tel:  (41-31) 325 80 39
Maulbeerstrasse 9                         Fax:  (41-31) 325 80 32
CH-3003 Bern, Switzerland

Bundesamt fuer Gesundheitswesen (BAG)     Director: Dr. T. Zeltner
(Federal Office of Health)                Tel:  (41-31) 322-95-11
Bollwerk 27                               Fax:  (41-31) 322-95-07
CH-3001 Bern, Switzerland

Bundesamt fuer Statistik                  Director: C. Malaguerra
(Federal Office for Statistics)           Tel:  (41-31) 323 60 11
Schwarztorstrasse 96                      Fax:  (41-31) 323 60 61
CH-3003 Bern, Switzerland

Eidg. Amt fuer Messwesen                  Director: Dr. O. Piller
(Federal Office of Metrology)             Tel:  (41-31) 963 31 11
Lindenweg 50                              Fax:  (41-31) 963 32 10
CH-3084 Wabern, Switzerland

Bundesamt fuer geistiges Eigentum         Dir: Dr. R. Grossenbacher
(Office of Intellectual Property)         Tel:  (41-31) 322 49 67
Einsteinstrasse 2                         Fax:  (41-31) 322 48 95
Ch-3003 Bern, Switzerland

BAKOM                                     Director: Mr. M. Furrer
Federal Office of Telecommunications      Tel:  (41-32) 28 55 11
Zukunftsstrasse 44                        Fax:  (41-32) 28 55 55
CH-2501 Biel, Switzerland

Swiss PTT Telecom                         Director: F. Rosenberg
Viktoriastrasse 21                        Tel:  (41-31) 338 25 99
CH-3030 Bern, Switzerland                 Fax:  (41-31) 338 25 49

Eidg. Militaerdepartement                 Director: Mr. Toni Wicki
Gruppe fuer Ruestungsdienste              Tel:  (41-31) 324 57 01
(Federal Office of Armaments)             Fax:  (41-31) 324 57 63
Kasernenstrasse 19
CH-3003 Bern, Switzerland 

Eidg. Zollverwaltung                      Director: Dr. Hans Lauri
(Federal Customs Office)                  Tel:  (41-31) 322-65-11
Monbijoustrasse 40                        Fax:  (41-31) 322-78-72
CH-3003 Bern, Switzerland

Swiss Market Research Firms

Following are some of the major Swiss companies performing market 
research.  Terms and fees must be solicited by the U.S. company.  The 
U.S. Embassy cannot recommend one firm over another.

Consulink & Partner                       Partner: Dr. A. Provini
Bucholzstrasse 24                         Tel:  (41-31) 931 66 44
CH-3066 Stettlen-Bern, Switzerland        Fax:  (41-31) 931 66 44

Heini Rutz Consulting                     Partner: Heini Rutz
International Marketing                   Tel:  (41-1) 910 55 74
Johannisburgstrasse 16                    Fax:  (41-1) 910 37 63
CH-8700 Kuesnacht-Zurich, Switzerland

AC Nielsen SA Buchrain                    Tel:  (41-41) 30 44 44
P.O. Box 3967                             Fax:  (41-41) 33 17 07
CH-6002 Luzern, Switzerland

Battelle-Europe                           Director: Roland Adoutte 
Geneva Research Centers                   Tel:  (41-22) 827 27 27
7 route de Drize                          Fax:  (41-22) 827 27 27
CH-1227 Carouge-Geneva, Switzerland

IHA - GMF                                 Tel:  (41-41) 95 91 11
Institut fuer Marktanalysen AG            Fax:  (41-41) 95 91 23
Obermattweg 9
CH-6062 Hergiswil, Switzerland

Admerca AG                                Director: Peter Betschert
Marketing Consultants                     Tel:  (41-1) 422 41 77
Arosastrasse 25                           Fax:  (41-1) 422 97 77
CH-8008 Zurich, Switzerland

Trimedia Communications AG                President: Aloys Hirzel 
Stationsstrasse 17                        Tel:  (41-1) 466 51 11
CH-8003 Zurich, Switzerland               Fax:  (41-1) 466 51 22

Swiss Commercial Banks

Following are the head offices of the five largest commercial banks in 
Switzerland.  Each has numerous branches throughout the country.  For 
additional information on these and other banks, please consult the 
Swiss Financial Yearbook, published by Elvetica Edizioni SA, P.O. Box 
134, CH-6834 Morbio, Switzerland; Tel: (41-91) 43 50 56; Fax: (41-91) 43 
76 05.

Credit Suisse                                   Pres: Dr. J. Ackermann
Paradeplatz                                     Tel:  (41-1) 333 11 11
P.O. Box 590                                    Fax:  (41-1) 332 55 55
CH-8021 Zurich, Switzerland

Union Bank of Switzerland                       Dir: Mr. M. Rohrbasser
Regional Management North America               Tel:  (41-1) 234 11 11
Bahnhofstrasse 45                               Fax:  (41-1) 236 71 07
P.O. Box 645
CH-8021 Zurich, Switzerland

Swiss Bank Corporation                          Director: Dr. G. Blum
Aeschenplatz 6                                  Tel:  (41-61) 288 20 20
P.O. Box                                        Fax:  (41-61) 288 45 76
CH-4002 Basel, Switzerland

Swiss Volksbank                                 President: Paul Meier
Head Office                                     Tel:  (41-31) 358 81 11
Weltpoststrasse 5                               Fax:  (41-31) 358 79 14
P.O. Box 5323
CH-3001 Bern, Switzerland

Bank Leu AG                               President: Dr. P. Kuepfer
Bahnhofstrasse 32                         Tel:  (41-1) 219 11 11
P.O. Box 553                              Fax:  (41-1) 219 31 97
CH-8022 Zurich, Switzerland

U.S.-Based Multipliers Relevant for Switzerland

The Swiss-American Chamber of Commerce, in addition to its head office 
in Zurich (see Chamber heading above), maintains offices in four U.S. 

New York Chapter                                Chairman: R. Stalder
37 West 67th Street                             Tel:  (212) 875-9688
New York, NY 10023                              Fax:  (212) 873-2836

Southeast U.S.A. Chapter                        Chairman: S. Tiessen
Atlanta Financial Center, Suite 1800            Tel:  (404) 264-2689
3343 Peachtree Road, N.E.                       Fax:  (404) 264-2652
Atlanta, GA 30326-1010

California - San Francisco Chapter              Chairman: E. Sennhauser
P.O. Box 2269                                   Tel:  (415) 433-6679
San Francisco, CA 94126-2269                    Fax:  (415) 956-5675

California - Los Angeles Chapter                Chairman: R. Meichtry
800 Wilshire Boulevard, 8th Floor               Tel:  (213) 489-3167
Los Angeles, CA 90017                           Fax:  (213) 489-3336

The Swiss government maintains official representation in the U.S. 
through its Embassy in Washington and Consulates General in six 

Embassy of Switzerland
2900 Cathedral Avenue, N.W.               Tel:  (202) 745-7900
Washington, D.C. 20008-3499               Fax:  (202) 387-2564

Swiss Consulate General
1275 Peachtree Street, N.W., Suite 425    Tel:  (404) 872-7874
Atlanta, GA 30309-3533                    Fax:  (404) 874-6655

Swiss Consulate General
Olympia Center, Suite 2301                Tel:  (312) 915-0061
737 N. Michigan Avenue                    Fax:  (312) 915-0388
Chicago, IL 60611

Swiss Consulate General
First Interstate Bank Plaza               Tel:  (713) 650-0000
Suite 5670                                Fax:  (713) 650-1321
Houston, TX 77002

Swiss Consulate General
11766 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 1400      Tel:  (310) 575-1145
Los Angeles, CA 90025                     Fax:  (310) 575-1982

Swiss Consulate General
Rolex Building, 8th Floor                 Tel:  (212) 758-2560
665 Fifth Avenue                          Fax:  (212) 207-8024
New York, NY 10022-6881

Swiss Consulate General                   Tel:  (415) 788-2272
San Francisco, CA 94104-1233              Fax:  (415) 788-1402

Other Multipliers Relevant for Switzerland

Some 30 U.S. states maintain their own offices in Europe for economic 
development and trade promotion.  Most are members of the Council of 
American States in Europe (CASE).  While these offices focus on 
attracting European, including Swiss, investment in their respective 
states, they also provide trade assistance.  Many sponsor group 
participation at major trade events, as well as organize trade and 
investment missions, led by prominent state officials.  A list of CASE 
offices is available from the 1995 Chairman: Frank J. Roovers, Director, 
State of Oklahoma European Office, Holzhausenstrasse 14, D-60322 
Frankfurt/Main, Germany. 

Finally, there are several U.S. agricultural commodity groups with 
representatives located in Europe which service Switzerland.  These 
groups are:

U.S. Meat Export Federation                 Willem Zerk, Director
Alsterufer 28                               Tel: (49-40) 44 12 55
D-20354 Hamburg, Germany                    Fax: (49-40) 44 12 05

U.S. Rice Council                           Daniel Tuescher, Director
Weinbergstrasse 48                          Tel: (41-1) 252-4010
CH-8006 Zurich, Switzerland                 Fax: (41-1) 252-3102

California Wine Institute                   Ms. Sigrun Essenpreis
Buchenweg 16-18                             Tel: (49-68) 736-4260
D-6696 Sitzerath/Saar, Germany              Fax: (49-68) 736-4222

U.S. Asparagus                              Ms. Mechtild M. Handke
Kaiserswerther Strasse 226                  Tel: (49-211) 435-0899
D-4000 Dusseldorf 30, Germany               Fax: (49-211) 43 17 14

Florida Department of Citrus                Consultant Dieter Preine
Hahntrapp 2                                 Tel: (49-40) 37 44 27
D-2000 Hamburg 11, Germany                  Fax: (49-40) 37 44 28

U.S. Poultry & Egg Export Council           Uwe Schmoock, Director
Alsterufer 28                               Tel: (49-40) 44 80 9591
D-20354 Hamburg, Germany                    Fax: (49-40) 44 12 15


U.S. Department of Commerce Industry Subsector Analysis
(ISA) Reports

ISAs are market research reports prepared by Commercial Service 
specialists abroad.  Averaging some 20 pages, they cover developments in 
the country's market subsectors of potential interest to U.S. business.  
The Commercial Service in Bern prepares some 15 ISAs annually.  These 
can be accessed through the National Trade Data Bank (NTDB), or upon 
request to Bern.
Commercial Service Bern's Industry Subsector Analysis (ISA) reports 
schedule for 1995/1996 includes:

Body Armor
Electronic Memories
Monitoring & Intensive Care Equipment
Lawn and Garden Equipment
Dietetic Food, Health Foods, Vitamins and Mineral Supplies
Internetworking Products and Services
Renewable Energy Equipment
Specialty Chemicals
Linens and Towels
All Season Sporting Goods
Railroad Traffic Control Systems
Selling to the PTT in Switzerland
Airport Construction
Analytical (wet chemistry) Instruments
Pharmaceuticals, Human and Veterinary
Frozen Foods
Western & Equestrian Wear
Dessous, Underwear, Lingerie
Pollution Control Equipment
Energy Management Systems
Cardiomedical Technologies
Callback Services
Computer Imaging Systems
Workflow and Re-engineering Systems

U.S. Department of Commerce International Market Insight
(IMI) Reports

IMIs are shorter, more time-sensitive reports on a wide range topics of 
commercial interest in a particular market.  The Commercial Service in 
Bern produces an average of 60 IMIs per year.  They are available 
electronically through the NTDB, or upon request to Bern.

USDA/FAS Commodity Reports and Market Briefs

Following is a listing of Annual Commodity Reports produced by the 
Office of Agricultural Affairs (USDA/FAS), U.S. Embassy Bern, with the 
approximate date of completion each year.  FAS Commodity Reports are 
available from the Reports Office, USDA/FAS, Washington, DC 20520.

1/15    Basic Country Program
1/30    National Trades Estimates (Foreign Trade Barriers) Report
5/1     Oilseeds & Products Annual 
5/1     Tobacco Annual 
6/10    Cotton Annual
6/15    Fresh Green Asparagus Annual
7/15    Annual Marketing Plan Market Information Report
8/1     Livestock Annual 
9/15    Grain and Feed Annual
9/30    Agricultural Situation Annual
11/30   Dairy Annual 

In addition, the Office of Agricultural Affairs in Bern has completed 
the following "Voluntary Reports" in 1995:

3/95    Farm Price Package for Switzerland  
5/95    Recommendations Concerning an Exporter "Buy-Out" Program
          for Swiss Fresh Green Asparagus
6/95    New Opportunities in the Swiss Wine Import Market


The following major trade events, taking place in Switzerland in 
1995/1996, may be of interest to U.S. companies seeking business 
opportunities in Switzerland.  Events preceded by an asterisk (*) are 
organized by the Commercial Service in Bern or are supported by CS Bern 
and/or FAS Bern through the placement of a Business Information Office 
staffed by CS personnel, a catalog display of U.S. company brochures 
and/or full (own) booth participation in a U.S. pavilion, and the  
development of personalized trade leads.  For further information, 
please contact the U.S. Embassy in Bern. 
Date                           Location                Event

September 19-23, 1995--Basel--Orbit (office equipment, data processing, 

October 03-11, 1995--Geneva*--Telecom '95 (telecom)

October 08-09, 1995--Geneva*--Commercial Service Seminar on
Opportunities for U.S. Industry in Telecom

October 24-26, 1995--Montreux*--Travel Trade Workshop (tourism)

October 24-27, 199Basel--MUT (environmental technologies, waste 

November 23-29, 1995--Basel*--Igeho (foodstuffs, beverages and related 

Nov. 28-Dec. 1, 1995--Zurich*--Security (security equipment)

January 1996--Zurich--Ornaris (gifts/consumer goods)

January 23-24, 1996--Zurich*--Visit USA Seminar (tourism)

March 1996--Zurich--Swisspo (sporting goods)

March 7-17, 1996--Geneva--Salon de L'Automobile (autos)

March 26-28, 1996--Geneva*--Semicon Europa (semiconductors)

April 18-25, 1996--Basel--Basel Jewelry and Watch Show

April 19-28, 1996--Geneva--Inventions (new inventions)

April 1996--Lausanne--Computer 96 (informatics)

May 21-23, 1996--Geneva--European Incentive Business Travel and Meeting 

May 21-24, 1996--Basel*--Worlddicac (education)

September 24-27, 1996--Geneva*--Air Forum (air transport)

September 1996--Geneva--Meet America State Trade Day

October 10-12, 1996--Basel--Orbit (office equipment, data processing, 

October 1996--Montreux*--Travel Trade Workshop (tourism)

November 1996--Zurich*--IFAS (medical equipment)

Please note that this is only a partial listing of the many trade 
promotion events taking place in Switzerland.  For a full list, please 
consult the brochure "Switzerland, Center for Trade Fairs", produced 
annually by the Swiss Office for Trade Promotion OSEC (Messeinformation, 
Stampfenbachstrasse 85, CH-8035 Zurich).  Copies are also available from 
the Commercial Service in Bern.
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