Relations between Switzerland and Algeria are good. They go back to the period of Algeria's struggle for independence and the positive role that Switzerland played at the Evian conference between the provisional government of the Algerian Republic and the French colonial authorities. In 2015, Switzerland opened a new embassy building in Algiers.
Bilateral relations Switzerland–Algeria
Key aspects of diplomatic relations
The quality of relations between the two countries is reflected in the signing of several agreements in the areas of business, trade, tertiary level education, scientific research, culture, the movement of persons and mutual assistance in criminal matters. From an institutional perspective, these relations are part of a regular political dialogue between the two ministries of foreign affairs which began with the signing of a memorandum of cooperation in 2004. There has been a regular exchange on migration between the two countries since 2012.
About 30 Swiss companies are active in Algeria. The bilateral agreement on the protection of investments and the agreement on the avoidance of double taxation in the areas of income and wealth taxation have helped to increase legal security in economic and trade relations between the two countries.Algeria was the guest of honour at the Comptoir de Lausanne in September 2008.
With a trade volume of CHF 334 million, Algeria was Switzerland’s tenth-largest African trading partner in 2016. Switzerland traditionally exports goods including pharmaceuticals, machines and agricultural products to Algeria.
At the beginning of June 2012, Algeria and Switzerland signed a bilateral agreement in Geneva in the context of Algeria's accession to the World Trade Organization.
Cooperation in the domain of education
Researchers and artists from Algeria may apply for Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships from the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation.
Peacebuilding and human security
Algeria plays a prominent counterterrorism role both in the region and internationally. It works for peaceful resolutions to conflicts and plays an important role as mediator. Switzerland actively supports these efforts. In addition, Switzerland is committed through a regional project that includes Algeria to educating the civilian population about women's rights and raising their awareness in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 1325 and the UN Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women.
Development cooperation and humanitarian aid
Since 1976, the SDC has supported the United Nations World Food Programme in favour of refugees from the western Sahara in camps near Tindouf in south-western Algeria, providing funding and milk powder.
Swiss nationals in Algeria
In 2016 there were 492 Swiss citizens living in Algeria.
Switzerland actively participates in events to promote the French language (French-speaking days) and Italian language (Italian culture week). Their shared language, French, and geographical proximity favour cultural exchanges between the two countries.
History of bilateral relations
During the 19th century, many Swiss nationals emigrated to Algeria, which was then a French colony. They were mainly involved in agriculture (tobacco and wine growing) and trade. During the Algerian War (1954 to 1962), Switzerland mediated between the conflicting parties, receiving fighters from the Front de Libération National (FLN), who were seeking independence. After secret meetings in Lucerne and Neuchâtel, the agreements on Algeria's independence were concluded in Evian in March 1962. Since that date Switzerland has been represented by an ambassador in Algiers.