Switzerland and Tajikistan enjoy very good relations. Since 1997, Tajikistan has been a priority country of the Swiss development cooperation and a partner in the field of water diplomacy.
Bilateral relations Switzerland–Tajikistan
Key aspects of diplomatic relations
As an important development cooperation donor country, Switzerland enjoys an excellent reputation in this Central Asian republic. Tajikistan is a member of the Swiss voting constituency in the Bretton Woods institutions (International Monetary Fund and World Bank) and in the Global Environmental Facility (GEF).
Switzerland is also active in Central Asia in the field of water diplomacy. The 'Blue Peace Central Asia' initiative promotes regional cooperation on water among the five Central Asian countries and provides political and technical support for transboundary water management initiatives. A consultant based in Almaty (Kazakhstan) coordinates Switzerland's activities in the region.
Trade between Switzerland and Tajikistan is modest. Swiss entrepreneurs are involved in Tajikistan's cotton industry, among other sectors. Switzerland imports mainly gold from Tajikistan for further processing.
Cooperation in education, research and innovation
Researchers from Tajikistan can apply for Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships to the State Secretariat for Education Research and Innovation (SERI).
Development cooperation and humanitarian aid
Tajikistan is a priority country for Swiss international cooperation. The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) are active in the following areas:
Water, infrastructure and climate change: Switzerland supports Tajikistan with drinking water supply, wastewater management and hygiene improvements in urban and rural areas. An integrated approach to water management is pursued, which also takes into account environmental protections, protection against natural hazards and preparedness to mitigate the negative effects of climate change.
Good governance and decentralisation: Switzerland supports Tajikistan in national reform processes, such as the implementation of the civil register reform and legal assistance.
Economic development and jobs: Macroeconomic stability and the promotion of trade are key priorities of Switzerland's commitment in Tajikistan.
Healthcare: The programme focuses on promoting primary healthcare in order to ensure basic medical care for the population even in remote mountain areas.
The SDC and SECO cooperation strategy for 2017-21 allocates an annual budget of around CHF 20 million to Tajikistan.
Swiss nationals in Tajikistan
According to statistics on the Swiss abroad, there were 11 Swiss citizens living in Tajikistan at the end of 2018.
History of bilateral relations
Switzerland recognised Tajikistan's independence on 23 December 1991, after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The two countries established diplomatic relations on 9 December 1992. The Swiss embassy in Moscow was initially responsible for this Central Asian republic. From 1994, the Swiss ambassador in the Uzbek capital of Tashkent was also accredited to Dushanbe. Since 2008, the Swiss ambassador in Kazakhstan has been responsible for Tajikistan.
In 1998, Switzerland opened a cooperation office in Dushanbe, which has also carried out consular tasks since 2001.
Switzerland's international cooperation with Tajikistan began in 1993 with a Swiss Humanitarian Aid mission during the civil war in Tajikistan. In 1997, Tajikistan became a member of the constituency group led by Switzerland in the Bretton Woods institutions.
In 2007, Tajikistan upgraded its office in Geneva to a mission. Tajikistan has had an accredited ambassador in Switzerland since 2011.