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Basel leads the way in Swiss exports


The canton of Basel-Stadt accounts for 26 percent of Swiss exports. The pharma and chemical industries have above all contributed to this result. In per capita terms, Basel-Stadt exports goods totaling 316,855 Swiss francs. In the BaselArea as a whole, which includes Basel-Landschaft and Jura, the equivalent figure stands at 148,811 Swiss francs per capita.

Rhine port of Basel (img: Mark Niedermann)

The Swiss Federal Customs Administration (FCA) has revised its calculation method for imports and exports at individual canton level. The recently published cantonal trade statistics report reveals that north-west Switzerland is by far the most important driver of exports across the country as a whole.

Accordingly, the exports attributable to the two Basel cantons and Aargau total 85.3 billion Swiss francs, which equates to 35 percent of all Swiss exports. The canton of Basel-Stadt alone accounts for a total of 63.5 billion Swiss francs, or 26 percent. This is followed by Aargau at 15.0 billion Swiss francs and Basel-Landschaft at 6.8 billion. The pharma and chemical industries represent the driving force of the export sector in north-west Switzerland, according to the FCA report.

The BaselArea comprising the three cantons of Basel-Stadt, Basel-Landschaft and Jura accounts for just 6 percent of the overall population of Switzerland, although it is responsible for 30 percent of exports. As the Swiss export king, Basel-Stadt exports goods in the amount of 316,855 Swiss francs on a per capita basis. This is more than ten times above the Swiss average of 28,273 francs per capita. In the BaselArea as a whole, this value amounts to 148,811 Swiss francs per capita. At 32,689 francs per capita, Jura is also slightly in excess of the average, although Basel-Landschaft comes in just below with a value of 23,600 Swiss francs.

In 2019, the canton of Geneva took second place with exports totaling 20.1 billion Swiss francs, followed by the cantons of Vaud, Aargau and Zurich.

The export dynamic is also highest in north-west Switzerland. In the period 2016-2019, an increase of 6.1 percent was registered in this regard, while the annual increase across Switzerland as a whole stood at 4.8 percent.

In terms of imports, Basel-Stadt was ranked in second place, having recorded a total of 34.1 billion Swiss francs. Only the canton of Zurich could better this import result, with a value of 38.0 billion francs.

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