Bilateral relations centre on financial services and tourism. Swiss firms consider the general conditions for doing business to be good. Trade between the two countries is limited.
Bilateral relations Switzerland–Bahamas
Key aspects of diplomatic relations
The Swiss ambassador in Ottawa is accredited to the government of the Bahamas. The Swiss consulate general in Montreal is in charge of consular affairs. Switzerland also has an honorary consul in Nassau.
Although levels of trade are modest, capital flows are considerable and over 30 Swiss financial institutions have a presence in this Caribbean state.
Since the end of 2011, Switzerland has been the Bahamas' fourth largest import partner and consequently its most important European trading partner. The overall volume of trade is small, however. In 2017, Switzerland imported goods worth CHF 24 million and its exports amounted to around CHF 83 million, mainly works of art, jewellery and antiques.
Since 2009 the Bahamas has concluded tax information exchange agreements in line with OECD standards with various countries, but not with Switzerland.
Cooperation in education, research and innovation
Researchers from the Bahamas can apply to the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) for Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships
Swiss nationals in the Bahamas
As at the end of 2017, 382 Swiss nationals were resident in the Bahamas, mostly working in financial services.
History of bilateral relations
The Federal Council recognised the independence of the Bahamas in 1973, and the two countries established diplomatic and consular relations in 1974.
The food group Nestlé has maintained a subsidiary on the Bahamas since 1936, and increasing numbers of Swiss bankers and hoteliers have been operating in the country since the 1950s. In 1973 there were two branches of Swiss banks. By 1990 this number had risen to 20.