Switzerland and Mozambique enjoy good political relations. Mozambique is a priority country for Swiss development cooperation, and Switzerland provided support to help the country deal with the legacy of 16 years of civil war. More and more Swiss companies are now recognising Mozambique's economic potential.
Bilateral relations between Switzerland and Mozambique
Key aspects of diplomatic relations
High-level official visits between Switzerland and Mozambique have been taking place for several years. The two countries established diplomatic relations in 1976. As part of its peace policy, Switzerland began supporting Mozambique in its efforts to deal with the consequences of its 1976–1992 civil war, in addition to providing humanitarian aid and promoting the country's development.
For over a decade now, Mozambique has been experiencing a period of economic stability, registering economic growth of approximately 7% per year. Favourable geographic conditions (reserves of land, ports), natural resources (rare earths, coal, etc.) and largely untapped natural gas reserves make Mozambique a country with a significant economic potential.
In recent years, numerous big Swiss companies have set up offices in the country. Reflecting this growing interest in Mozambique, the local Swiss embassy set up the Swiss Mozambican Business Network in 2013.
In 2002, Switzerland and Mozambique concluded an investment promotion and protection agreement which, together with the 1979 bilateral trade agreement, provides the legal foundation for economic relations between the two countries.
Switzerland mainly imports agricultural products such as tobacco, as well as precious stones, precious metals, and jewellery from Mozambique, and primarily exports pharmaceutical products and machinery.
Cooperation in education, research and innovation
Researchers and artists from Mozambique can apply to the State Secretariat for Education Research and Innovation (SERI) for Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships.
Development cooperation and humanitarian aid
Mozambique is a priority country for Swiss development cooperation. The current cooperation strategy for the country, covering the 2012–2016 period, provides for aid amounting to CHF 30 million annually. This funding is focused on health, local governance and economic development.
Switzerland is also involved in specific projects aimed at strengthening the management of public-sector finances, promoting the growth of the private sector, improving healthcare services and supporting decentralisation.
The implementation of a poverty alleviation programme, administered by the Mozambican government, is one of the focal points of this cooperation work. Switzerland is one of a group of 15 donors which are supporting the programme by means of financial aid and active political dialogue.
Swiss nationals in Mozambique
Some 162 Swiss nationals are currently living in Mozambique.
History of bilateral relations
Various organisations have provided development assistance on the ground since the 1970s. In 1977, Switzerland opened an embassy in Maputo. Bilateral development cooperation between the two countries began in 1979. As early as 1922, Switzerland had opened a consulate in Mozambique to promote trade relations. On 30 October 1974, the Federal Council recognised Mozambique as an independent state. The country's independence was officially declared on 24 June 1975.
The first Swiss missionaries reached southern Mozambique from South Africa in the 18th century, pitching their tents in what was then Lourenço Marques, now Maputo, in 1887. Numerous biographical and ethnographic works, including "The life of a South African tribe" (1812) by the Swiss ethnologist and theologian Henri-Alexandre Junod, bear witness to the events of this period. In addition to their religious work, the missionaries also taught in local schools.