On 30 November 2018, the Federal Council had made 16 recommendations in its report 'The Swiss commodities sector: current situation and outlook.' The new report shows that essential progress has been made in the areas of competitiveness, innovative strength, integrity, sustainability of industry practices and dialogue with stakeholders (cantons, companies and NGOs).
The commodities sector – in particular commodities trading – remains a significant segment of the Swiss economy. New figures published in March by the Federal Statistical Office show that some 900 firms in Switzerland are engaged in commodities trading. Nationally, they provide employment for almost 10,000 people. These actors are supported by a whole range of associated professions in the areas of finance, certification and transport.
In the Federal Council's view, the principal focus areas of work currently in progress are still relevant. These are to reinforce Switzerland's position as a competitive, environmentally and socially responsible place to do business, and a commitment to improve sector governance at the international level. Since the November 2018 report, Switzerland has focused on implementing its recommendations to address specific challenges, particularly in the areas of gold, commodity trade finance, transparency and research support. The joint work of the Federal Administration's various offices has ensured a smooth flow of information with external partners. This coordinated approach strengthens Switzerland's standing as a contributor to the development of multilateral standards for the commodities sector.
Switzerland will remain committed to achieving a level playing field at the international level and will continue to promote responsible practices, and to maintaining dialogue between the various stakeholders. To this end, the interdepartmental platform on commodities will be maintained and will continue work already under way.
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