India and Switzerland have a history of two centuries in trade relationship. With the growth and opening of the Indian economy in the global world, India and Switzerland strengthened their trade ties. Arsha Consulting takes you through the trends of bilateral trade between India and Switzerland and some facts on Swiss imports and exports.


The trade and commerce relationship between Switzerland dates back to the XIXth Century, when the Volkhart Brothers established their operations in 1856 in the country. Before independence, Swiss mercantile and industrial corporations had been active in sectors such as food processing, pharmaceuticals, engineering, commodity trading, etc. In 1948, the two countries signed the Treaty of Friendship which provided for the establishment of diplomatic missions between the two countries. Following the economic liberalization policies announced by the Indian government in 1991, India and Switzerland intensified their economic and commercial activities.

Swiss Exports/Imports in Figures

Swiss-Indian bilateral trade grew robustly during 2004-2011, almost trebling from 1.5 billion to 4.3 billion Swiss Francs. However, during the recent three years (2012-2014), the Swiss exports to India had constantly declined due to strengthening of the Swiss franc and the sluggish growth of the Indian economy. The decline was to the tune of 13 % in 2014.

On the other hand, Swiss imports from India continued the growth path, expanding once again by 5.9% in 2014. As per the trade data available for the first half of 2015, it seems that the declining trend in Swiss exports to India has now re-versed.

Key Sectors

India continues to offer business opportunities in many industry and service sectors due to a large and expanding domestic market. The most promising sectors include automotive, engineering, clean energy, chemical, power, telecommunication, information technology, healthcare, precision instruments, food processing, consumer goods, and infrastructure.

Major items of Swiss Imports

The main items of Swiss imports from India are textiles and garments, organic chemicals, precious stones and jewelry, dyestuffs, machinery and parts, leather products, shoes and shoe uppers, cotton, plastics, coffee, tea, and hand-knotted carpets. India stands at 22nd position worldwide in terms of countries exporting to Switzerland with a contribution of just 0.5% in Switzerland’s imports. Switzerland stands at 44th position worldwide in terms of countries importing from India.

Major items of Swiss Exports

Swiss exports to India consist of machinery and equipment (electrical and mechanical), precision instruments, pharmaceutical products dyes and chemicals, fertilizers, watches etc.

Indian stands at 14th position worldwide in terms of countries importing from Switzerland with a contribution of 1.2% in Switzerland’s exports. After China and UAE, Switzerland stands at 3rd position in terms of countries exporting to India.

The article has been compiled from various sources, referring to the figures provided by the Swiss-Indian Chamber of Commerce India.

Laetitia Sieffert | Senior Consultant - International Trade
Arsha Consulting

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