by swisschambei in Business
According to annual figuresExternal link released on Wednesday, the Swiss MEM industry saw sales drop by 9.8% and incoming orders by 6.5% in 2020. The situation started to improve in the second half of the year with new orders in the fourth quarter of 2020 returning to the previous year’s level. This was thanks in large part to trade with China, which recovered quickly after the shutdown in the first quarter. “The Swiss industrial companies that do business locally or with exports with China were able to benefit quickly,” said Martin Hirzel, President of the Swissmem, manufacturing industry association, in an interviewExternal link with Swiss public television SRF. The Swiss industrial sector has boosted business with China with the help of the free trade agreement in force since 2014 – the first signed between China and a European country. The sector now exports four times more to China than two decades ago. Exports to the country making up 7% of all Swiss MEM exports.