Diplomatic relations between Switzerland and the Dominican Republic are harmonious and trade has intensified in recent years. The Dominican Republic is well known to many Swiss as a holiday destination.
Bilateral relations Switzerland–Dominican Republic
Key aspects of diplomatic relations
The Dominican Republic is a tourism and emigration destination for many Swiss. In addition to trade relations, a number of bilateral agreements cover air transport, the protection of investments and the transfer of sentenced persons.
In 2016, Switzerland imported CHF 344 million of goods from the Dominican Republic – mostly precious stones and precious metals, and agricultural products. Exports to the Dominican Republic in the same year amounted to CHF 28.25 million, and mainly consisted of machinery, pharmaceutical products, watches, cosmetics and detergent.
Cooperation in education, research and innovation
Researchers and artists from the Dominican Republic can apply to the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) for Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships.
Swiss nationals in the Dominican Republic
At the end of 2016, there were 2,228 Swiss living in the Dominican Republic, making it the largest Swiss community in the Caribbean.
History of bilateral relations
The Dominican Republic became independent in 1884. Switzerland recognised the new state and opened a consulate in Santo Domingo in 1936. During the Second World War, Switzerland looked after the interests of the Dominican Republic in various countries. In 1959, the consulate was upgraded to a consulate general, and in 2007 an embassy was opened.
Since 2011, the regional consular centre in Santo Domingo has also been responsible for consular affairs in Haiti, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, and St Kitts and Nevis.
Trade relations go back to the 19th century when Swiss companies extracted guano, an organic fertiliser, and cocoa beans.