Bilateral relations

Switzerland and Uruguay enjoy friendly political relations and cooperate closely in multilateral organisations. The two countries have close ties dating back to the 19th century, when large numbers of Swiss nationals emigrated to Uruguay.

Key aspects of diplomatic relations

Switzerland and Uruguay are very active at the multilateral level and pursue similar interests in a wide variety of areas, including the promotion of human rights and international humanitarian law as well as environmental issues.

Since July 2012, all consular services in connection with Uruguay have been handled by the regional consular centre in Buenos Aires.
Switzerland currently has agreements with Uruguay in the areas of investment protection, double taxation, social insurance and air transport.

Treaty database

Government of Uruguay (es)

Economic cooperation

In 2019, Switzerland imported nearly CHF 32 million worth of goods from Uruguay, mostly precious stones and metals, agricultural products and paper products. Exports to Uruguay in the same year amounted to CHF 158 million, and were mainly composed of pharmaceutical products, watches and machines.

At the end of 2018, direct investment from Switzerland in Uruguay stood at CHF 2.4 billion and Swiss companies employed about 1,100 people in the country. The negotiations for the EFTA-Mercosur free trade agreement were largely completed in August 2019.

Trade promotion, Switzerland Global Enterprise SGE

Swiss-Uruguayan Chamber of Commerce (es)

Swiss nationals in Uruguay

At the end of 2019, there were 1,000 Swiss nationals living in Uruguay.

History of bilateral relations

Founded in 1828, the Republic of Uruguay became a popular destination for Swiss migrants. In 1862 and 1863, farmers from the German-speaking part of Switzerland founded the 'Nueva Helvecia' community, bringing cheese-making and other agricultural innovations to Uruguay. Migrants from Ticino became successful architects, artists and sportspeople in Uruguay.

Switzerland appointed a consul in Uruguay as early as 1859. In 1947, Switzerland opened a diplomatic representation in Montevideo. The 150th anniversary of the founding of 'Nueva Helvecia' was celebrated with a series of events in April 2012 in the presence of official Swiss delegations.

Uruguay, historical Dictionary of Switzerland (de, fr, it)

Diplomatic Documents of Switzerland, Dodis

Nueva Helvecia community (es)