Swiss life science exports were valued at CHF 99.1B in 2020 and accounted for 44% of total exports. The sector has grown by a factor of 4.5 since 2000, when life sciences accounted for 17% of total exports, making it the strongest single driver of Swiss export growth.
scienceindustries | Head Biotechnology
In 2020, the life science, pharma and chemistry sectors achieved a record export value of CHF 116.4B (up 1.6%), accounting for 52% of total Swiss exports. This strong performance was in contrast to an overall 7.1% decline in Swiss exports due to the COVID-19 crisis. The dominant contribution came from the life sciences subsector (pharmaceuticals, vitamins and diagnostics) with a value of CHF 99.09B. This subsector alone represented a 44% share of total Swiss exports in 2020, a strong expansion from its 17.4% share in 2000.
The life sciences subsector comprises a significant proportion of biopharmaceuticals and biotech products. More than a third of these subsector exports are derived from immunological products and monoclonal antibody therapeutics that showed an especially strong performance in 2020 with exports of CHF 36.99B (+8.3%).
While total Swiss exports grew by 78% from 2000 to 2020 (from CHF 126.55B to CHF 225.07B), the life science subsector's contribution increased by 349% in the same time (from CHF 22.07B to CHF 99.09B), making it the strongest driver of Swiss export growth and continuing its positive contribution even in the difficult year 2020. Favorable framework conditions in Switzerland for high-tech industries like the biotech sector, as well as preparedness and agility of companies in challenging times, support this strong economic development.
Swiss export statistics according to industry sector demonstrate the lead of the chemistry, pharma and biotech industry (scienceindustries/Federal Customs Administration 2021). The life science subsector alone contributed 44% to the total Swiss export value.