Relations between Switzerland and the Republic of Malta are good and becoming closer. Because of its history and strategic location in the Mediterranean, Malta functions as a bridge between Europe and North Africa and the Middle East.
Bilateral relations Switzerland–Malta
Key aspects of diplomatic relations
The Mediterranean Academy for Diplomatic Studies (MEDAC), established jointly by Switzerland and Malta in 1990, is a focal point of bilateral relations. Located within the University of Malta campus, MEDAC offers diplomacy and international relations programmes, with a focus on the Mediterranean region. Switzerland provides funding for MEDAC, for scholarships for young diplomats from the Middle East and North Africa, and for the Swiss Chair at the academy.
Switzerland is also one of the principal donors to the International Maritime Law Institute (IMLI) in Malta, a world-renowned training centre for international maritime law.
Trade between the two countries is modest, and mainly comprises machines, chemicals and pharmaceuticals. Switzerland runs a trade surplus with Malta. Swiss imports from Malta amounted to CHF 19 million in 2016. Exports amounted to CHF 50 million in the same year. Malta is a popular destination for Swiss tourists.
Cooperation in the domain of education
MEDAC is the focal point of cooperation between the two countries in the field of education.
Swiss contribution to EU enlargement
Malta was one of the beneficiaries of the contribution Switzerland made to the new EU member states to reduce economic and social disparities. Switzerland contributed some CHF 5 million to Malta in this context. This sum was used, among other purposes, for cooperation with MEDAC.
Swiss nationals in Malta
At the end of 2016, there were 293 Swiss nationals living in Malta.
History of bilateral relations
Malta gained its independence in 1964 and has maintained its neutral and non-aligned status since it joined the European Union in 2004.
The Swiss ambassador in Rome was accredited to the Maltese government shortly after Malta became an independent state. The Swiss honorary consulate in Valletta, which had existed since 1937, was upgraded to an honorary consulate general in 2003. A Maltese ambassador has been accredited to Switzerland (with residence in Malta) since 2008.