Switzerland Saves Billions From Free Trade

Switzerland’s highly trade-dependent economy is gaining billions of dollars from free trade agreements like the one it has with the European Union, a government study found.

Importers and consumers saved 2.5 billion francs ($2.7 billion) in tariffs in 2018, according to an analysis published by the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs on Tuesday. “Thanks to free trade agreements, Swiss companies were able to improve their competitiveness in domestic and foreign markets,” it said.

Besides the free trade agreement with the European Union and the European Free Trade Association convention, Switzerland has 30 free trade agreements with 40 partners globally.

Another part of the government’s strategy to “fight against the ‘high-price island’ of Switzerland,” is a plan to eliminate import tariffs on industrial goods. The move would affect goods like cars, bicycles, shoes and textiles -- and allow companies to benefit from lower input costs and boost profitability.

If approved by parliament, the measure would have positive macroeconomic effects of around 860 million francs, the government said on Tuesday.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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