Swiss trade balance climbs as prices drop

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Imports stagnant, exports grow: high franc pressures both BERN, SWITZERLAND – The Swiss trade balance for 2011 to date has ballooned by 10 percent compared to a year earlier, to CHF2.2 billion, October trade figures show. The high franc continues to put pressure on prices, and exports continued to show slowed growth of 1.5 percent […]

Syngenta worked dies at Monthey plant

LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND – A 43-year-old Valais man died Sunday afternoon while working at a chemical plant belonging to Syngenta in Monthey, canton Valais. He and another worker were trying to recover a tool that had fallen into an emptied vat. When they failed to reach it he went into the vat, but without first putting […]

Swiss-Indian trade shows “fulgarant” growth, says Bern

BERN, SWITZERLAND – Trade between India and Switzerland, currently negotiating a bilateral free trade treaty, has grown at a “fulgerant” rate in the past 20 years, the Swiss Customs Office says. Exports from Switzerland to India grew by 18 percent in the first nine months of 2011 and have now crossed the threshold of CHF3 […]

Three chemicals conventions move closer to joining forces

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Geneva should know by October if the world’s three dangerous substances conventions will share one secretariat under one roof in Geneva and combine some of their activities, with the goal of more closely coordinating their work. Rotterdam, Stockhom and Basel Conventions could be managed together from Geneva The Fifth Conference of the […]

British NGO pushes Euro Parliament to ban killer drugs

British NGO Reprieve has been tracking a UK company Dream Pharma that it says has exported enough drugs to four US states to kill more than 100 prisoners under American lethal injection death row programmes. Reprieve has started a debate in the European Parliament over the need to ban exports of such drugs to back […]

Hold the pickles and the lettuce – please keep the wrapper

Nearly 20 years ago I went to a lecture on healthy diets that was mostly interesting and good, but when the speaker suddenly got passionate about the dangers of licking your yogurt lids (“and you’d be surprised at how many people do it!” she said), several of us thought she was going too far with […]

Fire ravages old Dhaka quarter, killing scores

A fire raged late Thursday 3 June in an old neighbourhood in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, killing 114, according to government figures, but the number could rise higher, officials say. The force of the fire and the difficulty of pulling out the dead and wounded make it difficult to assess just what happened, but […]

New US trade man calls on India, China, Brazil to take leading roles

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Geneva, Switzerland (GenevaLunch) – “We’re not negotiating with a gun to anyone’s head – that’s not the way the WTO works,” says Michael Punke, the new US ambassador to the World Trade Organization. “What we’re hoping is they will step up and take up their leadership role,” he says, referring to India, China and Brazil. […]

Clariant sheds employees as it shifts business out of Switzerland

Muttenz, Basel, Switzerland (GenevaLunch) – Chemicals company Clariant has announced layoffs of 500 employees, 400 of which are in Switzerland, as it continues to restructure. The company suffered sharp losses in 2008, largely due to a sudden drop in the auto industry. The company has since then shed more than 3,000 jobs. It is now […]

Swiss rich-poor salary gap grows

Foreigners at top end out-earn Swiss Neuchatel, Switzerland (GenevaLunch) – Top managers’ salaries in Switzerland have continued to rise “sharply”, especially in the financial field, since 2006, and the spread between Switzerland’s lowest paid workers and highest increased, a preliminary government statistical report shows. Well-qualified foreign workers and those with long-term C residence permits out-earn […]