The History of "Swiss Made"

Why has Switzerland – a tiny, land-locked country with few natural advantages – become so successful for so long at so many things? In banking, pharmaceuticals, machinery, even textiles – Swiss companies are among the biggest and most powerful global competitors. How did they get there? How do they continue to reinvent themselves? Does the Swiss “Sonderfall” (special case) provide lessons from which others can learn and benefit? Can the Swiss continue to perform in a hyper-competitive global economy?

The Swiss Economic Miracle offers carefully-argued answers to these and many other questions about the country as it describes the origins, structures and characteristics of the most important Swiss companies. The authors suggest that success is due in large degree to sound entrepreneurial thinking and an openness to new ideas; they also venture a perhaps surprising forecast on the country’s ability to keep pace in an age of globalization.


  • It all started with milk
  • Watchmaking: good timing
  • Swiss tourism: or how to sell snow and air
  • Switzerland’s silent traders
  • Numbered accounts: countless profits
  • Spinning and weaving profits
  • Small miracles: the wonders of medical technology
  • Switzerland’s mighty industrial machines
  • Pharmaceuticals: knowledge for sale
  • Swiss transport: mastering mobility
  • Bricks + mortar
  • From supercomputers to mice
  • Beautiful business: Swiss achievement in art and architecture
  • Why multinationals love Switzerland
  • Conclusion: getting to Switzerland



Download the Preface written by Prof Harold James, Princeton University.