Singapore and Switzerland maintain good relations and cooperate closely, particularly in the economic, financial and education policy fields. Thanks to the favourable conditions they are offered, over 400 Swiss companies have operations in Singapore. Universities in the two countries run extensive student exchange programmes. 2017 marks 50 years of diplomatic relations between Switzerland and Singapore.
Key aspects of diplomatic relations
Switzerland and Singapore enjoy excellent relations. Visits and meetings take place on a regular basis at ministerial level. Senior officials also meet regularly to discuss political, economic and financial matters, as well as issues of current interest.
A 'Declaration of Enhanced Partnership' was signed in May 2014 in order to strengthen existing ties. The Declaration provides for regular political dialogue and paves the way for closer cooperation between the two countries, mainly in the economic, financial, research and innovation fields.
Switzerland and Singapore have also been engaged in regular dialogue on financial matters since April 2015.
The Ambassador of Singapore accredited to Bern resides in Singapore. A consulate in Geneva represents Singapore's consular interests in Switzerland.
Singapore is Switzerland's most important trading partner in South East Asia. Following the signing of the free trade agreement between Singapore and the European Free Trade Association in 2003 – the first with an Asian country – trade between the two countries underwent considerable growth.
The Swiss Business Hub (SBH) and the Swiss-Asian Chamber of Commerce in Asia provide support to about 400 Swiss companies in Singapore. The SBH also has branches in Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam.
Switzerland Tourism has been represented in Singapore since 2012.
Numerous Swiss companies, particularly software companies and banks specialising in wealth management and private banking, have a regional office in Singapore.
Cooperation in education, research and innovation
In 2015, a science and technology office (STO) was incorporated into the diplomatic section of the Swiss embassy in Singapore. The STO is part of the global swissnex network of the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI), through which Switzerland aims to strengthen its position as a world leader in science, education and innovation.
Researchers and artists from Singapore can apply to the Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) for Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships.
Cultural exchanges between Switzerland and Singapore have steadily increased in recent years. Today, many Swiss artists perform at major cultural events as well as on smaller stages in Singapore.
Swiss nationals in Singapore
In 2017, there are 3,250 Swiss nationals registered at the Swiss embassy in Singapore.
History of bilateral relations
Switzerland and Singapore have maintained diplomatic relations since 1967. Regular trade between the two countries began in the late 1830s.