The origin of Switzerland’ gold imports and exports will be more transparent as of 2014 when foreign trade statistics will include a country by country breakdown for the first time since 1981.
The change means Switzerland will be meeting international statistical standards and contributing towards transparency in the industry overall, according to a statement released by the government on Friday.
The governent has not taken a decision on releasing retrospective data, but has tasked the finance and the foreign ministries to submit a proposal on the publication of historical data.
The Swiss Society for Threatened Peoples welcomed the announcement as a “small step in the direction of transparency”, but added that their own research has shown Swiss refineries have imported gold in 2013 from producers who are involved in social conflict and environmental damage and called on the government to oblige gold importers to exercise due diligence and to reveal who their suppliers are.
According to the Swiss News Agency, in the first six months of 2013 between 75 and 80 per cent of the total world gold trade passed through Switzerland.
swissinfo.ch and agencies