Switzerland In a region torn by war, a neutral nation can be an important go- between. Such a nation is a good place for meetings and discussions among warring nations. Many peace treaties have been written in the Swiss city of Geneva. In addition, many international organization, such as the United Nations, have offices in Geneva.
Neutrality has also helped Switzerland prosper. Many people place money and other valuables in Swiss banks because they believe their belongings will be secure in a neutral country.
Because Switzerland has few resources needed for industry, the Swiss have chosen to specialize in goods that require much skill. As a result, Swiss factories produce some of the world’s finest watches and scientific equipment.
Switzerland does have some valuable natural resources, however, including the many rivers that start high in the Alps and tumble swiftly to the sea. Switzerland, like France, Italy, and Austria, uses the power of these rushing rivers to produce hydroelectricity.
Although both Austria and Switzerland are neutral countries, Austria takes a more active role in world affairs than Switzerland does. Austrians see their country as a small link between the Communist nations to the east and the democratic countries to the west. Austrians' encourage trade between east and west. They also encourage cultural and educational exchanges. Many international meetings are held in Vienna, the famous capital of Austria.
Thick forests, minerals, and rushing water have helped industry grow in Austria. Industry employs over 60 percent of the nation’s workers. The Austrians use the trees in their forests for lumber and paper. Both products are sold to nations around the world.
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