Switzerland and Albania stress potential for closer relations

Media release, 31.03.2017

President Doris Leuthard welcomed Edi Rama, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Albania for an official working meeting at Lohn manor on Friday, 31 March. This was the first visit by an Albanian prime minister to Switzerland since 1994. The focus was on political and economic relations between the two countries and the situation in the Western Balkans.

Both sides underlined the intention to further strengthen bilateral relations, which have continually deepened in recent years. Among the other subjects discussed was Switzerland’s ongoing commitment to Albania.

Switzerland’s aim is to support Albania – a priority country for Swiss development cooperation – in reform projects on the road to European integration. As far as Albania is concerned, Switzerland is currently one of the most important bilateral donor countries. At the meeting on Friday, two agreements were signed covering projects in the fields of vocational education and decentralisation totalling CHF 10 million.

Other subjects covered during the discussions included judicial reform, which should also improve the conditions for investment in Albania, cooperation on migration issues, police cooperation and the situation in the Western Balkans. The Swiss delegation expressed its concern at the rising tensions and crises in the region. In this context, Ms Leuthard acknowledged the constructive role played by Albania and stressed the importance, from Switzerland’s perspective, of Tirana continuing to act as a bridge builder.                                                                                            

Positive trend in economic relations

Diplomatic relations between Switzerland and Albania were established in 1970. Twenty-five years ago, in 1992, Switzerland opened an embassy in Tirana. Despite excellent political relations and the positive trend in economic relations, exchanges between Switzerland and Albania remain relatively modest. There are now some 30 Swiss companies present in Albania. An international consortium based in Switzerland is also involved in the construction of the Trans Adria Pipeline (TAP) for natural gas.

Given that there are around 250,000 people in Switzerland, including many Swiss nationals, with ties to the Albanian language area, the potential for closer relations with the Republic of Albania is substantial, also in economic terms.


Further information:

FDFA: Switzerland and Albania
FDFA: Bilateral relations Switzerland-Albania
FDFA: The SDC’s development and cooperation in Albania


Address for enquiries:

Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications (DETEC), Press and Information service, Kochergasse 6, 3003 Bern, +41 58 462 55 11


Publisher:

Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications
Federal Department of Foreign Affairs