Switzerland and Peru have friendly relations, with regular political consultations. Peru is a priority country for Switzerland in the area of economic development cooperation.
Bilateral relations Switzerland–Peru
Key aspects of diplomatic relations
Political relations between Switzerland and Peru are strong and healthy. The intensification of bilateral trade, cultural and judicial cooperation, issues relating to human rights and business, and Switzerland's contribution to the promotion of economic development and to climate change adaptation are the thematic priorities of bilateral relations.
In 2017, President Doris Leuthard travelled to Peru, where she was received by President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski. President Kuczynski has roots in Switzerland, as he attended school in the canton of Vaud. The trip was the first Swiss presidential visit to Peru. In 2013, Federal Councillor Didier Burkhalter travelled to Peru, where he met Prime Minister Juan Jiménez and Culture Minister Luis Peirano. In 2009, Peruvian Foreign Minister José Antonio Garcia Belaúnde visited Switzerland for a state visit and was received by Federal Councillor Micheline Calmy-Rey. In addition, several high-level meetings have taken place on the margins of multilateral events.
Switzerland and Peru have agreements in the areas of free trade, investment protection, double taxation, air transport, mutual legal assistance and the protection of cultural property. For the Federal Office of Culture, Peru is a priority country for cooperation. Switzerland and Peru have jointly financed several projects in this context. In 2012, for example, pieces from the Chavín cultural heritage were exhibited at the Rietberg Museum in Zurich. In 2015 the exhibition was repeated at the MALI Museum in Lima.
Switzerland imported goods worth CHF 2.94 billion from Peru in 2016. This makes Switzerland the third most important destination for Peruvian exports, with gold by far the most traded item – accounting for more than 95% of all trade. Not counting gold imports, bilateral trade between Switzerland and Peru is rather modest. In 2016, Switzerland exported goods – primarily machinery, pharmaceutical products and watches – worth CHF 163.8 million to Peru. Swiss direct investments in Peru amounted to CHF 644 million at the end of 2015. Around 6,700 persons are currently employed by Swiss companies in Peru.
In July 2011, the EFTA-Peru Free Trade Agreement entered into force between Switzerland and Peru.
Cooperation in education, research and innovation
Researchers and artists from Peru can apply to the State Secretariat for Education Research and Innovation (SERI) for Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships.
Development cooperation and humanitarian aid
Since 2009, Peru has been one of SECO's priority countries for economic cooperation and development. The programme aims to strengthen the competitiveness of the Peruvian economy and promote sustainable growth. Between 2017 and 2020, SECO's economic cooperation and development with Peru will amount to approximately CHF 70 million. Peru is part of the SDC's Andean programme on climate change and sustainable management of water resources (Mitigation Action Plans and Scenarios Programme (MAPS). The programme is managed from Lima and concerns several countries in the region. It will run from 2012 to 2017, with the budget for Peru amounting to CHF 2 million.
Swiss Humanitarian Aid supports Peru in the prevention of natural disasters. In addition, Switzerland ran development cooperation programmes in Peru for 40 years. The SDC's programme was completed in 2011, when Peru joined the middle-income countries.
Swiss nationals in Peru
According to the Statistics on the Swiss Abroad, there were 3,179 Swiss citizens living in Peru at the end of 2016.
History of bilateral relations
A Swiss consulate opened in Lima in 1884 and was upgraded to a consulate general in 1931. Diplomatic representation has existed since 1946. In 1964, Switzerland launched one of its first technical cooperation programmes in the Peruvian Andes. There has been a Swiss Chamber of Commerce in Peru since 1979. Following a severe economic crisis at the beginning of the 1990s, Switzerland cancelled Peru’s debt.