Swiss Watch Industry Aims at New Export Record

After passing the 12 billion franc mark (about $9.8 billion) in 2005, Swiss watch exports could top 13 billion Swiss francs (about $10.6 billion) this year. Watch counterfeiting, though, remains a major concern, and the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry FH is acting worldwide to fight it. This in essence was the message of Jean-Daniel Pasche, FH president, in his report to the organization’s June 29 annual general meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland. More than 90 percent of all Swiss watchmakers are FH members. After setbacks in 2002 and 2003 in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States, Swiss watch exports are back on track, said the FH report, setting records in 2004 and 2005. “Everything indicates 2006 will keep pace with this trend,” said Pasche. (The first five months of 2006 saw an 11 percent increase to 5.1 billion francs, or $4.1 billion.)

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