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Alternative Market Briefing

Switzerland responds to challenges to its commodity trading industry in new report

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Benedicte Gravrand, Opalesque Geneva: - Switzerland is one of the most important commodity trading centres in the world, said the Swiss Federal Council in a release last week announcing the publication of a background report on commodities. This report responds to challenges within the commodities trading industry coming from international competition and from calls for better compliance with international standards and more financial transparency.

Switzerland indeed wants to meet reputation risks, protect its significant role in this industry and remain attractive to commodity companies. The commodities industry in Switzerland includes groups such as Glencore Int’l, Vitol SA, Trafigura Beheer and Cargill and many smaller trading houses. But the country rejected calls for tougher regulation and chose to go for voluntary principles instead.

"Switzerland generally prefers voluntary standards, which are supported and upheld by businesses, to laws," Economy Minister Johann Schneider-Ammann was quoted by Bloomberg as saying to reporters in Bern. "It’s important that we make sure the framework in Switzerland isn’t less attractive than elsewhere."

Singapore, Dubai (U.A.E.), China (especially Hong Kong), the U.S., the UK, and the Netherlands are other popular......................

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