Efforts towards greater policy coherence for development in the Swiss commodities sector
The SDC and SECO have successfully engaged in the Federal Council’s recent work towards a background report on the Swiss commodities industry. As a result, concerns about the impact of this sector in Switzerland (as well as in developing countries) have been acknowledged by the Federal Council and work is under way to look at how, among other things, Swiss policies can be made more development-friendly.
Switzerland is one of the world’s most important centres of international commodities trading, with this sector accounting for 3.5% of Swiss GDP. In 2012 the Swiss government set up an inter-departmental platform involving three Swiss federal departments (Economic Affairs, Education and Research, Finance and Foreign Affairs). The platform is mandated to explore how Switzerland can continue to support the growth of this sector and to look at the sector’s human rights and environmental impacts, in response to civil society reports revealing abuses and a campaign to strengthen Swiss rules in this area. (Box 1.1, p. 29)
Read more about the Swiss commodities industry