Trade surplus boosted by strong exports

The chemical sector was one industry that performed well Keystone Archive

Exports from Switzerland rose by 8.5 per cent to SFr141.7 billion ($118.6 billion) in 2004 – the best result in four years.

This content was published on February 3, 2005 - 11:10

The Federal Customs Office said the high volume of exports boosted the trade surplus by over a third last year, pushing it beyond SFr9.3 billion. Imports reached SFr132.4 billion.

“Given the improved economy in Switzerland and abroad, the Swiss export trade reached its best result in four years in 2004,” said the Customs Office in a statement on Thursday.

Most sectors saw improved results, especially the food, watch and chemical industries. The amount of machinery exports varied depending on the type of equipment sold.

Growth in Swiss exports towards countries in transition was particularly high at 22 per cent. Southeastern European countries, Russia and China recorded the biggest increases.

Imports

The Customs Office said that China played a key role in the one-sixth rise in imports from countries in transition and was now Switzerland’s leading source of Asian imports.

Overall, customs officials said that imports from all regions generally rose last year after three years of lethargy. Investment - rather than consumer - goods contributed to the increase, they added.

Imports, which grew seven per cent last year, were boosted significantly by increased energy prices.

Officials noted that foreign trade had showed signs of slowing in December last year. The trade surplus for the month was down a quarter over the previous December, reaching SFr121.5 million.

swissinfo with agencies

Key facts

Exports from Switzerland rose by 8.5 per cent to SFr141.7 billion in 2004.
Imports rose by seven per cent to SFr132.4 billion.
The trade surplus was a record SFr 9.3 billion, up by 35 per cent.

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