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Free trade agreements accelerate export growth

SME Export Outlook Q3 2017

Export-oriented Swiss SMEs are continuing to view the future positively. According to the latest survey on export sentiment by Switzerland Global Enterprise (S-GE), around half of all SMEs expect exports to continue to rise in the third quarter of 2017. The Credit Suisse Export Barometer is only marginally below its peak of the last ten years. The results point toward solid export growth for the Swiss economy. The performance is being driven by growth momentum from Europe and the USA. Switzerland has continuously expanded its network of free trade agreements (FTAs) over the past 25 years. The effects of this are extremely positive: Export growth on average rises more sharply than before following the entry into force of an FTA. Over one fifth of all exports are now sent to FTA partner countries.

SME Export Outlook

As Sascha Jucker, Credit Suisse economist, says: “The positive situation to be observed in the European and American industrial sector should also lead to robust demand for export goods from Swiss companies in the second half of 2017. As well as the favorable demand situation in Europe, the performance there of the single currency provided additional support: The Swiss franc depreciated slightly against the euro in the first half of 2017.”

Alberto Silini, Head of Consulting at Switzerland Global Enterprise (S-GE), adds: “The conclusion of free trade agreements regularly exerts a positive influence on export growth rates. It is not just the good selection of partner countries that is responsible for this effect. The positive impact of the reduction of trade barriers has also been proved. SMEs not yet making use of or having difficulties with free trade agreements can seek advice from S-GE. We have the corresponding expertise and network and can offer them good support.”

Video statements on current export sentiment by Sascha Jucker, Credit Suisse economist, and Alberto Silini, Head of Consulting at Switzerland Global Enterprise:

The SME Export Outlook for the fourth quarter of 2017 will be published on 17 October 2017.

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