In October 2015, Federal Councillor Dider Burkhalter visited Jordan where he met the Jordanian foreign minister. The country’s relations are founded primarily on the major commitment of Swiss Humanitarian Aid, political like-mindedness, as well as Swiss companies and the Swiss community in Jordan.
Bilateral relations Switzerland–Jordan
Key aspects of diplomatic relations
Jordan is an important partner for Switzerland in the context of political relations with the Middle East and as a focal point of Swiss humanitarian aid for the region. The SDC regional cooperation office in Amman is responsible for projects in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq as well as Jordan.
Due to the geopolitical situation in the region it has not been possible to take greater advantage of the trade potential. Swiss pharmaceutical, hospitality and tourism companies are active in Jordan. Many companies with business contacts in Switzerland are members of the Swiss-Jordanian Business Club, founded in 2006 at the initiative of the Swiss embassy.
One of the economic cooperation projects operated by SECO, in close collaboration with the SDC, involves the financing of about 143 ambulances plus training and quality assurance measures. The project agreement was signed by the President of the Swiss Confederation on his visit to Amman in October 2010.
Cooperation in the domain of education
Researchers and artists from Jordan can apply for Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships to the State Secretariat for Education Research and Innovation (SERI).
Development cooperation and humanitarian aid
The SDC cooperation office in Amman is responsible for the regional programme for Lebanon, Iraq and Syria as well as Jordan. The aim is to create reliable and peaceful living conditions for
- Internally displaced persons
- Vulnerable population and migrant groups
- Communities that are particularly exposed to the risk of natural disasters.
Jordan is the focal point for Swiss humanitarian aid, including programmes in support of Palestinian refugees in the region. Swiss humanitarian aid also helps to ensure protection and support for the civilian population in Syria and for Syrian refugees in neighbouring countries.
Each year since 2004 the cultural foundation Pro Helvetia, together with a Jordanian partner, has organised an exchange of residences for Swiss and Jordanian artists.
Swiss nationals in Jordan
At the end of 2015 there were 301 Swiss citizens living in Jordan.
History of bilateral relations
Switzerland recognised the Kingdom of Jordan in 1949. An embassy was opened in 1970 in Amman and in 2001 an SDC cooperation office. Until 2008 Jordan ranked as a priority country for economic cooperation organised by SECO.
The ancient city of Petra, which is today a World Heritage Site, was first discovered in 1812 by the Swiss national Johann Ludwig Burckhardt.