Switzerland and Bhutan reaffirm their close ties

Press release, 08.03.2018

During a working visit to Bern on Thursday, 8 March, President Alain Berset and Bhutanese Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay reaffirmed the continuing close ties between their two countries. Up until ten years ago, Bhutan was a Swiss development cooperation priority country, but at the end of 2016 the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) ended its activities in the country. The official talks focused on prospects and opportunities under this new chapter in bilateral relations.

President Berset praised Bhutan's development strategy and the country's successful democratisation since the entry into force of the new constitution in 2008. Both sides stressed that bilateral cooperation, previously based on development, was in the process of being broadened to a partnership encompassing political, economic, scientific and cultural aspects.

An agreement on regular political consultations was signed a few weeks ago. In addition, a Swiss honorary consulate is to be established in Bhutan in the near future. Other topics discussed on Thursday included the challenges presented by climate change. The delegations also discussed cooperation between the two countries at international level.

The close ties between Switzerland and Bhutan date back to the 1950s and began thanks to the personal contacts between the king of Bhutan and a Swiss industrialist. From 1978 the Swiss government also became involved in Bhutan and during the 1980s and 1990s Switzerland was one of the leading donor countries.


Further information:

Bilateral relations Switzerland–Bhutan


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Federal Department of Home Affairs
Federal Department of Foreign Affairs