Switzerland's trade surplus reached a record 11.6 billion Swiss francs (US$9.3 billion) in 2006, the federal customs office said on Feb. 1. Exports over the year rose 9.1% to 177.2 billion Swiss francs, boosted in particular by the chemicals sector, the customs office said.
Pharmaceuticals exports were also buoyant, rising by 6.3 billion Swiss francs from the previous year.
Exports of precision instruments, plastic products, watch making and machines and electronics industry exports rose between 9.8% and 12%.
Exports to the EU, Switzerland's main trading partner, were up 11.3%. Sales to Germany, Switzerland's chief national export market, rose by 15% in the year.
Sales to other markets also showed good progress in 2006. Exports to Russia, Ukraine, Romania and India showed the greatest increases of between 34.7% and 46.7%.
Imports into Switzerland last year rose 5.6% to 165.5 billion Swiss francs over the year.
December saw the strongest growth for both indices with exports up 16.7% and imports rising by 13.8%, leading to a monthly surplus of 430 million Swiss francs, up nearly 20% from December the previous year.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2007