Switzerland shipped US$401.9 billion worth of exported products around the globe in 2022. That dollar amount results from a 29.3% increase compared to $310.7 billion during 2018.
Year over year, the overall value of goods exported from Switzerland rose 5.6% from $380.6 billion in 2021.
That dollar figure also represents roughly 1.8% of world exports one year earlier in 2021 estimated at $22.144 trillion.
Switzerland’s biggest 5 export customers in 2022 were the United States of America, Germany, mainland China, Italy and France. Combined, that quintet of major purchasers of exported Swiss goods bought over half (52.4%) of Switzerland’s global revenue.
Applying a continental lens, 45.7% of Switzerland exports by value were delivered to fellow European countries while 33.3% were sold to importers in Asia. Switzerland shipped another 17.8% worth of goods to North America.
Smaller percentages went to Latin America (1.4%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean, Africa (0.9%) then Oceania (0.7%) led by Australia.
Switzerland’s Top 25 Trading Partners
Below is a list showcasing 25 of Switzerland’s top trading partners in terms of customers for Swiss exports during 2022. That is, countries that imported the most Swiss shipments by dollar value. Also shown is each import country’s percentage of total Swiss exports.
- United States: US$65.5 billion (16.3% of total Swiss exports)
- Germany: $53.7 billion (13.4%)
- China: $44.2 billion (11%)
- Italy: $25.8 billion (6.4%)
- France: $21.3 billion (5.3%)
- India: $14.9 billion (3.7%)
- United Kingdom: $13.3 billion (3.3%)
- Türkiye: $12.7 billion (3.1%)
- Slovenia: $12 billion (3%)
- Austria: $10.8 billion (2.7%)
- Spain: $10.7 billion (2.7%)
- Singapore: $10.3 billion (2.6%)
- Japan: $9.8 billion (2.4%)
- Hong Kong: $7.4 billion (1.8%)
- Netherlands: $7.2 billion (1.8%)
- Thailand: $6.4 billion (1.6%)
- United Arab Emirates: $6 billion (1.5%)
- Belgium: $5.04 billion (1.3%)
- Saudi Arabia: $5.01 billion (1.2%)
- Canada: $4.3 billion (1.1%)
- South Korea: $3.8 billion (0.9%)
- Russia: $3.2 billion (0.8%)
- Poland: $3.1 billion (0.8%)
- Australia: $2.7 billion (0.7%)
- Taiwan: $2.6 billion (0.7%)
Nine-tenths (90%) of Swiss exports in 2022 were delivered to the above 25 trade partners.
Türkiye increased its imports from Switzerland at the fastest rate, up 349.6% in value from 2021 to 2022. Swiss exports to Saudi Arabia grew by 100.4% trailed by Thailand’s 49% gain then Slovenia (up 37.6%) and mainland China (up 33.5%).
Leading the decliners for purchasing Swiss exports year over year were India (down -52.6% from 2021) and Hong Kong (down -27.2%).
Countries Causing the Greatest Trade Deficits for Switzerland
As defined by Investopedia, a country whose total value of all imported goods is higher than its value of all exports is said to have a negative trade balance or deficit.
It would be unrealistic for any exporting nation to expect across-the-board positive trade balances with all its importing partners. Similarly, that export country doesn’t necessarily post a negative trade balance with each individual partner with which it exchanges exports and imports.
In 2022, Switzerland incurred the highest trade deficits with the following countries.
- Germany: -US$16.5 billion (country-specific trade deficit in 2022)
- South Africa: -$5.3 billion
- Uzbekistan: -$3.9 billion
- Philippines: -$3.4 billion
- Ghana: -$3.3 billion
- United Arab Emirates: -$3.3 billion
- Burkina Faso: -$3 billion
- Ireland: -$2.8 billion
- Kazakhstan: -$2.5 billion
- Peru: -$2.4 billion
Among Switzerland’s trading partners that cause the greatest negative trade balances, Swiss deficits with Philippines (up 814.3%), Germany (up 131.4%) and Uzbekistan (up 70.6%) grew at the fastest pace from 2021 to 2022.
In addition, Swiss trade with Kazakhstan went from a $136.7 million surplus in 2021 to the trade deficit for 2022 listed above.
These cashflow deficiencies clearly indicate Switzerland’s competitive disadvantages with the above countries, but also represent key opportunities for Switzerland to develop country-specific strategies to strengthen its overall position in international trade.
Countries Generating the Largest Trade Surpluses for Switzerland
Switzerland posted an overall $45.3 billion trade surplus for 2022. That positive balance represents a -19.3% fall from the $56.1 billion surplus one year earlier in 2021.
Based on Investopedia’s definition of net importer, a country whose total value of all imported goods is lower than its value of all exports is said to have a positive trade balance or surplus.
Switzerland incurred the highest trade surpluses with the following countries.
- United States: US$27.6 billion (country-specific trade deficit in 2022)
- mainland China: $22.6 billion
- India: $12.1 billion
- Türkiye: $10.6 billion
- Singapore: $5.8 billion
- Slovenia: $5 billion
- Saudi Arabia: $4.2 billion
- Japan: $4.1 billion
- Hong Kong: $3.6 billion
- Thailand: $2.6 billion
Among Switzerland’s trading partners that cause the greatest positive trade balances, Swiss surpluses with Türkiye (up 1,581%), Saudi Arabia (up 165.3%) and Singapore (up 88.9%) grew at the fastest pace from 2021 to 2022.
These positive cashflow streams clearly indicate Switzerland’s competitive advantages with the above countries, but also represent key opportunities for Switzerland to develop country-specific strategies to optimize its overall position in international trade.
Main Swiss Export Companies
Forty-eight corporations based in Switzerland rank among Forbes Global 2000. Below is a sample of the major Swiss companies that Forbes included.
- ABB Group (automation technology)
- Glencore International (diversified metals)
- Holcim (construction materials)
- Nestlé (food processing)
- Novartis (pharmaceuticals)
- Roche Holding (pharmaceuticals)
- Schindler Group (escalators, elevators)
- Swatch Group (clothing, watches)
- Syngenta (pesticides, specialized chemicals)
- TE Connectivity (electronics)
- Transocean (offshore drilling equipment)
- Weatherford International (oil field equipment)
Global trade intelligence firm Zepol also documents the following companies as examples of Swiss exporters.
- Baselux Sa Lugano Branch (heterocyclic compounds, printed documents)
- Novametal Sa Switzerland (stainless steel wire, plastic bobbins, aluminum wire)
- Olivado Tanlay (vegetable oil, honey, coconut oil)
- Polarome Switzerland (ketones, acetic acid esthers, acyclic polyhyric acids)
- Starbucks Coffee Trading (coffee, tea, paper bags)
See also Switzerland’s Top 10 Major Export Companies, Switzerland’s Top 10 Imports, Switzerland’s Top 10 Exports and Top EU Export Countries
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook Country Profiles. Accessed on April 10, 2023
Forbes Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on April 10, 2023
International Monetary Fund, Exchange Rates selected indicators (National Currency per U.S. dollar, period average). Accessed on April 10, 2023
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on April 10, 2023
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on April 10, 2023
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on April 10, 2023
Wikipedia, List of Companies of Switzerland. Accessed on April 10, 2023
Zepol’s company summary highlights by country. Accessed on April 10, 2023