ZURICH (Reuters) – The United States overtook Germany as Switzerland’s biggest export market last year, mainly thanks to strong growth in chemical and pharmaceutical products over the last two decades, the Swiss customs office said on Tuesday.
Swiss exports to the United States hit a record 46.95 billion Swiss francs ($50.42 billion) last year after growing by an average of 6.3% per year since 2001, three times faster than the No.2 and No.3 export markets, Germany and Italy.
Germany had been the Alpine country’s biggest export market since 1954.
Growth of Swiss exports to the United States was mostly driven by chemical and pharmaceutical products whose shipments rose to 30.1 billion francs last year from 4.3 billion francs in 2001, equivalent to almost two-thirds of exports to the U.S. market, the customs office said.
Machines and electronics were the second-biggest category, representing 8.3% of total exports to the United States, followed by precision instruments and watches.
($1 = 0.9312 Swiss francs)