Presence Switzerland

Nicolas Bideau, head of Presence Switzerland, and team members of the Swiss pavilion at Expo Astana 2017.
Nicolas Bideau, head of Presence Switzerland, and team members of the Swiss pavilion at Expo Astana 2017. © FDFA, Presence Switzerland

Presence Switzerland is responsible for promoting Switzerland’s image abroad, and implements Switzerland's Strategy for Communication Abroad.

On the basis of the Federal Act on the Cultivation of Switzerland’s Image Abroad, Presence Switzerland supports the safeguarding of Switzerland’s interests by using various public relations tools. It works in particular to improve the general level of knowledge about Switzerland, promote a positive attitude towards the country, and showcase its diversity and attractiveness.

The strategic orientation of Switzerland’s communication abroad is reviewed on a regular basis and set out by the Federal Council every four years. On 18 December 2020, the Federal Council adopted the strategy for 2021–24. Over the next few years, communication abroad will be guided by five thematic priorities, building on the main pillars of Switzerland's Foreign Policy Strategy 2020–23: innovation, the economy, Swiss-European relations, the Swiss financial centre and sustainability.

Presence Switzerland implements its communication work in cooperation with the Swiss representations abroad, in coordination with the specific departments, and with the involvement of private actors both at home and abroad. Its activities are financed through the FDFA’s annual budget along with separate federal government contributions for its presence at world expos and the Olympic Games.

Presence Switzerland was created in 2001 as a decentralised administrative unit within the FDFA in response to the issue of unclaimed assets. In 2009, it was integrated into the FDFA General Secretariat and in June 2012, it was merged with the Competence Centre for Cultural Foreign Policy, with Presence Switzerland taking over the management of the new unit.