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Swiss machinery manufacturers could be main beneficiaries of sino-swiss trade pact

Swiss machinery manufacturers could be main beneficiaries of sino-swiss trade pact Source:
Date: 06-06-2013
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China and Switzerland have signed a free-trade pact that will come into effect on July 1.

Under the agreement, the first free trade pact signed between China and a European country, Switzerland will remove customs duties on 99.7% of Chinese goods, including textiles and garments.  In return, China will remove tariffs on 84.2% of all Swiss goods.

Chinese traders are hopeful of increasing exports of textiles and garments to Switzerland as a direct consequence of the agreement, but any increase would be from a very low base. According to the Swiss Textiles Federation, imports of textiles from China during 2011 amounted to CHF96 million (US$101.4 million at today’s exchange rate) and garment imports from China during that period were worth CHF678 million (US$716.3 million).

Switzerland’s total imports of textiles and garments were worth CHF7.6 billion (US$8.0 billion)  Data from China customs reveal that China’s total textiles and garment exports during 2011 totalled around US$248 billion.

From a textiles and clothing perspective, the main beneficiaries of the agreement are more likely to be Swiss textile machinery manufacturers, who currently command around one third of the global market, but are currently only peripheral players in China, with no more than 5% market share. China’s textiles and garment sector, hungry to add value through technology upgrades may find that Swiss manufacturers can now provide solutions at a lower cost.
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