This landlocked country lies between the two great powers of China and Russia, has rich deposits of mineral resources and is of geopolitical interest. The volume of trade between the two countries is modest, although the number of Swiss tourists is on the increase.
Bilateral relations Switzerland–Mongolia
Key Aspects of Diplomatic Relations
Switzerland and Mongolia have had diplomatic relations since 1964. Since Mongolia's transition to democracy in the early 1990s, cooperation has increased. Since 2008, political consultations have taken place between the two countries every two years.
Diplomatic responsibility for Mongolia lies with the Swiss embassy in Beijing. Since 2004, Switzerland has been present in Ulaanbaatar with a cooperation office.
Although since 1990 Mongolia's formerly socialist economy has been transformed into a market economy, economic and trade relations between Switzerland and Mongolia remain modest. Since 2009, trade relations have shown a slight increase. While Swiss exports to Mongolia are generated by Switzerland's main export sectors, more than 90% of imports from Mongolia consist of raw materials. Mongolia is increasingly becoming a raw materials supplier of gold, copper, coal and uranium, and is investing in large mining projects.
Cooperation in Education, Research and Innovation
Mongolian researchers are eligible to apply for Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships.
Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid
In 2001, Switzerland began its activities with relief efforts related to the 'dzud' weather disaster. Since then, cooperation has gradually shifted from humanitarian aid to development cooperation programmes.
The SDC’s cooperation programmes in Mongolia focus on three main areas:
- agriculture, food security, climate change and environment
- inclusive economic development and vocational skills development
- good governance, civic participation and gender equality
Based on the new regional priorities of the Swiss International Cooperation Strategy 2021–24, the SDC's current engagement in Mongolia will be terminated by the end of 2024. Other forms of development cooperation after 2024 are possible. The Swiss embassy in Beijing will continue to safeguard Swiss interests in Mongolia.
Swiss Nationals in Mongolia
At the end of 2021, there were 19 Swiss citizens living in Mongolia.
History of bilateral relations
Relations between Switzerland and Mongolia date back to the second half of the 1950s, when the first Swiss companies established trade relations. Switzerland was Mongolia’s first non-socialist trading partner. It officially recognised the Democratic Republic of Mongolia on 20 May 1964, although contacts between Bern and Ulaanbaatar remained modest until the end of the socialist era.