Relations between Switzerland and Uzbekistan are mainly focused on development cooperation and cooperation at the multilateral level.
Bilateral relations Switzerland–Uzbekistan
Key aspects of diplomatic relations
Uzbekistan is a member of the Swiss voting constituency at the World Bank and the Global Environment Facility (GEF).
As part of its development cooperation, Switzerland supports projects to improve water supplies and vocational training in Uzbekistan.
The volume of trade between Switzerland and Uzbekistan is modest. Imports from Uzbekistan are limited to precious stones and jewellery. Switzerland exports primarily chemicals, machines, pharmaceuticals and watches.
Cooperation in the domain of education
Scholars and artists from Uzbekistan can apply for Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships to the State Secretariat for Education Research and Innovation (SERI). Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships for foreign scholars and artists.
Development cooperation and humanitarian aid
Swiss Cooperation Strategy Central Asia 2012–2015 (extended to 2016) groups together projects run by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO). Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan are priority countries. Switzerland provides assistance to all Central Asian states in the area of water supply.
In Uzbekistan, in addition to water, Switzerland supports the development of infrastructure and sewage disposal in both urban and rural areas. Approximately 300,000 people benefit from these projects in the Ferghana Valley and Syrdarya Province.
Another priority of the programme is vocational training in the fields of water supply and sewage disposal. In addition, the SDC cooperation office in Tashkent monitors the regional water projects and those related to disaster risk reduction.
The Swiss Embassy in Tashkent takes part in joint projects with representations of other countries and cultural institutions based in Tashkent.
Swiss citizens in Uzbekistan
In 2014 there were 29 Swiss citizens living in Uzbekistan.
History of bilateral relations
Switzerland recognised the independent state of Uzbekistan on 23 December 1991, following the dissolution of the Soviet Union. In 1994, Switzerland opened an embassy in Tashkent. Uzbekistan is represented in Switzerland by its embassy in Berlin and maintains a mission to the international organisations in Geneva.
Central Asia and the history of the Silk Road have been subjects of considerable interest to European travellers. One of the first Swiss women to travel the region was the Geneva author and journalist Ella Maillart (1903–1997). Her book "Des Monts céléstes aux sables rouges" published in 1934 was a major success and appeared in English in the same year with the title "Turkestan solo".