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Bilateral relations between Switzerland and the Republic of Congo
Relations between Switzerland and the Republic of Congo are good, but not very intense. Various agreements on debt relief and rescheduling have been concluded with the Republic of Congo.
Swiss interests in the Republic of Congo are handled by the Swiss Embassy in Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of Congo). Switzerland cancelled Congolese debt in 2010 in exchange for the assurance by the Brazzaville authorities that they would develop an effective strategy for reducing poverty.
The economic and trade relations between the two countries are modest. Most of the Congolese goods imported into Switzerland are agricultural and forestry products. Between them, the products of the chemical and pharmaceutical industries, industrial machines and equipment for the electrical and electronic industry, as well as precision instruments, make up the lion’s share of Swiss exports, ahead of second-hand cars.
The Swiss Federal Commission for Scholarships for Foreign Students (FCS) offers university scholarships to foreign students on the basis of reciprocity. The Republic of Congo is part of the central and southern African pool, along with a dozen or so other African countries.
At the end of 2012, there were 29 Swiss nationals living in the Republic of Congo.
Between 1930 and 1940, around 15 Swiss nationals lived in what at the time was the French Congo. Most of them worked as engineers, building the railway line between Brazzaville and Pointe-Noire.
Switzerland recognised the independence of the Republic of Congo in 1960. Two years later, the two countries signed bilateral agreements in the fields of trade, protection of investments and technical cooperation, followed in 1964 by an agreement on air traffic. Various agreements on debt relief and rescheduling were concluded in 1986, 1991 and 2005.