The good relations between Switzerland and Uzbekistan are largely based on cooperation in international financial institutions and within the framework of the SDC and SECO's regional cooperation programme for Central Asia for the 2022–25 period. Switzerland also maintains regular political dialogue with Uzbekistan. Furthermore, the country is an important partner in water diplomacy.
Key aspects of diplomatic relations
Uzbekistan is a member of the Swiss voting constituency at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). It is also a member of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).
As part of its development cooperation, Switzerland supports climate-resilient and efficient use of water resources, the improvement of water supply, and important reforms in vocational education and training, and promotes independent, local cultural activities.
Around 30 companies with a connection to Switzerland are active in Uzbekistan. Between 2017 and 2021, trade between Switzerland and Uzbekistan was at an annual level of CHF 2.5 to 3.7 billion. The exception was 2020, when the volume of trade was just over CHF 70 million. Bilateral trade is characterised by considerable imports of precious metals (gold) from Uzbekistan. Switzerland's main exports to Uzbekistan are chemicals and pharmaceuticals, machinery and precision instruments.
The Joint Chamber of Commerce Switzerland/CIS, the Swiss-Asian Chamber of Commerce and the Uzbek Swiss Chamber of Commerce and Industry promote business relations between Switzerland and Uzbekistan.
Cooperation in education, research and innovation
Researchers 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, SERI
Peacebuilding and human security
Switzerland monitors the human rights situation in Uzbekistan and supports civil society organisations working to improve it.
Development cooperation and humanitarian aid
The cooperation programme for Central Asia for the period 2022–25 brings together the projects of the SDC and SECO in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, as well as projects at the regional level. The Blue Peace initiative supports the states of Central Asia in the joint, sustainable use and management of water resources. In addition, the Swiss embassy supports and coordinates the regional water portfolio.
In Uzbekistan, Switzerland also supports the development of infrastructure and wastewater disposal in both urban and rural areas, and reforms to vocational education and training. The portfolio in the governance and inclusive economic development sectors is being built up gradually. A total of CHF 33.6 million is available for the period 2022–25.
The Swiss Embassy in Tashkent takes part in joint projects with representations of other countries and cultural institutions based in Tashkent. These include events to promote the Swiss national languages (Francophonie, International German Teachers' Conference) and the International Jazz Festival.
Swiss citizens in Uzbekistan
According to statistics on the Swiss abroad, there were 15 Swiss citizens living in Uzbekistan at the end of 2021.
History of bilateral relations
Switzerland recognised Uzbekistan's independence on 23 December 1991, following the dissolution of the Soviet Union. In 1994, Switzerland opened an embassy in Tashkent. In 2017 the embassy and the cooperation office were merged. 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 have long held a special fascination for European travellers. One of the first Swiss nationals to travel the region was the Geneva author and journalist Ella Maillart (1903–97). 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'.
Diplomatic documents of Switzerland, Dodis
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