Federal Council aims to improve statistics on Swiss commodity trading
Bern, 29.06.2022 - Switzerland is a major commodity trading hub. Official statistics do not record commodity trading as a separate activity, however, even at international level. The Federal Council intends to provide more information about this important sector in the future. It therefore instructed the responsible department on 29 June to examine the possibility of collecting more specific data in Switzerland.
Commodity trading is an important sector of the Swiss economy, with approximately 900 commodity traders employing more than 10,000 people. The activities of companies trading commodities have no specific classification, however, in Switzerland or abroad. This means that currently only rough estimates can be made of the sector's contribution to the economy, and no specific information is available on the goods traded by Swiss commodity traders.
The Federal Council stated in 2018 that due to the sector's relevance, it should also be ensured in the longer term that sufficient statistical information is available. Work was then begun that enabled the Federal Statistical Office to publish initial data in 2021 on the number of companies and employees active in this area. Now the Federal Council is seeking to improve data collection for official statistics on commodity trading, in order to better estimate the sector's national and international significance. To this end, on 29 June it instructed the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research EAER to examine in detail the possibility of launching a new data collection process and the impact this would have on resources. The EAER will be working with the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs FDFA, the Federal Department of Home Affairs FDHA and the Federal Department of Finance FDF on the project.
The aim is to establish a solid foundation of reliable data on Swiss commodity trading that can be compared over time. It is complex and labour-intensive to expand existing data-collection practices and to collect data regularly; new official data on commodity trading will therefore appear only in the mid- to long term.
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