Switzerland - 'Europe's alpine miniature'
Small, mountainous and wealthy, with a population of just seven
million, Switzerland is renowned for its enviable quality of life in a
country that ticks along like clockwork. Its products are sought after
the world over, from dangerously delicious cheese and chocolate to
luxurious watches whose timekeeping is as sharp as a Swiss army knife,
another popular export from this clever, little nation in the Alps.
Switzerland's famed political neutrality and isolated location,
ring-fenced by mountains, have enabled it to play a safe but central
role in European affairs. These factors also gave rise to the coveted
Swiss bank account, whose anonymity, along with tax relief and what may
be the safest banks in the world, have made Zürich one of Europe's major
financial hubs. The conveniently central location in the middle of
Europe has also made Switzerland a favourite meeting place for
conventions and international conferences - Geneva, for instance, is
home to the United Nations.
Switzerland is not only a place for professionals, though. As a stylish
tourist destination it offers top ski resorts like Zermatt and
celebrity-studded St Moritz, while the white-peaks of mountains set
against blue skies make a wonderful backdrop for summertime hiking. The
ancient capital of Berne provides opportunities for sightseeing and
elegant shopping, while nightlife can prove to be a lot of fun, too,
since the Swiss like their food and folk music even in discotheques and