Switzerland and Tajikistan enjoy very good relations. Tajikistan has been a priority country for Swiss development cooperation since 1997. The two countries have conducted a bilateral dialogue on human rights since 2009. Tajikistan is also a partner in water diplomacy.
Bilateral relations Switzerland–Tajikistan
Key aspects of diplomatic relations
As an important development cooperation donor country, Switzerland enjoys an excellent reputation in this Central Asian republic. Tajikistan is a member of the Swiss voting constituency in the Bretton Woods institutions (International Monetary Fund and World Bank) and in the Global Environmental Facility (GEF).
Switzerland is also active in Central Asia in the field of water diplomacy. The 'Blue Peace Central Asia' initiative promotes regional cooperation on water among the five Central Asian countries and provides political and technical support for transboundary water management initiatives. A regional adviser based in Almaty (Kazakhstan) coordinates Switzerland's activities in the region.
Trade between Switzerland and Tajikistan is modest. Swiss entrepreneurs are involved in Tajikistan's cotton industry, among other sectors. Switzerland's main import from Tajikistan is gold for further processing.
Cooperation in the domain of education
Researchers from Tajikistan can apply to the State Secretariat for Education Research and Innovation (SERI) for Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships.
Peacebuilding and human security
Since 2009, Switzerland has held an annual human rights dialogue with Tajikistan. Over the years, the dialogue has been complemented by concrete projects and initiatives on the prevention of torture and the abolition of the death penalty, women's rights, and migration. Switzerland also helped Tajikistan to prepare for its Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in the UN Human Rights Council. In 2016, the human rights dialogue was conducted in the framework of political consultations between the two countries for the first time.
Development cooperation and humanitarian aid
Tajikistan is a priority country for Swiss development cooperation. The SDC and the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) are involved in the areas of healthcare reform, private sector development and good governance. As in all Central Asian states, Switzerland also supports water management in Tajikistan.
The SDC and SECO are providing Tajikistan with a total of CHF 88 million within the framework of the Cooperation Strategy 2017–20. The focus is on support for developing the water infrastructure and activities in relation to climate change.
Swiss nationals in Tajikistan
According to statistics on the Swiss abroad, there were 17 Swiss citizens living in Tajikistan at the end of 2017.
History of bilateral relations
Switzerland recognised Tajikistan's independence on 23 December 1991, after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The two countries established diplomatic relations on 9 December 1992. The Swiss embassy in Moscow was initially responsible for this Central Asian republic. Since 1994, the Swiss ambassador in the Uzbek capital of Tashkent has also been accredited to Dushanbe. Since 2008, the Swiss ambassador in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, has been responsible for Tajikistan.
In 2007, Tajikistan upgraded its office in Geneva to a mission. Tajikistan has had an accredited ambassador in Switzerland since 2011.
Switzerland's development cooperation with Tajikistan began in 1993 with an SDC humanitarian aid mission during the civil war. In 1997, Tajikistan became a member of the group of countries led by Switzerland in the Bretton Woods institutions.
In 1997, Switzerland opened a cooperation office in Dushanbe which has also carried out consular tasks since 2001.