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Switzerland

Xinhuanet 2003-04-01 13:36:38

          Flag of Switzerland

Swiss Confederation

National name: Schweiz/Suisse/Svizzera/Svizra

President: Pascal Couchepin (2003)

Area: 15,942 sq mi (41,290 sq km)

Population (2003 est.): 7,318,638 (growth rate: 0.1%); birth rate: 9.6/1000; infant mortality rate: 4.4/1000; density per sq mi: 459

Capital(1994): Bern, 129,423

Largest cities: Zurich, 343,045; Basel, 176,220; Geneva, 171,744; Lausanne, 117,153

Monetary unit: Swiss franc

Languages: German, French, Italian (all official), Romansch

Ethnicity/race: German 65%, French 18%, Italian 10%, Romansch 1%, other 6%

Religions: Roman Catholic 49%, Protestant 40%, other 5%, no religion 8.3%

Literacy rate: 99% (1980)

Economic summary: GDP/PPP (2001 est.): $226 billion; per capita $31,100. Real growth rate: 2%. Inflation: 1%. Unemployment: 2%. Arable land: 10.57%. Agriculture: grains, fruits, vegetables; meat, eggs. Labor force: 4 million; services 69%, industry 26%, agriculture 5% (1998). Industries: machinery, chemicals, watches, textiles, precision instruments. Natural resources: hydropower potential, timber, salt. Exports: $91.4 billion (f.o.b., 2001): machinery, chemicals, metals, watches, agricultural products. Imports: $91.4 billion (f.o.b., 2001): machinery, chemicals, vehicles, metals; agricultural products, textiles. Major trading partners: EU, U.S., Japan.

Communications: Telephones: main lines in use: 4.82 million (1998); mobile cellular: 1.967 million (1999). Radio broadcast stations: AM 4, FM 113 (plus many low power stations), shortwave 2 (1998). Radios: 7.1 million (1997). Television broadcast stations: 115 (plus 1,919 repeaters) (1995). Televisions: 3.31 million (1997). Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 44 (Switzerland and Liechtenstein) (2000). Internet users: 3.85 million (2002).

Transportation: Railways: total: 4,406 km (2001). Highways: total: 71,059 km (1999); paved: 71,059 km (including 1,638 km of expressways); unpaved: 0 km (1999). Waterways: 65 km; Rhine (Basel to Rheinfelden, Schaffhausen to Bodensee); 12 navigable lakes. Ports and harbors: Basel. Airports: 66 (2001).

International disputes: none.

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