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Switzerland placed fourth in globalisation poll

International telephone calls and Internet usage were taken into account in the survey Keystone Archive

Switzerland is the fourth most "globalised" country in the world, according to the American magazine, "Foreign Policy", which has carried out what it says is the first-ever survey on the issue of globalisation.

This content was published on January 14, 2001 - 08:35

Switzerland was behind Singapore, The Netherlands and Sweden in the survey. The United States was placed 12th.

Researchers took four factors into account: goods and services, finance, personal contacts and technology. Switzerland's strength lay in the goods and services and finance sectors.

Among the criteria taken into consideration were trade as a percentage of the economy, the level of direct foreign investment, the length of international telephone calls from a country, and Internet usage.

"Everyone speaks about globalisation without ever trying to measure its size," said a senior member of Foreign Policy magazine.

"The most globalised countries are small nations for which openness allows access to goods, services, and capital that cannot be produced at home," said the report.

"In some cases, geography has played an important role in sustaining integrated markets. The Netherlands, for instance, benefits from (among many other factors) its position at the head of the Rhine...

"In other cases, such as Sweden and Switzerland, relatively small domestic markets and highly educated workers have given rise to truly global companies capable of competing anywhere in the world."

In an interview with the Swiss newspaper "Le Temps", the head of the Lausanne-based International Institute for Management Development, Stéphane Garelli said he was not surprised by Switzerland's result.

He said there were several reasons for Switzerland's success in the poll: In contrast to a large country, Switzerland's domestic market is small, and the country is therefore forced to export.

The large amount of advanced technology used in Switzerland also accounted for its strong showing in the poll, he added.

swissinfo with agencies

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