Relations between Switzerland and Slovenia are excellent. In addition to close personal, economic, scientific and cultural ties, the two countries are united by a series of bilateral agreements and a high quality of cooperation in multilateral organisations. Both Alpine countries, Switzerland and Slovenia have much in common and similar mindsets.
Bilateral relations Switzerland–Slovenia
Key aspects of diplomatic relations
The two states have agreements and conventions on the protection of investments, double taxation and social security. In 2008, they signed an agreement on scientific and technical cooperation.
Slovenia and Switzerland take the same position on a number of issues, so there are many opportunities to work together at the multilateral and humanitarian levels.
Economic ties between Switzerland and Slovenia are excellent, with bilateral trade taking a very dynamic upward turn in recent years – multiplied by 1900% between 2017 and 2022, making Switzerland Slovenia's most important trading partner in 2022 with a trade volume of CHF 18.2 billion. Switzerland mainly exports pharmaceutical and chemical products to Slovenia. Slovenia's primary exports to Switzerland also include chemicals and pharmaceuticals.
Switzerland is Slovenia's third biggest foreign investor after Austria and Luxembourg. About 40 Swiss companies currently have offices in Slovenia.
Cooperation in education and research
Since 2011 the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) has funded 39 projects by Swiss researchers, which involved a direct cooperation component with Slovenia. Since February 2019, there has been a Lead Agency Agreement between the SNSF and the Slovenian Research Agency (ARRS).
Scholars and artists from Slovenia can apply to the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation for Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships.
Switzerland’s contribution to the enlarged EU
When it joined the EU, Slovenia became one of the countries to benefit from Switzerland’s contribution to reducing economic and social disparities in an enlarged EU. Between 2007 and 2017, Switzerland contributed CHF 20.9 million to the successful implementation of 8 projects in Slovenia based on the Swiss-Slovenian framework agreement of 20 December 2007.
The implementation of the programme was monitored by the Swiss embassy in Ljubljana. The State Secretariat for Economic Affairs and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation in Bern were in charge of approving the projects.
Under the second Swiss contribution, CHF 16 million should be earmarked for projects promoting energy efficiency and renewable energies in Slovenia's alpine region.
The two countries enjoy a rich cultural exchange. Musicians, writers and artists from Slovenia and Switzerland regularly collaborate to organise events in the two countries.
Swiss nationals in Slovenia
According to statistics on the Swiss abroad recorded in February 2023, 541 Swiss nationals are living in Slovenia.
History of bilateral relations
Diplomatic relations were established between Switzerland and Slovenia in 1992. Slovenia opened an embassy in Bern in January of that year, while Switzerland established an embassy in Ljubljana in 2001.
During the transitional phase in the 1990s, Switzerland gave its support to a project for the modernisation of the Slovenian administration, leading to the founding of the National Administrative Academy to train Slovenian experts.