Switzerland has been a major global commodity trading centre for a long time. The sector has grown remarkably over the past ten years. In Switzerland, it includes not only trading companies, but also banks specialised in the financing of commodity trading, goods inspection companies, shipping companies and insurance companies.
Switzerland is pursuing its commodity policy dialogue with the private sector, civil society and the cantons. SIF is continuing to get involved in these issues through the interdepartmental platform, which it leads alternately with SECO and the FDFA. The commodity sector is still of great importance for the Swiss economy. The receipts from merchanting are proof of this, as they come essentially from this sector. According to the Swiss National Bank's statistics, these receipts amounted to CHF 33 billion in 2018, or around 4.8% of Swiss GDP, in 2018. Given the many connections between the commodity sector and the financial sector, a prosperous commodity sector is important for Switzerland's financial centre. Banks play a key role in the financing of commodity trading, for instance.
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 responsible departments are currently in the process of implementing the recommendations. An initial report, the background report on commodities, was published in March 2013. It defined the Federal Council's approach for maintaining Switzerland's competitiveness internationally and for concretely addressing the risks to which companies are exposed in terms of human rights, social and environmental standards, corruption and reputation as a result of their activities.
- The Swiss commodities sector: current situation and outlook (PDF, 1 MB, 17.01.2019)
- Third status report on the implementation of the recommendations (PDF, 250 kB, 20.02.2018)
- Second status report on the implementation of the recommendations (PDF, 175 kB, 20.02.2018)
- 1st status report on the implementation of recommendations (PDF, 210 kB, 20.02.2018)
- Background Report Commodities (PDF, 1 MB, 20.02.2018)
Last modification 26.08.2019