Relations between Switzerland and Kazakhstan are very good and are to be further enhanced. In September 2010 Kazakhstan joined the Swiss voting constituency in the Bretton Woods institutions. Cooperation has increased in numerous areas in recent years.
Bilateral relations Switzerland–Kazakhstan
Key aspects of diplomatic relations
Since 2005 regular political consultations have been taking place with Kazakhstan. Contacts have intensified in the economic field as well.
The two countries work together closely within the Bretton Woods institutions. Since September 2010 Kazakhstan has been a member of the Swiss voting constituency at the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Furthermore, since 2003 Kazakhstan has been a member of the Swiss constituency at the Global Environment Facility.
As part of its efforts to prevent the misuse of the Swiss financial centre, Switzerland is using a World Bank trust fund to return USD 48 million in assets to Kazakhstan. These funds are meant to benefit the people of Kazakhstan. A corresponding agreement was signed by the SDC and the World Bank on 20 December 2012.
Of the five Central Asian republics (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan) Kazakhstan is Switzerland's most important trading partner. The economic relations between the two states are well-developed and there is significant potential. About 40 Swiss companies are registered in Kazakhstan. Since 1999, meetings have been held regularly within the framework of a Joint Economic Commission. Switzerland mainly exports chemicals, pharmaceutical products and precision instruments, and mainly imports oil and natural gas.
Cooperation in the domain of education
Scholars and artists from Kazakhstan can apply for Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships to the State Secretariat for Education Research and Innovation (SERI). SERI: Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships for foreign scholars and artists.
Swiss nationals in Kazakhstan
In 2015 there were 30 Swiss citizens living in Kazakhstan.
History of bilateral relations
Switzerland recognised the independence of the Republic of Kazakhstan on 23 December 1991. The Swiss embassy in Moscow was initially responsible for political and diplomatic relations. In 1994, a consulate was opened in the city of Almaty, the capital of Kazakhstan at the time. The consulate was then upgraded to general consulate in 1998. It was subsequently closed in 2009, with
Switzerland opening an embassy in the capital city of Astana in March 2009. Following the opening of the new embassy, the general consulate in Almaty was converted into an honorary consulate.