Bilateral relations Switzerland–Kuwait

Switzerland officially recognised Kuwait as an independent state in 1961. In 1966, a Swiss ambassador was accredited to Kuwait (based at that time in Beirut) and a Kuwaiti consulate was opened in Geneva, making 2016 an occasion for both countries to celebrate 50 years of diplomatic and consular relations.

Key aspects of diplomatic relations

Switzerland has long been popular with Kuwaitis, both as a holiday destination and a place of study. The welcome extended to Kuwaiti tourists during the Gulf war in 1990, when they were permitted to extend their stay in Switzerland until the crisis was over, contributed greatly to the close bilateral relations that exist between the two countries.

In August 2016 First Deputy Prime Minister H.E. Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah took part in the celebrations in Bern to commemorate 50 years of diplomatic and consular relations. The visit of President Johann Schneider-Ammann in the same year further cemented relations.

A memorandum of understanding on development cooperation and humanitarian aid was also signed in 2016.

Treaty database

Economic cooperation

Since the oil boom of the 1970s Kuwait has been an important market for goods and services supplied by Swiss companies, whose know-how in industry and technology have in turn helped implement a number of major infrastructure projects in Kuwait.

Today Switzerland mainly exports pharmaceutical products and watches to Kuwait.

In 2000 two agreements on investment protection and double taxation came into force. In 2010 a bilateral air transport agreement from 1968 was updated. A free trade agreement between EFTA and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states entered into force in 2014.

Trade promotion, Switzerland Global Enterprise

Swiss nationals in Kuwait

At the end of 2018 there were 84 Swiss nationals living in Kuwait.

History of bilateral relations

Switzerland recognised the independence of Kuwait in 1961. In 1966 a Swiss ambassador was given cross accreditation to Kuwait for the first time. Kuwait opened a consulate in Geneva that same year, which was upgraded to a consulate general in 1967. Switzerland has had an embassy in Kuwait since 1975. The Kuwaiti embassy in Bern was opened in 2006.

Kuwait, Historical Dictionary of Switzerland (de, fr, it)