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Swissmem head calls for Switzerland to be open

The new president of Swissmem, the umbrella group of electrical and mechanical engineering companies, says Switzerland needs to be open to tackle the economic crisis.

Hans Hess, who took over the position from the now economics minister Johann Schneider-Ammann on November 18, said in an interview that the country should not, as some sectors wanted, “put itself under a cheese cover”.

Switzerland can only face the challenges of the economic crisis with the aid of others, Hess told the Finanz und Wirtschaft newspaper in its Saturday edition. “Unfortunately, there are still political forces who think that we can only solve our problems by putting a cheese cover over Switzerland,” he said.

Hess called for Switzerland to be active in institutions such as the International Monetary Fund, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, and the G20 in working against the crisis.

But he does not want any "interventionism" on the part of the Swiss National Bank over the strong franc. Instead he wants it to look into “reasonable measures” to cushion against changes in currency exchange rates.

Swissmem industries generate more than 35 per cent of all Swiss exports to the value of around SFr63 billion ($63 billion).

swissinfo.ch and agencies


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