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Bilateral relations between Switzerland and the Slovak Republic
Relations between Switzerland and Slovakia are problem-free and close, especially in the area of civil society: after the Prague Spring (1968), around 10,000 Czechoslovak refugees found asylum in Switzerland.
During the transition phase in the 1990s, Slovakia was a priority country for Swiss aid to the countries of the former East Bloc. The Confederation supported a series of projects with a total of CHF 50 million. The two countries are continuing their cooperation in the area of the environment and of multilateral cooperation within international bodies.
For several years now, trade between Switzerland and Slovakia has been developing impressively. Between 2008 and 2009, trade suffered as a result of the financial and economic crisis. In 2011 Swiss exports totalled CHF 497 million and imports amounted to CHF 669 million. Direct investments in Slovakia rose to CHF 524 million at the end of 2010. Swiss companies employed a total of 7,111 persons in Slovakia in 2010.
Scholars and artists from Slovakia can apply to the State Secretariat for Education and Research (SER) for Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships.
Slovakia is a member of the European Union (EU) if and is one of the beneficiaries of the Swiss contribution to the reduction of social and economic disparities in the enlarged EU. A total of CHF 67 million was committed in June 2012 to 23 projects. More than 40% of these funds are earmarked for peripheral and structurally weak areas in the east of Slovakia.
At the end of 2011, there were 313 Swiss nationals living in Slovakia.
The Czech Republic and Slovakia went their separate ways in 1992. At the beginning of 1993, Switzerland recognised and established diplomatic relations with the two new states. It has had an embassy in Bratislava since 1999.