Swiss Confederation is a federal republic, located in Central Europe. The seven-member Federal Council is the executive authority, or cabinet. Parliament has two chambers: the 200-seat National Council (the lower house) and the 46-member Council of States (the upper house), both elected for a four-year term. Switzerland ranks 40th largest economy in the world (by GDP PPP), but is 17th by GDP per capita. Swiss economy is highly integrated with the European Union, which buys 48% of Switzerland’s merchandise goods. The EU is also Switzerland’s key supplier of goods, accounting for 56% of total imports. Around 70% of all exports are directed to just three markets (European Union, United States and China). Total external trade volume is 58% of GDP. The central bank, Swiss National Bank (SNB), has no explicitly stated nominal anchor, but rather monitors various indicators in conducting monetary policy. SNB also maintains a floating exchange rate regime. Swiss franc (CHF) is often perceived as a safe haven and tends to appreciate during volatility, uncertainty and crisis times. The stability of the Swiss franc makes it a proxy for gold. Switzerland’s economic weaknesses include: almost extreme dependence on international finance (banking assets to GDP ratio is close to 400%), ageing population.