Switzerland is involved in technical cooperation with Armenia and in efforts to help resolve the conflicts in the South Caucasus region.
Bilateral relations Switzerland–Armenia
Key aspects of diplomatic relations
Switzerland took an active part as a mediator in the negotiations between Armenia and Turkey on the normalisation of their bilateral relations. The mediation process, which culminated in the signing of the Zurich Protocols on 10 October 2009, helped to cement relations between Switzerland and Armenia, even though Turkey and Armenia did not ultimately ratify the Protocols.
Switzerland has entered into bilateral agreements with Armenia covering a number of areas. A visa facilitation agreement came into force in 2016.
Economic relations between Switzerland and Armenia are expanding. Switzerland is the second largest importer of Armenian products (after Russia) and the eleventh largest exporter of goods to Armenia. Switzerland mainly exports pharmaceutical products and machinery and imports watch-making products and textiles. Precious metals also make up a significant share of imports and exports between Switzerland and Armenia.
Cooperation in education, research and innovation
Researchers in Armenia can apply to the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) for Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships. Between 1971 and 2019, 20 Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships were awarded to Armenian applicants.
Peacebuilding and human security
Switzerland's mandate to mediate between Armenia and Turkey formally expired with the signing of the Zurich Protocols on 10 October 2009. Although the Protocols have not been ratified, Switzerland is continuing its efforts to facilitate a rapprochement between Turkey and Armenia.
Development cooperation and humanitarian aid
Peacebuilding, democracy, the rule of law and human rights have been prioritised for the Armenia programme under Switzerland's 2017–20 cooperation strategy for the South Caucasus (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia). The budget for the strategy covering the three countries is CHF 75 million.
Switzerland is assisting the government of Armenia with planned territorial and administrative reforms in relation to the amalgamation of municipalities.
Switzerland is also providing support to ensure better market access for farmers in southern Armenia and increase long-term employment opportunities in rural areas.
Cultural relations between the two countries have developed significantly in recent years. A number of events have taken place during the 'Settimana della lingua italiana' (Italian language week), Francophonie Week and German Language Days.
Swiss citizens in Armenia
At the end of 2018, there were 26 Swiss citizens living in Armenia according to statistics on the Swiss abroad. More Swiss tourists are now visiting Armenia, with numbers up by more than 17% in 2018.
History of bilateral relations
Switzerland provided humanitarian aid to Armenia following the devastating earthquake in 1988 when the country was still part of the Soviet Union.
Switzerland recognised the independence of Armenia on 23 December 1991. The two countries have maintained diplomatic relations since 30 April 1992. The Armenian ambassador was accredited to Switzerland in 2002.
In 2011, Switzerland opened an embassy in Yerevan. Prior to that date, the Swiss ambassador in Tbilisi was concurrently accredited to Armenia.
There are still only a small number of Swiss nationals living in Armenia. The Armenian community in Switzerland, in contrast, is relatively large: between 4,000 and 6,000 persons with Armenian roots are living in Switzerland.