Swiss exporters look to the future with concern: Compared to last year, expectations for export development in 2019 are significantly lower. Trade conflicts, Brexit and weak currencies in emerging markets are dampening the good mood that prevailed in 2018. Exporting companies expect even higher risks for France, Italy and the UK - important export countries for Switzerland.
Swiss exporters fear an intensified risk situation for several important export markets. Brexit, domestic political developments in France and Italy, various initiatives for new trade barriers on the part of the USA - the cheerful mood that prevailed in the good export year 2018 is being dampened.
The Swiss Export Risk Index of Euler Hermes Switzerland and the Bern University of Applied Sciences shows that companies are affected by the various risks associated with the export of goods and services - currency risk, economic and political risk, del credere risk, risk of inadequate legal certainty, corruption risk and cyber risk - at a level similar to that of 2018. However, companies expect export risks to increase in 2019, especially political risks, cyber risks and once again economic risks.
So, do exporting companies in Switzerland have to brace themselves for a storm? Dark clouds may be gathering, but silver lining can also be seen on the horizon. The economists at Euler Hermes and Allianz expect a soft landing for the global economy in 2019, especially as the trade conflict eases. However, exporters cannot yet breathe a sigh of relief - the declining economic development in the USA points to a less rosy business year 2020 on a global level.
Swiss exporters will therefore have to adjust to a volatile market environment again in the coming weeks and months. Those who fail to react to the changes with ingenuity and new solutions will have a hard time surviving the stormy times. In such situations, long-term focus and stamina are also required: those who have built up reserves in good times and thus made provisions for crises, can look forward to periods of drought calmly.
Especially to be prepared for stormy weather, critically questioning one's own strategy in good times is worth the effort – does the perception of my own company also correspond to the desired positioning? Do I reach my stakeholders with my messages? Do I have important issues, such as export development, on my radar? How do such developments influence my market? Anyone who invests strategically and continuously in image and reputation management can survive turbulent times without being shipwrecked.
The complete results of the survey conducted by Euler Hermes and the Berne University of Applied Sciences as well as further information can be found at: https://www.eulerhermes.com/de_CH/medien/exportrisiko-monitor.html and https://www.bfh.ch/de/dienstleistungen/exportrisiko-monitor/