Relations between Switzerland and Honduras are good. Both the SDC (development cooperation and humanitarian aid) and SECO have a number of projects in Honduras.
Bilateral relations Switzerland–Honduras
Key aspects of diplomatic relations
Switzerland and Honduras have concluded agreements in a number of fields, including on technical cooperation, investment promotion and protection, and visa exemption.
Switzerland's diplomatic interests in Honduras are represented by the Swiss embassy in Guatemala. The Swiss embassy in San José deals with consular affairs. Since 1 July 2016 an honorary consul has headed the consular agency in Tegucigalpa.
The SDC runs a liaison office in Tegucigalpa. The main regional office is in Managua (Nicaragua).
Economic exchanges between the two countries are limited. In the 1990s, Switzerland participated in multilateral debt relief programmes for Honduras. In 2016 Switzerland imported goods worth CHF 21.86 million from Honduras, mainly agricultural products, while its exports amounted to CHF 13.69 million. Switzerland mainly exports machinery, pharmaceuticals and agricultural products to Honduras.
Cooperation in education, research and innovation
Researchers and artists from Honduras can apply to the State Secretariat for Education Research and Innovation (SERI) for Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships.
Development cooperation and humanitarian aid
Central America is a priority region for Swiss development cooperation. The SDC focuses its development efforts in Honduras and Nicaragua.
Honduras has been one of the SDC’s priority countries since 1978, with support focused in three main areas:
- the promotion of small and medium enterprises (SMEs)
- governance and the national budget
- infrastructure and local public services, in particular drinking water and energy
Since 2013 the SDC has been cooperating with the Inter-American Development Bank on the comprehensive reform of the police force. Professional education and training for young people in areas affected by violence is another area of activity. As set out in the Swiss Cooperation Strategy for Central America 2018–2021, the SDC will continue its activities in the areas of governance and the rule of law, jobs and economic development, and climate change, disaster prevention and natural resources. Humanitarian aid is an integral part of the SDC’s programme.
Swiss Humanitarian Aid became involved in Honduras in the aftermath of Hurricane Mitch (1998) with the aim of helping the population, through prevention programmes, to better cope with disasters.
In 2016, the SDC and SECO spent CHF 38.8 million in Central America.
Swiss nationals in Honduras
According to the Statistics on the Swiss Abroad, there were 248 Swiss citizens living in Honduras at the end of 2016.
History of bilateral relations
Honduras declared its independence as a republic in 1839 and was immediately recognised by Switzerland. Switzerland opened a consulate in Honduras in 1936. The two countries have maintained diplomatic relations since 1957. Swiss diplomatic interests in Honduras are represented by the Swiss embassy in Guatemala.
During the Second World War, Switzerland represented Honduras in Germany and Hungary and from 1962 to 1985 in Cuba.
The SDC has been active in Honduras since 1978 and opened a cooperation office in Tegucigalpa in 1981. The main regional office was moved to Managua, Nicaragua, in 1993 and the cooperation office in Tegucigalpa was transformed into a liaison/programme office.