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
The two countries enjoy close diplomatic relations. This includes regular meetings at ministerial and high government official levels on issues of mutual interest such as trade and investment, defence, disarmament, sustainable development, peace policy, mediation and human security.
Switzerland and Finland think along similar lines on a number of topics and work together in various areas at the multilateral level.
By virtue of the bilateral agreements between the European Union and Switzerland, Finland and Switzerland are part of the same internal market. The volume of trade between the two countries amounted to approx. CHF 1.7 billion in 2016.
Cooperation in education, research and innovation
Researchers from both countries work together on more than 120 projects under Horizon 2020.
Researchers and artists from Finland can apply to the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) for a Swiss Government Excellence Scholarship.
Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships for Foreign Scholars and Artists, SERI
There are close ties between the art scenes in the two countries. Every year, a number of Swiss artists spend between three and six months in the Nordic country, while their Finnish counterparts do the same in Switzerland.
Swiss nationals in Finland
At the end of 2016, there were 1,788 Swiss nationals living in Finland.
History of bilateral relations
Switzerland was one of the first European countries to recognise Finland, on 18 February 1918. Switzerland opened a consulate in Åbo (Turku) in 1914. The first Finnish consulate in Switzerland opened in Zurich in 1920. Finland then opened a mission in Bern in 1937, while Switzerland did the same in Helsinki in 1939. Mauno H. Koivisto became the first Finnish president to officially visit Switzerland, in 1986.