Relations between Argentina and Switzerland are close and wide-ranging, underpinned by annual political consultations and regular high-level meetings. At the multilateral level, exchanges between the two countries are based on common values, including human rights and issues of dealing with the past and preventing atrocities.
Bilateral relations Switzerland–Argentina
Key aspects of diplomatic relations
Relations between Switzerland and Argentina are close and multifaceted. At the heart of bilateral relations are the intensification of trade, Swiss investment in Argentina, cooperation on tax matters and cooperation within the United Nations. Regular political consultations have taken place with Argentina since 2005. The two countries also have concluded bilateral agreements on trade, investment protection, aviation and against double taxation.
Since May 2011, all consular services for Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay have been handled by the regional consular centre in Buenos Aires.
Argentina is Switzerland’s fourth largest trading partner and second major export destination for Swiss goods and services in South America. In 2016, Switzerland imported goods – primarily precious metals and agricultural products – worth CHF 1.13 billion. The value of Swiss exports to Argentina – primarily chemical products, pharmaceuticals, machinery and watches – amounted to CHF 664.3 million.
At the end of 2015, Swiss direct investments stood at CHF 4.9 billion and some 12,936 people in Argentina were employed by Swiss firms.
Cooperation in education, research and innovation
Scholars and artists from Argentina can apply to the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) for a Swiss Government Excellence Scholarship.
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. A joint research programme was launched in 2016.
Swiss nationals in Argentina
Argentina is home to the largest Swiss expatriate community in Latin America. There were 15,816 Swiss nationals officially registered there at the end of 2016. Various Swiss clubs exist in Argentina as well as partnerships between cities and municipalities in Switzerland and Argentina.
History of bilateral relations
Switzerland opened a consulate in Buenos Aires in 1834, followed in 1891 by its first diplomatic mission in South America. Swiss migrants founded several settlements, schools, some 50 Swiss associations and a chamber of commerce. Thousands of Argentines are of Swiss descent.