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Bilateral relations between Switzerland and Indonesia

Switzerland has been represented since 1952 in Indonesia, where it has above all been engaged in development cooperation. The volume of trade between the two countries has recently taken a positive turn.

Key aspects of diplomatic relations

Indonesia has been one of the seven priority countries for economic development cooperation , since 2008, a programme operated by the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO).

Following the tsunami of December 2004 Switzerland provided humanitarian aid.

Economic cooperation

At the end of November 2009 a joint Economic and Trade Commission was created in the framework of Switzerland’s economic policy for Indonesia. The economic development programme of the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) for 2009–2012 supported Indonesia’s efforts to reform the public sector, the economy and environmental protection. In 2009 Swiss direct investments amounted to 307 million USD. The 75 or so Swiss companies in Indonesia have created 43,000 jobs. According to the Swiss National Bank Swiss direct investments amounted to over 7 billion USD at the end of 2010.

Indonesia is the fourth most important beneficiary of Swiss direct investment in Asia, after Japan, Singapore and China.
Negotiations are currently under way for an EFTA-Indonesia Free Trade Agreement.

Peacebuilding and human security

In 2003 the Swiss Embassy in Jakarta launched a programme in support of human rights, government reform and peacebuilding. In 2005 a local human rights dialogue was begun between the Swiss Embassy and the Indonesian Department of Justice and Human Rights and human rights projects were given support.

Development cooperation and humanitarian aid

In the context of efforts to assist with the aftermath of the tsunami of 2004 Switzerland provided 12.5 million CHF, channelled through SDC programmes. The Swiss contribution to rescue efforts following the severe earthquake in Sumatra in October 2009 amounted to some 2 million CHF. Since then Switzerland has also provided support in dealing with other natural disasters, notably flooding.

Swiss in Indonesia

At the end of 2011 there were 975 Swiss living in Indonesia, of which 368 had dual nationality.

History of bilateral relations

Swiss emigration to Indonesia began in the 17thcentury. A Swiss consulate was opened in Batavia (today Jakarta) in 1863, followed by a second in Medan (North Sumatra). Indonesia declared its independence from the Netherlands in 1945, recognised by Switzerland in 1949. A Swiss representation was opened in Jakarta in 1952. In the 1990s Indonesia, and especially Bali, became a favourite holiday destination for Swiss tourists. 

Expansion of the development cooperation programme in 1971 helped to intensify relations. Indonesia was a priority country for Swiss development cooperation (total volume: 277 million CHF) until 1997.

In 2012 Switzerland and Indonesia celebrated 60 years of bilateral diplomatic relations.