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Recommendations Swiss seek transparent and responsible gold production

Gold bullion

Switzerland is considered a hub of the international trade in gold, but critics argue the Swiss precious metal industry lacks transparency.

(Keystone)

The Swiss government has called for greater transparency in the gold supply chain in an effort to reduce the risk of human rights violations.

It is in favour of strengthening multi-party stakeholder dialogue and expanding development cooperation in the area of responsible gold production, according to the foreign ministryexternal link.

However, it stopped short of proposing a legal reform, saying Switzerland had one of the strictest regulations on the gold trade in the world.

The findings are part of a parliament-commissioned report, which was published by the government on Wednesday.

“Traceable sourcing of the precious metal is essential because it is the only way to prevent gold mined in breach of human rights from being imported into Switzerland,” the statement says.

Switzerland is an important stakeholder in the international trade in gold, according to the government.

A substantial proportion of the gold produced worldwide is refined in Swiss foundries, which work with both mined and recycled gold. In 2017, some 2,404 tonnes of gold were imported into Switzerland (worth a total of CHF69.6 billion) and 1,684 tonnes were exported (CHF66.6 billion), according to official figures.

The government says Swiss refiners apply voluntary standards to ensure that production meets internationally recognised social and environmental standards. The statement also reiterated that Switzerland is working at the national and international levels to ensure that gold produced in violation of human rights is not imported into the country.

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