Diplomatic relations between Switzerland and Algeria are good, covering a diverse range of areas such as migration, new technologies, sustainable development, economic affairs and culture. The two countries have concluded more than 30 agreements.
Bilateral relations Switzerland–Algeria
History of bilateral relations
During the Algerian War (1954–62), Switzerland mediated between the conflicting parties. Following secret meetings held in Lucerne and Neuchâtel, the accords which ended the war and paved the way for Algeria's independence were signed in Evian in March 1962. Switzerland has maintained an embassy in Algiers since that year. A new embassy building was inaugurated in 2015.
On 14 October 2020 the Federal Council adopted a specific strategy for the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA Strategy) for the 2021–24 period. It identifies five thematic priorities: peace, security and human rights; migration and protection of people in need; sustainable development; economic affairs, finance, science; and digitalisation and new technologies.
These priorities are weighted differently across the various regions and countries. In North Africa, Switzerland's activities focus on good governance, sustainable economic development and cooperation in the area of migration. Switzerland supports reforms aimed at improving economic prospects and increasing civic participation.
Switzerland's focus in Algeria
The MENA Strategy identifies three focus areas for Algeria: migration and protection of people in need, digitalisation and new technologies, and sustainable development. On the basis of these focus areas, specific priorities and projects are defined.
Migration and protection of people in need
Switzerland maintains a regular dialogue on migration to ensure consistent implementation of the agreement signed with Algeria. At the same time, it implements local projects aimed at helping migrants into employment.
Digitalisation and new technologies
Switzerland is working with the Algerian government as part of its international cooperation projects to identify areas in which it can support the country's reform efforts, for example in digitalisation, innovation and dual vocational education and training.
Switzerland relies on the complementary roles of Algeria for trilateral South–South cooperation projects with countries in the Sahel on issues such as migration, peace support and security.
Other areas of cooperation
In 2020 Switzerland's imports from Algeria stood at CHF 68 million while Swiss exports came to CHF 274 million, with total trade amounting to CHF 342 million.
A bilateral agreement on the protection of investments and the agreement on the avoidance of double taxation have helped to increase legal certainty in economic and trade relations between the two countries.
Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships
Researchers and artists from Algeria can apply for Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships from the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI).
Cultural exchanges between the two countries are facilitated by the geographical proximity as well as by the use of French as a shared language. Switzerland regularly participates in events to promote the French language as part of the International Day of La Francophonie and also the Italian culture week (Settimana della Lingua Italiana nel Mondo).
Switzerland also contributes to various film and music festivals and is involved in the international annual book fair in Algiers.
Swiss nationals in Algeria
In 2020, there were 498 Swiss citizens living in Algeria.