Successful internationally, at home in Switzerland
Switzerland's mechanical and electrical engineering industries (MEM industries) are multi-faceted and innovative high-tech sectors. They include companies from the mechanical and metal engineering industries, metalworking, electrical engineering and electronics, and the precision instruments segment. Moreover, companies in the promising fields of sensor technology, photonics, robotics and additive manufacturing also form part of the MEM industries.
Many Swiss MEM companies rank among the world leading providers of technologically advanced products and services. With their solutions, they create added value in economic sectors as varied as energy generation and transmission, transport, food production, medical and building technology, and security.
The MEM industries generate 7.4% (2016) of Switzerland’s GDP, thus occupying a key position in the country's economy. With around 320,000 employees, including 20,000 trainees, they are the biggest industrial employer in Switzerland. The sector accounts for almost a third of Switzerland’s total goods exports, with a value of CHF 63.2 billion.
With exports accounting for 79% of their output, the MEM industries are highly export-oriented. The fact that the Swiss MEM companies employ around 500,000 people outside of Switzerland is another indication of their close intertwinement with the world economy. The EU is the MEM industries’ most important sales market by far, accounting for 59% of all exports, followed by Asia (19%) and the USA (13%). Market success abroad plays a vital role in Switzerland’s success as a centre of industry and research.
THE MEM INDUSTRIES IN CONTEXT
The MEM industries are Switzerland’s biggest industrial sector. Swiss industry as a whole accounted for 17 percent of the country's gross domestic product in 2008; the MEM industries’ contribution to this value added was 7 percent.
Geared to the world market
Around 80 percent of the MEM industries’ output is exported. Overall the MEM industries account for 30 percent of Switzerland's total exports.