Switzerland and Kyrgyzstan enjoy very good relations based on cooperation in the voting constituencies in the Bretton Woods institutions and on technical cooperation.
Bilateral relations Switzerland–Kyrgyzstan
Key aspects of diplomatic relations
Kyrgyzstan is a member of the Swiss voting constituency at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and the Global Environment Fund (GEF).
In the spring of 2012, the Federal Council upgraded the SDC cooperation office in Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan, to embassy status. The embassy was officially opened in November 2012.
The embassy is responsible for safeguarding Switzerland’s interests and for technical and economic cooperation with the SDC and the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO).
A consular section with visa services was opened in Bishkek in November 2013.
Trade relations between the two countries are still underdeveloped. Swiss exports are mainly limited to pharmaceutical products.
Cooperation in the area of education
Scholars and artists from Kyrgyzstan can apply for Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships to the State Secretariat for Education Research and Innovation (SERI).
Development cooperation and humanitarian aid
Switzerland’s 2012–2015 cooperation strategy for Kyrgyzstan (extended to 2016) is focused on three priority areas:
- Public sector reform and infrastructure
- Private sector development
Programmes in these areas are supported by the SDC and the SECO and are implemented jointly with partner organisations. In addition, Switzerland supports a regional water management programme in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The total budget for 2012–2015 for Kyrgyzstan amounts to CHF 67.5 million.
Swiss in Kyrgyzstan
In 2016, there were 61 Swiss citizens living in Kyrgyzstan.
History of bilateral relations
Switzerland recognised Kyrgyzstan’s independence on 23 December 1991. The Swiss embassy in Moscow initially handled diplomatic relations.The Swiss embassy in the Uzbek capital of Tashkent was responsible for Kyrgyzstan from 1993 to 2012.
An SDC cooperation office was opened in Bishkek in 1993, and was upgraded to an embassy in 2012. Kyrgyzstan has a mission to the international organisations in Geneva whose ambassador has been accredited to Bern since 1996.
Joint Chamber of Commerce Switzerland-CIS/Georgia
The Joint Chamber of Commerce Switzerland-CIS/Georgia (JCC) is the leading chamber of commerce in Switzerland that promotes bilateral business between Switzerland and the Commonwealth of Independent States (Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tadjikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan) and Georgia. JCC supports Swiss companies entering the CIS/Georgia market, and companies from the region interested to establish themselves in Switzerland. The chamber does so through information dissemination, business events and business support. JCC serves all of Switzerland. It is headquartered in Zurich with representatives in Western Switzerland and Canton Ticino. The members are companies in a cross-section of industries and service sectors.