Geneva: Swiss voters rejected in a referendum on Sunday a proposal to ban weapons exports.
An activist organisation, the Group for Switzerland without an Army (GSwA), had gathered the necessary 100,000 signatures under Swiss regulations to force a referendum on the issue.
It called for Switzerland to have “a coherent foreign policy, without participating in conflict and killing indirectly.”
Defence companies had argued any ban would result in as many as 10,000 job losses, and 68 percent of voters were against a ban, according to official results.
After the result, Economy Minister Doris Leuthard vowed to “strictly” review each sale of arms abroad and promised Switzerland would not sell weapons to countries that systematically violated human rights.
Switzerland’s weapon exports were worth a total of 722 million Swiss francs (477 million euros, 714 million dollars) in 2008.