Thanks to its geographical position, political stability and well established banking tradition, Switzerland is a world leader in raw materials trading with a sector that employs 10,000 people and generates total turnover approaching 20 billion francs in transit trade. In other words, the trading sector is a centre of strategic activity for the Swiss economy, contributing 3.5% of the national GDP with more than 500 active companies.

Download brochure – Commodity Trading

Commodity Trading Brochure

No special authorisations are required for anyone who wants to operate in this sector, nor are there any limitations on the type of company that can be used to carry out trading activities.

The most popular legal form of company is the Società Anonima (SA), a type of public limited company that requires minimum share capital of 100,000 francs for its formation, of which only 20% or 50,000 francs must be fully paid up.

Bearing in mind that much of the business undertaken is foreign to foreign, trading companies can be considered as auxiliary companies and therefore be subject to more favourable taxation. The extensive flexibility of the “Ticino System” allows the new taxpayer to get in contact with the Tax Authority and assess their tax position, reaching an ad hoc solution by agreement between the parties.


International steel trading centre contributing 2% of the canton’s GDP

With 70 companies active in the sector and 1,000 people employed directly and indirectly, Ticino’s commodity trading is an important component of the local economy, worth 2% of its GDP.

Support from sound trade finance skills and a network of specialist professionals

The Ticino financial centre offers trade finance skills and services at every level (operations guarantee, raw materials trade finance, ordinary activities, etc.) as well as professionals who can provide advice on legal and tax issues at a global level.

Support from the Lugano Commodity Trading Association (LCTA)

Founded in 2010, the LCTA is a non-profit-making association whose main objectives are to strengthen the sector, provide ad hoc training, develop ancillary services and establish collaborative relationships with the local authorities.