Switzerland and Tajikistan enjoy very good relations. Tajikistan has been a priority country for Swiss development cooperation since 1997. The two countries have conducted a bilateral dialogue about human rights since 2009.
Key aspects of diplomatic relations
As an important development cooperation donor country, Switzerland enjoys an excellent reputation in this Central Asian republic. Tajikistan is a member of the Swiss voting constituency in the Bretton Woods institutions (International Monetary Fund and World Bank) and in the Global Environmental Facility (GEF).
Trade relations between Switzerland and Tajikistan are modest. Swiss entrepreneurs are involved in Tajikistan’s cotton industry, among other sectors.
Cooperation in the domain of education
Scholars and artists from Tajikistan can apply to the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) for Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships
Peacebuilding and human security
Since 2009, Switzerland has held an annual human rights dialogue with Tajikistan. Concrete projects and initiatives on the prevention of torture and the abolition of the death penalty, women’s rights, and migration have supplemented this dialogue over the years. Switzerland also helped Tajikistan to prepare for its Universal Periodic Review (UPR) within the UN Human Rights Council. In 2016, the human rights dialogue was conducted in the framework of political consultations between the two countries for the first time.
Development cooperation and humanitarian aid
Tajikistan is a priority country for Swiss development cooperation. The SDC, the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) and the FDFA’s Human Security Division (HSD) are involved in the areas of health care reform, development of the private sector, and good governance. As in all Central Asian states, Switzerland also supports water management in Tajikistan.
The SDC and SECO are providing approximately CHF 30 million a year within the framework of the Cooperation Strategy for 2012–2015 (extended to 2016).
Swiss nationals in Tajikistan
Twenty-four Swiss citizens are living in Tajikistan in 2014.
History of bilateral relations
Switzerland recognised Tajikistan’s independence on 23 December 1991, after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The two countries established diplomatic relations on 9 December 1992. The Swiss embassy in Moscow was initially responsible for this Central Asian republic. Since 1994, the Swiss ambassador in the Uzbek capital of Tashkent has also been accredited to Dushanbe. Since 2008, the Swiss ambassador in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, has been responsible for Tajikistan.
In 2007, Tajikistan upgraded its office in Geneva to a mission. Tajikistan has had an accredited ambassador in Switzerland since 2011.
Switzerland’s development cooperation with Tajikistan began in 1993 with an SDC humanitarian aid mission during the civil war in Tajikistan. In 1997, Tajikistan became a member of the group of countries led by Switzerland in the Bretton Woods institutions.
In 1997, Switzerland opened a cooperation office in Dushanbe which has also carried out consular tasks since 2001.