Bangladesh is one of the priority countries for Switzerland’s development cooperation. Switzerland is working actively in the fields of poverty reduction, local governance, climate change and disaster prevention and management.
Bilateral relations Switzerland–Bangladesh
Key aspects of diplomatic relations
Diplomatic relations focus on development cooperation, the economic strengthening of the country and trade relations.
Economic contacts have become more intense since the mid-1990s. Various economic agreements have given impetus to this development. The boom in the textiles and chemicals sectors is making Bangladesh attractive for Swiss investments.
Cooperation in the domain of education
Scholars and artists from Bangladesh can apply for Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships to the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI).
Development cooperation and humanitarian aid
Switzerland’s development cooperation in Bangladesh is aiming at a lasting reduction in poverty. One priority is optimising the living conditions of the poorest by improving the employment opportunities and by providing solid training courses and access to the labour market. Another priority for Switzerland is the promotion of good governance at local level.
Floods, cyclones and droughts repeatedly devastate Bangladesh. For that reason, Bangladesh is one of the eight countries in Switzerland’s development cooperation for which the issue of “disaster risk reduction” (DRR) is systematically rooted in the programmes and projects.
Swiss nationals in Bangladesh
In 2012, 96 Swiss nationals were living in Bangladesh.
History of bilateral relations
Ever since Bangladesh became independent in 1971 and diplomatic relations were established in 1972, bilateral relations have been dominated by development cooperation. In 1976, for instance, an agreement on technical cooperation was signed and in 1981 the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) opened a coordination office in Dhaka. In 2005, Switzerland opened an embassy in the capital, Dhaka. Up until then, Bangladesh had been placed under the Swiss embassy in New Delhi.