Switzerland and Côte d'Ivoire have maintained good bilateral relations since Côte d'Ivoire gained independence in 1960. Switzerland has made an important contribution as an investor to the country's development, particularly in the food and infrastructure sectors, and also plays an important role in scientific cooperation.
Key aspects of diplomatic relations
Switzerland has defined a strategy for sub-Saharan Africa for the period 2021–24.
The Federal Council's Sub-Saharan Africa Strategy 2021–24 categorises Côte d'Ivoire as having a lion economy, meaning that it is one of the African countries that harbour high economic potential, particularly in terms of investment and trade, and are characterised by dynamic growth.
Bilateral relations focus on the economy, scientific cooperation, and migration cooperation.
Switzerland and Côte d'Ivoire enjoy good bilateral trade relations. The trade volume is several hundred million Swiss francs and some thirty Swiss companies are present there, active in a wide range of sectors.
SECO recognised the challenges facing the cocoa sector and, in 2017, launched the "Swiss Platform for Sustainable Cocoa" to strengthen the sector's sustainability, with the goal of ensuring that by 2025, 80% of imported cocoa stems from socially, environmentally and economically sustainable production.
Cooperation in education, research and innovation
The Swiss Center for Scientific Research in Côte d'Ivoire (CSRS) in Abidjan is an important actor in tropical research. It celebrated its 70th anniversary in 2021.
Researchers who are citizens of Côte d'Ivoire can apply to the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) for Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships.
Measures to promote peace and human security
Following the crisis of the 2000s, Switzerland supported various projects to assist the peace and reconciliation process in Côte d'Ivoire. Within the framework of the United Nations Operation in Côte d'Ivoire (UNOCI), it sent experts to develop and support the country's police force.
Preventing violent extremism (PVE) is a priority of Switzerland's foreign policy. The FDFA is working with its partners to eliminate the causes of violent extremism and to promote a global response that builds more peaceful societies. To this end, the FDFA organised a regional conference on this topic in 2019.
Swiss citizens in Côte d'Ivoire
According to statistics on the Swiss abroad, 254 Swiss citizens were living in Côte d'Ivoire at the end of 2020 and 1,682 Ivorian citizens were living in Switzerland.
History of bilateral relations
Switzerland recognised the independence of Côte d'Ivoire on 7 August 1960 and opened an embassy in Abidjan in 1961. A vice consulate had already been operating there since 1952. From 1962 onwards, political stability and economic prospects made it possible to conclude a number of bilateral agreements in the areas of trade, investment protection and technical cooperation.
Between 1984 and 1990, five bilateral agreements on the revaluation of Côte d'Ivoire's debt (CHF 360 million) were concluded between the two countries. In 1991, Switzerland granted a mixed credit of CHF 34 million for the renovation of five hydropower plants.