Relations between Switzerland and Paraguay are good but remain relatively low-key.
Bilateral relations Switzerland–Paraguay
Key aspects of diplomatic relations
Switzerland and Paraguay have signed agreements on trade, investment protection and technical cooperation.
Since July 2012, all consular services in connection with Paraguay have been handled by the regional consular centre in Buenos Aires (Argentina). Since February 2016, the Swiss ambassador based in Montevideo (Uruguay) has represented Switzerland's diplomatic interests in Paraguay.
A relatively modest amount of trade takes place between the two countries. In 2020 Swiss exports amounted to CHF 15.6 million, while the value of goods imported from Paraguay – primarily agricultural products, precious stones and metals and essential oils – totalled CHF 18.5 million.
The negotiations for the EFTA-Mercosur free trade agreement were largely completed in August 2019.
Cooperation in education, research and innovation
Researchers who are citizens of Paraguay can apply to the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) for Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships. Under a mandate conferred by SERI, the University of St Gallen is currently coordinating research cooperation initiatives between Switzerland and Latin America.
Switzerland takes part regularly in the Semaine de la Francophonie and the International Film Festival in Asunción.
In 1888 Swiss botanist and anthropologist, Moisés Bertoni (from Ticino), emigrated to Paraguay, where in 1899 he described the indigenous herb stevia now used as a natural sweetener. Today, a museum in Paraguay is dedicated to him.
Swiss nationals in Paraguay
At the end of 2020 there were 1,380 Swiss nationals living in Paraguay.
History of bilateral relations
Switzerland opened a consulate in Asunción in 1887 and the two countries established diplomatic relations in 1892. Switzerland opened an embassy in Asunción in 1968. Since the closure of the embassy in 2016, the Swiss embassy in Montevideo has represented Switzerland's diplomatic interests in Paraguay. An honorary consulate opened in Asunción in November 2016.