The SME-dominated MEM industries combine traditional manufacturing expertise with innovative, future-oriented technologies. Their companies operate in the traditional areas of mechanical engineering and metalworking, electrical engineering and electronics, as well as the precision instruments sector. In addition, they develop new solutions in dynamic technology fields such as sensor technology, photonics, robotics, additive manufacturing or industrial IT. Many Swiss MEM companies rank among the world’s leading suppliers.
The MEM industries generate 7.1% (2018) of Switzerland’s GDP, thus occupying a key position in the country's economy. With around 320,000 employees, including 18,000 trainees, they are the biggest industrial employer in Switzerland.
Geared to the world market
The sector accounts for almost a third of Switzerland’s total goods exports, with a value of CHF 69.7 billion (2018).
With exports accounting for 79% of their output, the MEM industries are highly export-oriented. The fact that the Swiss MEM companies employ more than 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 60% of all exports, followed by the USA (14%) and China (6%). Market success abroad plays a vital role in Switzerland’s success as a centre of industry and research.