A positive trade balance with China

A positive trade balance with China

Last year Swiss exports totaled 14,69 billion Swiss francs, exactly like in 2015

SHANGHAI – Switzerland is one of the very few countries to have recorded a positive trade balance with China (including Hong Kong) without exporting raw materials as maintained by Nicolas Musy, co-founder and CEO of Swiss Centers China, a non-profit organization supporting Swiss companies to overcome the barriers to start business relations with the Asian market. 2017 looks bright.

As announced by Swiss Centers China, Swiss exports to China are doing well: last year they totaled 14,69 billion Swiss francs, a figure nearly identical to the previous year (14,67). The trade balance surplus totaled 1,3 billion Swiss francs. “The expertise of Swiss companies alongside the high-quality standards of their products is necessary against China’s rapidly growing, dynamic economy, for instance in industries like advanced technology, pharma and medicine”, adds Musy. China is the third largest outlet of Swiss exports, behind Germany, (40 billions) and the Unites States (31), but one step above France (14) and Italy (13). Contrasting trends were recorded in 2016: exports to continental China reached peak figures (9,8 billion Swiss francs, +10%), whereas exports to Hong Kong decreased (3,9 billions, -16%) due to the downswing in the watch industry (-19%). As regards continental China, exports nearly tripled in ten years, above all following the boom of the chemical and pharmaceutical industries (+29% in 2016 alone), where the made in Switzerland is becoming crucially relevant. While in principle Switzerland’s core product category identifies with watches, a downswing has been witnessed: according to Musy such decrease is ascribable to the recent anti-corruption measures enforced by the Chinese authorities and to the recent introduction of the luxury tax. On the other hand, such weaknesses have been offset by the expansion witnessed on continental scale: an extremely encouraging evolution which permits to confidently look at the future, claims Zhen Xiao, director of Swiss Centers China. Optimism is also confirmed by a survey showing that 68% of Swiss managers in China expect 2017 sales to be higher if not even to widely outnumber the sales of 2016, whereas a negligible 1% expect a decline. Similar expectations are also harbored vis-à-vis the profits.

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