In view of the numerous similarities between civil society in Finland and Switzerland – which both enjoy a high standard of living and boast leading-edge technological development – the two countries maintain close relations in several areas.
Key aspects of diplomatic relations
There is close direct diplomacy between the two countries. This includes regular consultations at ministerial and high government official levels on issues of mutual interest such as trade and investment, energy, defence, disarmament, the environment, peace policy and human security.
Within the international organisations of which both countries are members, such as the Partnership for Peace, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), and the UN, Finland and Switzerland join forces on a number of subjects about which they share a common vision and experience.
By virtue of the bilateral agreements between the European Union and Switzerland, Finland and Switzerland are part of the same internal market. Trade volumes between the two countries amounted to approx. CHF 1.8 billion in 2014.
Cooperation in education and training
Scholars and artists from Finland can apply to the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation SERI for Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships.
Swiss nationals in Finland
At the end of 2014, there were 1,737 Swiss citizens living in Finland.
There is regular exchange between Swiss and Finnish artists. Every year several visual artists from Switzerland travel to Finland to attend workshops lasting between three and six months. In exchange, Finnish artists do the same in Switzerland.
History of bilateral relations
Switzerland was one of the first European States to recognize Finland, on 18 February 1918. A Swiss consulate had already opened in Åbo (Turku) in 1914, and the first Finnish consulate in Switzerland opened in Zurich in 1920. Finland later opened an embassy in Bern in 1937, and Switzerland did the same in Helsinki in 1939.