Swiss Review

Swiss textile machinery dominating in the competitive global market
by Prof. Dr. Noor Ahmed Memon, Dadabhoy Institute of Higher Education / Associate Editor,
Pakistan Textile Journal.

Switzerland occupies a leading position in terms of economic indicators such as competitiveness, expenditure on research and development. In cross-border direct investment, the Swiss economy is among the top, and Switzerland is one of the countries with the highest export rate as a percentage of gross domestic products (GDP).

Switzerland is a small landlocked country. It is a world famous textile machinery production power. Due to the excellent quality of textile machinery and textile testing instrument, Swiss innovative potential is famous all over the world. The rapid pace of technological innovations taking place in the textile machinery market resulted in the production of more efficient machines at lower prices. Traditional textile machinery relies on cheap labor and hence even though the textile volumes sold are high, the quality of the cloth suffers.

Exports of Swiss Textile Machinery -2019

Today, Swissmem comprises about 1150 member companies from all the sectors. Within Swissmem there are 27 groups, who focus on technology. The textile division of Swissmem is one such association representing the entire spectrum of the textile industry of Switzerland. It is also the oldest sub-division within Swissmem, turning 79 years in 2019.

Currently, 44 companies are affiliated with the machinery association, including manufacturers of machines and components, and service providers, for the textile industry. The companies offer solutions covering the entire textile value chain, from spinning to weaving, knitting, finishing, embroidery and quality control.


The global textile machinery is a competitive market and is primarily dominated by international players. In this market, the manufacturers are focusing on R&D activities to bring out innovative and efficient machinery, which would help reduce the overall operational cost. Technavio’s market research analysts have predicted that the global textile machinery market may grow at 8% by 2022.

The Swiss textile machinery industry is strongly export-oriented and has a presence with its own companies, sales and service organizations in all the world's key markets. Exports of Swiss textile machinery registered negative growth in the last two years. According to Swissmem, total exports of Swiss textile machinery have decreased by 44% to CHF 694 million in 2019 as compared to CHF 821.7 million in 2018.  Exports of Swiss textile machinery are given in  Table 1.

Table 1: Exports of Swiss Textile Machinery


(CHF million)

±(CHF %)

Share CHF






1,064.3 -20.6% 0.5%


909.8 -14.5% 0.4%
2017 880.7 -3.2% 0.4%
2018 821.7 -6.7% 0.4%
2019 694.0 -15.5% 0.3%

           Source: Swissmem.

The Swiss textile machinery industry is comprised of suppliers of machinery manufacturers for spinning, weaving, knitting, dyers, printers, finishing, packaging and special machines for technical textile applications.

Some 87% of all textile machinery exported from Switzerland went to customers in those regions. Over a third of Swiss produced textile machinery is exported to Asian markets. By applying a forward looking strategy, the Swiss textile machinery industry has successfully met the challenges and has been able to consolidate or even expand in global its market share.

Top export markets during 2019 for the Swiss textile manufacturers are China, USA, Germany, Turkey, India and Pakistan. Country-wise exports of Swiss textile machinery are given in  Table 2.

Table 2: Exports of Swiss Textile Machinery 
(Jan-Dec 2019 vs Jan-Dec 2018)



Exports Mio. CHF

Exports ± EUR%

Exports Share EUR


  694.0 -15.5% 100.0%


1 98.8 -14.3% 14.2%
 USA 2 62.8 +10.2% 9.0%
 Germany 3 61.1 +0.7% 8.8%
 Turkey 4 47.6 -51.8% 6.9%


5 46.8 -13.7% 6.7%
 Pakistan 6 38.5 +44.0% 5.6%


7 31.6 -22.9% 4.5%


8 31.2 +6.9% 4.5%
 Italy 9 30.7 -27.9% 4.4%
 Vietnam 10 26.3 -5.9% 3.8%

 Source: Swissmem.

The most important market for Swiss textile machinery in 2019 was China with an export volume of CHF 98.8 million with a share of 14.0% of the whole export volume. While China continues to be the most important market Swiss textile machines, it is emerging as an increasingly strong competitor as well.

Import of textile machinery from Switzerland to Pakistan increased from CHF 26.8 million in 2018 to CHF 38.5 million in 2019, thus showing an increase of 44%. Imports of textile machinery (Major items) from Switzerland to Pakistan in terms of rupees are given in  Table 3.

Table 3: Exports of Swiss textile machinery to Pakistan


Mio. EUR











2017 35.5 +45.5%
2018 26.8 -24.5%




          Source: Swissmem.


  1. Consulate General of Switzerland, Karachi.
  2. Swissmem.
  3. Swiss Federal Customs Administration.
  4.  Various Press Releases.


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