Bilateral relations Switzerland–Ireland

Relations between Switzerland and Ireland have traditionally been good. Both countries pursue similar interests in human rights policy. The two countries also maintain lively cultural exchanges.

Key aspects of diplomatic relations

With regard to multilateral issues, Switzerland and Ireland are often among the like-minded states. The consistent and lasting protection of human rights is a foreign policy priority for both countries. Their double taxation agreement was revised in January 2012 to simplify economic relations.

Treaty database

Economic cooperation

The Irish economy has been recovering steadily since 2014 thanks to increasing export growth after the financial crisis. In 2016, Ireland was the fastest growing EU economy. Trade between Switzerland and Ireland amounted to around CHF 8.6 billion in 2016. Switzerland has long run a high trade deficit with Ireland. The main goods categories are bulk chemicals, pharmaceutical products and machinery. 

Trade promotion, Switzerland Global Enterprise

Information on countries, State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO

Cultural exchanges

There are strong cultural ties between the two countries. A number of Swiss writers and artists live and work in Ireland. The Swiss embassy in Dublin and Pro Helvetia support numerous cultural events with Swiss participation in Ireland, including film, music and literature festivals.

History of bilateral relations

Switzerland opened a consulate general in Dublin in 1934 which was attached to the Swiss embassy in London. A Swiss legation was opened in Dublin in 1939 and a Swiss embassy in 1962. Ireland has had a diplomatic representation in Switzerland since 1940, which was headed by a chargé d'affaires until 1954 and by a minister until 1962, when it was upgraded to an embassy. The courtesy visit by Irish President Sean T. O'Kelly during his stay in Switzerland in 1956 was a milestone in Irish-Swiss relations.

Ireland, Historical Dictionary of Switzerland (de,fr,it)

Diplomatic Documents of Switzerland, Dodis