Along with London and Singapore, Switzerland nowadays plays an essential role in the commodity trading sector worldwide.
Historically, since the first decades of the twentieth century, goods such as cotton, coffee and wheat have long been negotiated through Switzerland. Successively, the contingencies of the world wars, Switzerland’s neutrality, a flexible exchange rate as well as the country’s political and economical stability have favoured the settlement of this intermediary business: suffice to mention the characteristics of the Cold War, the Egyptian cotton in the sixties, the oil crisis in ’73-’74, the developments in post-Soviet Russia and so forth. All of these factors, added to a variety of typically Swiss particularities – such as moderate taxation – have fostered Switzerland as a particularly attractive location for commodity trading and its development.
As for the situation in our country, it is a well-known fact that in the past decades, Geneva has made great efforts in this branch so that today, almost 400 companies are situated in the Lake Geneva area with a total turnover estimated at 800 billion francs and direct employment figures of over 6’000 persons. Furthermore, the goods traded are many: soft commodities (cereals, sugar, coffee, cotton), oil, steel and others.