Pharma helps Swiss exports grow while watches suffer

Novartis is one of the many pharmaceutical companies based in Switzerland whose exports helped boost overall numbers Keystone

The chemical and pharmaceutical branches are to thank for positive export numbers out of Switzerland so far this year, though the watch and machine industries suffered. Exports grew by 5.1% overall in the first half of 2016. 

This content was published on July 21, 2016 - 19:36 and agencies

Chemicals and pharmaceuticals saw record export numbers with a 15% increase as the total value of goods sent outside the country rose to CHF105.4 billion ($106.8 billion) between January and June. 

However, watch exports declined by 10.6% amid less demand from Hong Kong and Europe. Specifically, Swatch’s first-half profits had fallen to their lowest level in seven years, declining 54% to CHF353 million.

Exports in the machine and electronics industries also fell by 0.7% overall. 

While exports to Asia did not grow and those to Latin America declined by 3%, goods sent to North America grew by 15%. Exports from Switzerland to the rest of Europe also increased, by 5%. 

The increase in exports to North America can be attributed in large part to more pharmaceuticals being sent to the United States. 

Overall, Swiss exports have shown positive trends since the middle of 2015. However, the electronics and machine industry as well as the watch sector have continued to suffer since the franc’s value increased drastically in January 2015 when it was un-pegged from the Euro.

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