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Swiss SMEs are not deterred by trade barriers

Global protectionism is increasing more and more and is hampering the growth of the world economy. But to what extent are Swiss SMEs affected? This is the question addressed by Credit Suisse’s SME Survey 2019, which surveyed over 500 Swiss SMEs.

The current situation of the global economy is tense. Protectionism and the trade dispute between the United States and China are causing enormous damage to the global economy and especially to the export sector.

As part of its study of Swiss SMEs, Credit Suisse surveyed 560 small and medium-sized export companies. The study showed that trade and customs barriers represent major, but not insurmountable, challenges for Swiss small and medium-sized enterprises.

Challenges for Swiss SMEs

Around half of the SMEs surveyed consider tariff measures such as customs duties, taxes or other levies to be an obstacle to their export-oriented business activities. However, these are by no means the greatest challenges facing Swiss SMEs. They see far greater barriers to trade in the price of their own products and services and the often responsible exchange rate of the Swiss franc.

The connection between the increase in global protectionism and the decline in exports by SMEs is therefore not as obvious as it seems at first glance. The majority of SMEs surveyed rated the current export business situation as good despite the existing trade barriers. The Swiss SMEs see themselves as well prepared for the challenges of the export economy.

Source: Credit Suisse 2019 SME study

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