From 1952, when a Swiss opened its first official representation in Jakarta, until 1997 Switzerland carried out a wide range of development cooperation activities in Indonesia. Today Indonesia is the fourth most important destination for direct Swiss investments in Asia after Japan, Singapore and China.
Key aspects of diplomatic relations
In 2011 Switzerland and Indonesia agreed to engage in political consultations on a regular basis and to strengthen their bilateral relations.
Switzerland has been working closely with Indonesia for a number of years in the area of multilateral environmental policy (forest management, biodiversity, chemicals and global governance). Since 2009, Switzerland and Indonesia have had a memorandum of understanding on dialogue and cooperation in the environmental field. Cooperation in chemical and waste management and in the forestry sector in particular has been strengthened in recent years.
Following the tsunami of December 2004 Switzerland provided humanitarian aid.
As part of Switzerland's economic policy strategy for Indonesia, a joint economic and trade commission was established in late November 2009. Since 2008 Indonesia has been one of the seven priority countries for economic development cooperation carried out under the lead management of the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO). With its economic development programme for 2013–2016, SECO is supporting Indonesia's efforts to undertake public sector, economic and environmental reforms.
About 150 Swiss companies are currently investing in Indonesia. According to the Swiss National Bank (SNB), at the end of 2012 Swiss direct investments amounted to CHF 6.941 billion, leading to the creation of over 53,000 jobs. Indonesia is the fourth most important destination for direct Swiss investments in Asia after Japan, Singapore and China.
According to Indonesian statistics, Swiss companies invested USD 255 million in 37 projects in 2012. Switzerland was thus the 12th biggest foreign investor in Indonesia.
Negotiations on an EFTA-Indonesia free-trade agreement are under way.
Cooperation in education, research and innovation
Scholars and artists from Indonesi can apply to the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) for Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships.
Peacebuilding and human security
In 2003 the Swiss Embassy in Jakarta launched a programme in support of human rights, government reform and peacebuilding. Since 2005, the Swiss embassy has been engaged in a human rights dialogue with the Indonesian Department of Justice and Human Rights which is being conducted in tandem with human rights projects.
Development cooperation and humanitarian aid
In the context of efforts to assist with the aftermath of the tsunami of 2004 Switzerland provided 12.5 million CHF, channelled through SDC programmes. The Swiss contribution to rescue efforts following the severe earthquake in Sumatra in October 2009 amounted to some 2 million CHF. Since then Switzerland has supported Indonesia in the wake of natural disasters, particularly flooding.
Swiss in Indonesia
At the end of 2014 there were 1152 Swiss living in Indonesia.
History of bilateral relations
The 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Switzerland and Indonesia was celebrated in 2012.
Expansion of the development cooperation programme in 1971 helped to intensify relations. Indonesia was a priority country for Swiss development cooperation (total volume of supported projects: 277 million CHF) until 1997.
In 1952, Switzerland opened an official representation in Jakarta. Indonesia declared its independence from the Netherlands in 1945, recognised by Switzerland in 1949.
A Swiss consulate was opened in Batavia (today Jakarta) in 1863, followed by a second in Medan (North Sumatra). Swiss emigration to Indonesia began in the 17thcentury.
In the 1990s Indonesia, and especially Bali, became a favourite holiday destination for Swiss tourists.