Press Release

China remains the most attractive market for Swiss exporters

The Asian country is once again the top export market this year, as the ranking by Switzerland Global Enterprise in cooperation with the KOF Swiss Economic Institute at the ETH Zurich shows. Joining China on the winners’ podium are the USA and Germany, who retain second and third place respectively.

China ist Top-Exportmarkt

Alberto Silini, Head of Consultancy at Switzerland Global Enterprise, maintains: “These three countries are already among the most important target countries for Swiss exporters. The ranking of the top export markets in 2019 underscores their attractiveness and great potential for Swiss companies.”

Nevertheless, he advises not rushing into these countries and preparing thoroughly: “It is essential to carry out a rigorous market and competition analysis, and also to familiarize oneself with cultural particularities. This is obvious in culturally distant countries such as China – in the USA or Europe, on the other hand, this challenge is often underestimated. We support Swiss and Liechtenstein SMEs in this process and help them to successfully master and expand their market entry throughout the world.”

Top ten export markets

A total of 15 different criteria were used to help identify the top export markets. These included factors such as market size, market potential, export volume and average market growth in recent years. A total of 108 countries were evaluated in S-GE’s ranking. The following export markets make up this year’s top ten: 

1. China (1), 2. USA (2), 3. Germany (3), 4. Singapore (4), 5. South Korea (6), 6. France (13), 7. United Kingdom (5), 8. Poland (7), 9. Canada (9), 10. Spain (16)

Growing in mature markets – how is it done? 

The top ten export markets are almost exclusively highly developed and saturated markets. These countries often present strong competitive pressure, are well advanced in terms of digitization and their customers are demanding. In addition, there is currently increased uncertainty due to new trade conflicts and the increasing number of trade barriers. Nevertheless, these markets form the backbone for the foreign business of the vast majority of Swiss exporters – and will continue to be very attractive for further growth in the future. Practical tips on how SMEs can be successful in this regard will be available at the Aussenwirtschaftsforum on March 26 at Messe Zurich.

About the study

The study of the top export markets was carried out by Switzerland Global Enterprise in cooperation with the Swiss Economic Institute at the ETH Zurich. A total of 108 countries were evaluated. The 15 criteria included market size, market growth in recent years (2010–2018), expected market growth (2019–2023), export volume and market potential. The ranking gives Swiss SMEs a broad-based analysis of the various export markets and serves as a guide.

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