Contraction of foreign trade, despite good results in watchmaking

A forklift next to wooden pallets.

Contraction of foreign trade, despite good results in watchmaking

(21.02.2024) In 2023, according to the Federal Office for Customs and Border Security (FOCBS), exports declined by 1.2% and imports by 3.8%. However, the trade surplus – the second-largest ever recorded – reached 48.5 billion Swiss francs, compared to 42.8 billion in 2022.

Decline in employment growth in 2023

Two craftsmen in a workshop.

Decline in employment growth in 2023

(14.02.2024) The unfavorable economic situation is weighing on the labor market. According to the Swiss Job Market Index published by the Adecco Group and the University of Zurich, the growth rate of job offers rose by 3% on an annual basis, compared to 23% the previous year.

Watchmaking sees unprecedented hiring

Watches displayed in a store.

Watchmaking sees unprecedented hiring

(07.02.2024) Employment remains particularly robust in the watchmaking industry. In 2023, the number of employees in the sector increased by 7.3% to reach 65,237, which is 4,414 more than in 2022, according to the Employers' Association of the Swiss Watchmaking Industry.

Despite inflation, retail trade held steady in 2023

An employee places food items on the shelves.

Despite inflation, retail trade held steady in 2023

(31.01.2024) Swiss retailers demonstrated their resilience last year. Sector sales increased by 3.6% in November compared to the previous year, followed by a slight decline of 1.3% in December, according to the Swiss Retail Federation.

SME PMI: Slight rebound at the end of 2023

A night view of the city of Zurich.

SME PMI: Slight rebound at the end of 2023

(24.01.2024) Economic conditions have stabilized in Switzerland, albeit with caution. Raiffeisen's SME PMI index recorded 50.9 points in December 2023, placing it above the expansion threshold. However, the bank has expressed disappointment with the overall performance in 2023 and anticipates a mixed outlook in the coming months.

Pratical knowledge

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Setting up

Checklists and detailed information about setting up a business: choosing the right legal structure, steps to follow for market analysis, business plans and registration in the trade register.
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Practical tips for running a business successfully: innovation methods, marketing tools, product certification and social media presence using e-commerce.
Praktische Informationen zur Firmenübergabe und Firmenübernahme


Tips for transferring and taking over a business: the various scenarios, the business valuation methods and setting the purchase price. The procedure to follow in the event of liquidation.
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All you need to know about loans, leasing and factoring, traditional and alternative financing plans, economic promotion, tax relief and risk management.

Foreign trade

Useful information for SMEs on foreign trade: federal customs administration and formalities for import-export, opening an establishment or a subsidiary abroad, risk control.
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Here you will find legal provisions, relevant facts and information on staff management: recruitment, staff development, partial unemployment and social insurance, labor law, occupational safety.

Facts and Trends

SME facts figures Swiss Growth Policy

Facts and figures on SMEs in Switzerland

The Confederation actively supports SMEs, major players in the economy. Explanations and statistics.

Digitalization of SMEs in Switzerland: A key factor

Companies must adapt their operations and digitalize to remain competitive. Definitions and examples.
Tips for making one's SME 'greener' and optimising its production

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

Turning to corporate social responsibility is a way for SMEs to become greener and more socially conscious and therefore optimize their production.