Switzerland's foreign trade grew again in 2016 after a decline in the previous year,, with the development of chemical-pharmaceutical products, the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs said Thursday. Exports rose by 3.8% (real: - 0.8%) to a record high of CHF 210.7 billion. However, the two other major divisions - machines and electronics as well as watches - were unable to participate in the growth. Imports increased by 4.1% (real: + 1.2%) to CHF 173.2 billion. The surplus in the trade balance reached a new record (37.5 billion francs). Exports expanded by 3.8% (real: - 0.8%) to CHF 210.7 billion in 2016, which means that, they reached a new peak.
President Trump argues that too many US workers have lost their jobs to foreign peers as companies have offshored manufacturing. US companies need to bring those jobs back and, in doing so, restore America’s industrial greatness. His diagnosis isn’t altogether wrong: fewer companies manufacture cars, for instance, in the US than was previously the case. But this thesis is too simplistic.
Swiss watch exports registered one of its shallowest falls of last year in December, yet marking a decline for the whole of 2016, figures from the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry showed Thursday. Watch exports declined 4.6% year-on-year in December to CHF 1.7 billion. Exports for the whole year tumbled 9.9 percent to CHF 19.4 billion. The annual decline is the worst performance since exports fell 22 percent in 2009 in the wake of the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers and the subprime mortgage crisis.
The European Environment Agency says the continent is facing rising sea levels and more extreme weather, such as more frequent and more intense heat waves, flooding, droughts and storms because of climate change. The document, called Climate change, impacts and vulnerability in Europe, revealed the cost to the economy had soared by about 80% over the last 30 years. During the 1980s, the damages averaged about €7.6bn euro a year, but by the 2000s the figure had risen to €13.7bn, the report said. Overall between 1980 and 2013, the cost was nearly €393bn.
Russian Railways suggests reviewing the use of Swiss francs as a settlement currency for the transit traffic, president of the company Oleg Belozerov said, as Tass agency reported. "We calculate transit in Swiss francs. The Swiss franc has been historically used for international settlements. I asked colleagues to consider and give an assessment whether the franc is the proper currency now to make settlements," he said.
Transparency International (TI), the world’s leading anti-corruption movement, said in its annual Corruption Perceptions Index for 2016 that in countries with populist or autocratic leaders, "instead of tackling crony capitalism, those leaders usually install even worse forms of corrupt systems." Based on expert opinions of public sector corruption, the annual report rated Denmark and New Zealand as the least-corrupt countries, followed by Finland, Sweden, Switzerland, and Norway.
Novartis may spin off its struggling Alcon eye care business and is to launch a share buyback programme worth up to $5 billion, the Swiss drugmaker said on Wednesday in reporting fourth-quarter results that lagged market expectations. Its sales were flat in the fourth quarter while posting a $120 million operating loss, forcing a critical look at whether to sell eye care division. "We've not ruled anything out, all options are on the table," Chief Executive Joe Jimenez said on a results news conference call.
Despite the push toward a cashless society in many countries, residents in Switzerland are still in love with their cash, which is used regularly to purchase all sorts of things, both small and large. According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, the love of cash in Switzerland doesn’t seem to be slowing down. The Alpine country bowed to pressure from international anti-money-laundering organizations and implemented a cap on the amount of cash a person can use on a single purchase without raising red flags and requiring extra paperwork. If the transaction is over 100,000 Swiss francs, a retailer has to confirm identities and report the transactions that they deem to be suspicious.
U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday pushed the heads of GM, Ford and Fiat Chrysler to build more of their cars in the United States and boost American employment in the process. After weeks of taunting the automotive industry over Twitter, Trump made a point to meet with the CEOs of General Motors, Ford and Fiat Chrysler just days into his term. He has pressured the companies to build more vehicles in the U.S. and hire more Americans into manufacturing jobs. "I want new plants to be built here for cars sold here!" Trump said in a tweet ahead of the breakfast meeting with automakers, saying he would discuss U.S. jobs with the chief executives.
The North American Wertheim Jewish Education Trust in the United States is demanding back payment from Deutsche Bank of nearly $3 billion, claiming the bank wrongly withheld the money from the heirs of a wealthy German family, as Bloomberg reported. The Jewish charitable trust filed its complaint at a Florida federal court on Wednesday, claiming the bank refused to return funds originally deposited by the wealthy Wertheim family before the rise of the Nazis.
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