Switzerland and Argentina have close relations which are reinforced by regular bilateral exchanges. The two countries are closely linked culturally: Argentina is home to the largest Swiss community in Latin America.
Bilateral relations Switzerland–Argentina
Key aspects of diplomatic relations
At the heart of bilateral relations are trade, Swiss investment in Argentina, cooperation on tax matters and cooperation within international bodies, especially on human rights issues. Regular political consultations have taken place between Switzerland and Argentina since 2005. Since July 2012, all consular services for Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay have been handled by the regional consular centre in Buenos Aires.
Switzerland and Argentina have signed agreements on trade, investment protection, mutual legal assistance and double taxation.
Argentina is Switzerland's fourth largest trading partner and third major export destination in Latin America. In 2022 Switzerland imported goods – primarily precious metals and agricultural products – worth CHF 1 billion. The value of Swiss exports to Argentina – primarily chemical products, pharmaceuticals, machinery, precision instruments and watches – amounted to CHF 735 million.
At the end of 2021, direct investment from Switzerland in Argentina stood at CHF 3 billion and Swiss companies employed 12,964 people in the country.
The negotiations for the EFTA-Mercosur free trade agreement were concluded in substance in August 2019.
Cooperation in education, research and innovation
Researchers who are citizens of Argentina can apply to the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) for Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships.
A trainee exchange agreement enables young people from Argentina to acquire additional professional experience and hone their language skills in Switzerland.
There are numerous ties between universities and research institutes in the two countries and a joint research programme was launched in 2016. Within this framework, 104 projects have been carried out. Under a mandate conferred by SERI, the University of St Gallen is currently coordinating research cooperation initiatives between Switzerland and Latin America.
Swiss nationals in Argentina
Argentina is home to the largest Swiss expatriate community in Latin America. There were 15,078 Swiss nationals officially registered there at the end of 2022. There are over 50 Swiss clubs in Argentina, as well as a large number of partnerships between Swiss and Argentine cities and communes.
History of bilateral relations
As early as the middle of the 17th century, the first Swiss nationals emigrated to what later became Argentina. Switzerland opened a consulate in Buenos Aires in 1834. Due to the large number of Swiss immigrants there, the consulate was upgraded to a consulate general in 1876. In 1891, Switzerland opened its first diplomatic mission in South America in Buenos Aires. Swiss immigrants founded several settlements; indeed, thousands of Argentine nationals have roots in Switzerland and maintain lively cultural exchanges.