The investment per inhabitant in telecommunications equipment is the highest in the world. Indeed, in 2005 close to 70 % of the population was linked to Internet at home.
In spite of a complex topography, connections by rail, road and air are among the most developed (71,277 km of roads, 5,100 km of railways, 1,640 km of motorways, 180 km of tramways and 65 km of waterways).
Motorway and railroad systems cross the seven cantons and allow rapid access to the international airports of Geneva, Zurich and Basel as well as to nearby European airports. The big hubs of the continent can thus be reached rapidly. Moreover, the region also has about ten airports that can accommodate business jets and private aeroplanes.
Western Switzerland is linked to the European network of high-speed trains (TGV, ICE, Cisalpino, Thalys, etc.), enabling numerous connections with surrounding countries:
- The Netherlands
- The Czech Republic
In the region the trains are reputed for their punctuality and link all the Swiss cities on journeys that last, on average, less than two hours.
Western Switzerland offers hundreds of roads (1.7 km per km2) and the network is constantly being modernised. Moreover, Western Switzerland has the particularity of being situated in one of the three major North-South highways of the continent linking Sweden to the south of Italy via the Saint Gotthard tunnel. The liaison with Rotterdam and the oceans can be made via the river Rhine.
A particularity of Western Switzerland and the country are the free ports (17 entities spread all over Switzerland). Situated near the major highways and borders, these logistic centres are kept for goods that transit through Switzerland and do not need to comply with the free zone’s entrance and exit formalities.
The Swiss Post offers one of the densest and most efficient European networks.
In Western Switzerland, there is a high-performance offer in matters of energy. Western Switzerland produces a great deal of hydraulic energy (in 2005: 32.8 billion kWh for a total production of 57.9 billion kWh) which it resells with the support of its Energy West Switzerland structure (EOS) and FMB Energy SA. Switzerland exported 40.7 billion kWh in 2005.
It is said that Switzerland is Europe’s water tower. It possesses 6 % of the European freshwater reserves. The Rhone, Rhine and Inn have their source here and flow into the Mediterranean, the North Sea or the Black Sea. Switzerland has more than 1,500 lakes.
Water is the country’s only raw material. Hydraulic energy supplies about 56 % of Switzerland’s energy needs. With its 285 m, the dam of the powerful Grande Dixence is the highest in the world.
Swiss water distributors produce 1 billion cubic metres each year, or the equivalent of a water cube of 1,000 cubic metres.