While Switzerland is ranked sixth when it comes to the value of foreign direct investment (FDI) in South Africa, according to the Swiss Embassy (South Africa), trade between the two countries had risen sharply in the last five years.
South African Deputy Minister of International Relations, Marius Fransman, aid total trade between Switzerland and South Africa had risen by 25% since 2007, while SA exports to Switzerland increased from R8.8 billion in 2007 to over R21 billion in 2011.(1 South African rand = 0.1164 US dollars.)
Switzerland imports mainly platinum, diamonds and other precious metals from South Africa and mainly exports pharmaceutical products to South Africa.
Swiss companies - which include Nestle, Schindler, pharmaceutical company Novarti and electrical engineering giant ABB - employ over 37 000 people in South Africa, all in skilled jobs.