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7 Reasons Why Switzerland Is The Best-Run Country In The World


Switzerland is a remarkably stable and economically strong country. It was recently named the world’s most competitive countryby the World Economic Forum, and it’s avoided the debt and unemployment that have plagued the whole world, and its neighbors in particular.

That’s not the only way it beats other nations. From a Credit Suisse bulletinexamining the country’s success:

“The verdict is in, and it is unequivocal. Whether we are comparing global business locations and the civil liberties they enjoy, considering the number of Nobel Laureates or the quality of academics, entrepreneurs, artists and authors, Switzerland has long occupied the topmost echelons.” 

German economist Gerd Habermann came up with seven reasons which, while partially specific to governments and countries, can easily be applied to business.


瑞士是一個穩定的經濟大國。它最近被世界經濟論壇(World Economic Forum)稱為世界上最有競爭力的國家,瑞士避開了債務還有失業率,而這些正是讓世界上其他國家困擾的問題,尤其是鄰近瑞士的國家。而瑞士贏過其他國家的地方還不止這個。瑞士瑞信银行分析了瑞士的成功原因:「這其實很明顯。我們比較了世界交易的地點還有他們的公民自由、諾貝爾獎得主的數量以及教育,以及企業家、藝術家、作家的水準,瑞士已經佔據第一名很久了。」


德國經濟學家Gerd Habermann提出了瑞士強大的七個理由,對於政府還有國家們是很實際的,很容易能推導到經濟上。


Small is good



Each level of government (or management) gets more expensive and more unwieldy as it gets larger. The highest level is often the most expensive. Because Switzerland is a small country, every level is small and agile. Additionally, the size of government doesn’t scale up massively as you reach the federal level. 





There are few middlemen and everyone is accountable



Switzerland doesn’t have the massive bureaucratic class that many European neighbors and other governments, and the voter has more power than almost anywhere else. That includes the ability to vote on public spending, and elect judges. The government is accountable at all levels.




Everything is decentralized



The federal government in Switzerland has power over only a small portion of tax dollars. Cantons (equivalent in many ways to states) and municipalities have powers of taxation. Every part of the country competes to be as attractive to businesses and people as it can.




Most decisions are made at the local level



Because the country is so decentralized, decisions tend to be practical and informed by the needs of a small area, so there’s less lost in translation to higher authorities. Also, the impact of bad decisions is limited, and everything’s faster because people don’t have to keep appealing to higher ups. 




There are no career politicians



Switzerland doesn’t have career politicians. Citizens serve for a time but also work independently. That avoids the pet projects, the influence peddling, and conflicts of interest that can result when you have a separate, professional long serving political class.

The business lesson here is that management can easily become stagnant, and centralized, long lasting authority can be problematic.




The country is a safe haven for money and brain power



Staying neutral and avoiding political and other sorts of prejudice have seen Switzerland accumulate a huge amount of financial and intellectual capital. Countries and businesses can lose when they put personal ideology ahead of practicality.




There’s a core middle class attitude



Switzerland’s culture isn’t defined by a particular ethnicity, language, or religion, but an attitude, and one that businesses would do well to emulate. It’s defined by “moderation, mainstream thinking and deliberation, for business sense, a no-nonsense attitude and realism,” Habermann writes.


瑞士的文化不由特定的種族、語言、宗教決定,而是由態度決定,仿效這個態度可以帶來經濟的成功。這個態度的定義是, Habermann,寫到:「適度、主流思想以及深思熟慮,而商業的判斷力的部分,則是嚴肅以及實際。」


AP Photo/Keystone, Martin Ruetschi

圖片來源:AP Photo/Keystone, Martin Ruetschi