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Bilateral relations between Switzerland and Slovenia
Relations between Switzerland and Slovenia are excellent, being particularly close at the personal and cultural levels, distinguished by a series of bilateral agreements and a high level of cooperation in multilateral organisations. Both being alpine countries, Switzerland and Slovenia have much in common and a similar mentality.
Among the many treaties between them are agreements on the protection of investments, double taxation and social insurance. An agreement on scientific and technical cooperation was signed in 2008. The double taxation agreement was revised in accordance with the standard of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the corresponding Protocol was signed on 7.9.2012.
Slovenia and Switzerland have close relations, fostered by a similar mentality. Since the two countries often take the same position on various issues there are many opportunities for collaboration at the multilateral and humanitarian policy levels. For example Switzerland has for many years actively supported the «International Trust Fund for Demining and Mine Victims Assistance» (ITF), an initiative launched by Slovenia.
Economic relations between the two countries are very satisfactory. Swiss exports are mainly pharmaceutical and chemical products and machinery. Slovenia exports mainly aircraft, vehicles, metals and machinery to Switzerland.
Switzerland ranks second after Austria as an investor in Slovenia. At the end of 2010 Swiss direct investments in Slovenia amounted to about CHF 1 billion, while Slovenian direct investments in Switzerland amounted to some EUR 48 million.
The «Scientific Exchange Programme between the New Member States and Switzerland» makes it possible for doctoral candidates and post-doctoral scholars from new EU member states to hold temporary research positions in Switzerland.
A number of Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships are available to Slovenian citizens.
As a member state of the European Union Slovenia receives funds from Switzerland’s contribution to the reduction of economic and social inequalities in the enlarged EU. The amount received by Slovenia is CHF 21.956 million. The basis is the Swiss-Slovenian Framework Agreement of 20.12.2007, which defines both the priorities and the procedures involved.
Implementation of the programme is monitored by the Swiss Embassy in Ljubljana. Project approvals are the responsibility of the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation in Bern.
At the end of 2011 there were 377 Swiss living in Slovenia.
The two countries have a rich and continuing history of cultural exchanges involving musicians, writers and practitioners of the fine arts.
Switzerland was quick to recognise Slovenia after its declaration of independence at the beginning of 1992. A Swiss embassy was opened in the capital Ljubljana in 2001. Slovenia opened its embassy in Bern in 1992.
During a transitional stage in the 1990s Switzerland gave its support to a project for the modernisation of the Slovenian administration, leading to the founding of the National Administrative Academy for the training of Slovenian staff.