“Do Not Fear Trade Dependency” – Federal Council

“Do Not Fear Trade Dependency” – Federal Council

Thu, May 23rd 2024

Federal council report reveals manageable trade dependencies for Switzerland amid geopolitical tensions.

KEYSTONE/Christian Beutler

Switzerland’s trade dependencies are manageable and mostly unproblematic, according to a new report by the federal council. The report emphasizes that the security of supply should be further strengthened by diversifying trade flows.

Geopolitical tensions and supply chain disruptions present challenges for open economies like Switzerland. However, the report “Switzerland’s trade dependencies,” published on Wednesday at parliament’s request, notes that trade dependencies impact less than 2% of Swiss goods imports in terms of value.

Out of 195 identified goods with dependencies, the vast majority are not considered problematic. Only 18 goods fall under the national supply act, including items like decaffeinated coffee. These products are sourced from various countries and are easily replaceable if necessary. Additionally, 14 goods, such as laptops and radio receivers, could be part of critical infrastructure.

The federal council acknowledges potential indirect dependencies on imports via third countries. Nevertheless, it does not find industrial policy initiatives to reduce dependencies practical.

The role of companies is crucial in this context. Companies are best positioned to recognize and address dependencies efficiently. The federal council supports these activities through measures like the recent free trade agreement with India and the abolition of industrial tariffs starting in 2024. A revision of national economic supply measures is also underway.


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