Switzerland and Honduras maintain good relations. Switzerland is active in development cooperation and humanitarian aid in the country through various SDC projects.
Bilateral relations Switzerland–Honduras
Key aspects of diplomatic relations
Switzerland and Honduras have agreements in areas including technical cooperation, promoting and protecting investment and visa exemption.
Switzerland's diplomatic interests in Honduras are represented by the Swiss embassy in Guatemala. The Swiss embassy in San José deals with consular affairs. Since 1 July 2016 an honorary consul has headed the consular agency in Tegucigalpa.
The SDC runs a liaison office in Tegucigalpa. The main regional office is in Managua (Nicaragua).
There are few economic exchanges. In the 1990s, Switzerland participated in multilateral debt relief programmes for Honduras.
In 2015, Switzerland imported CHF 23.05 million in goods from Honduras, mainly agricultural products. Exports to Honduras amounted to CHF 12.96 million in 2015. Switzerland mainly exports machinery, pharmaceutical products and beauty products to Honduras.
Cooperation in education, research and innovation
Researchers and artists from Honduras can apply for scholarhips to the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) and for Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships.
Development cooperation and humanitarian aid
Central America is a priority region for Swiss development cooperation. The SDC focuses its development efforts in Honduras and Nicaragua.
Honduras has been one of the SDC’s priority countries since 1978, with support focused in three main areas:
- the promotion of small and medium enterprises (SMEs)
- governance and the national budget
- infrastructure and local public services, in particular drinking water and energy
Against the background of a worsening security situation, the new Message on Switzerland’s International Cooperation in 2013–2016 puts increased emphasis on security and human rights.
Swiss Humanitarian Aid became involved in Honduras after Hurricane Mitch (1998). The idea is to enable the public to better cope with disasters with the help of prevention programmes.
After rethinking its geographical priorities, the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) decided to pull out of Honduras and Nicaragua. Occasional assistance is still provided with regard to the management of public finances.
In 2016, SDC expenditure in Central America amounted to CHF 38.8 million.
Swiss nationals in Honduras
At the end of 2015, there were 252 Swiss citizens in Honduras.
History of bilateral relations
Honduras declared its independence as a republic in 1839 and was immediately recognised by Switzerland. A Swiss Consulate was opened in 1936. The two countries have maintained diplomatic relations since 1957. Swiss interests in the country have been represented by the Embassy of Switzerland in Guatemala ever since.
The SDC has been active in Honduras since 1978 and opened a Cooperation Office in Tegucigalpa in 1981. The main regional office was moved to Managua in 1993 and the cooperation office was changed to a liaison/programme office.
During the Second World War Switzerland looked after the interests of Honduras in Germany and Hungary, and from 1962 to 1985 in Cuba.