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Switzerland's economy is based on a highly skilled labor force. The main areas include microtechnology, hi-tech, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, as well as banking and insurance know-how. Swiss companies are extremely competitive in world markets. The best-known export items are watches, chocolate and cheese; however, mechanical and electrical engineering and chemistry together account for over half of Swiss export revenues. Consulting, banking, insurance and tourism also make up a significant part of international trade. Switzerland's international reputation as a research center is beyond dispute. The high standard of the two Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology, of the 10 cantonal universities and of research institutes in Switzerland attracts many scientists and students from overseas.
|Large international population: foreign citizens account for 22% of the Swiss population|
|One of the highest annual pro-capite GDPs worldwide|
|Very low unemployment rate: 4.3%|
|Most competitive economy in the world|
|The world's highest gross and net wage levels (Zurich)|
|Ranked second in the world for quality of life (Zurich)|
|Ranked first in the Global Competitiveness Report 2012-2013|
|Ranked first in the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report 2011|
|Home to an increasingly large number of European companies' headquarters, due to the favourable business and living environments|