by Daniele Mariani, swissinfo.ch
Most of the gold produced in the world transits physically through Switzerland, and in particular Ticino. Four of the world’s major refineries of gold are located on Swiss soil.
It is difficult to visualise the enormous quantity of gold that arrives in Switzerland every year. In 2011, over 2,600 metric tons of raw gold were imported into the country, to a total value of SFr96 billion ($103 billion). This was a record, the quantity having more than doubled over the last ten years, not including the gold that transits through Swiss free ports.
To get an idea of Switzerland’s profile in the sector of gold refining and trading, consider another figure: the production of gold from all the mines in the world in 2011 amounted to 2,700 metric tons, according to data from the US Geological Survey.