Commodity trading and finance

Switzerland is a world leader in commodity trading. The Swiss commodity sector includes not only trading companies, but also banks specialised in the financing of commodity trading, goods inspection companies, shipping companies and insurance companies. Its importance for the Swiss economy is as significant as ever. It is estimated that approximately 500 companies with around 10,000 employees are active in the commodity sector in Switzerland.    

The regulatory and political environment plays a decisive role in terms of Switzerland's appeal as a business location. Commodity trading centres such as Singapore, London and Dubai are major competitors for Switzerland. Given the many connections between the commodity and financial sectors, a prosperous commodity sector is important for Switzerland's financial centre. Banks play a key role in the financing of commodity trading, for instance.

In view of the sector's diversity and its great importance in terms of domestic and foreign policy, the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research (EAER) and the Federal Department of Finance (FDF) established an interdepartmental commodities platform in 2013. It is led alternately by SIF, SECO and the FDFA.

Switzerland is pursuing its commodity policy dialogue with the private sector, civil society and the cantons. The Federal Council believes that Switzerland is in a favourable position by international standards thanks to its efforts to ensure a competitive and morally sound business location for companies in the commodity sector. In November 2018, it adopted a report on the situation in the Swiss commodity sector. It issued 16 recommendations on that basis to further enhance the appeal, innovative power, integrity and responsible practices of the Swiss hub. The Federal Council instructed the platform to coordinate the implementation of the 16 recommendations and to draw up a report by the end of 2020. The competent departments are currently in the process of implementing the recommendations.

Further information

Last modification 22.05.2020

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