Bern is the capital of Switzerland, referred to, by Swiss people, as their "federal city", the fifth-most populous city in Switzerland.
The metropolitan area had a population of 660,000 in 2000. Bern is also the capital of the canton of Bern, the second-most populous of Switzerland's cantons.
Berne benefits from its central location at the heart of Switzerland and at the centre of Europe.
Its close proximity to European centres of technology makes Berne an ideal business location for small and medium-sized enterprises as well as major corporations.
The service sector is the largest economic sectorand source of employment in the Canton of Berne. Tourism is a significant driver of the economy in the Bernese Oberland, while precisionindustry is important in the regions of the Bernese Jura, Oberaargau, Biel/Bienne-Seeland and Emmental.