Federal Councillor Didier Burkhalter in South America

Thursday, 26.05.2016 – Friday, 27.05.2016

Countries; EDA; Official visit

Federal Councillor Didier Burkhalter is visiting Argentina and Uruguay from 26 to 27 May 2016. The focus of the visit is to strengthen bilateral relations with Switzerland’s partner states.

Location: South America

On 26 May, Mr Burkhalter will hold bilateral talks in Argentina, the first federal councillor to do so since 2005. Argentina – Switzerland's third most important economic partner and fourth largest trading partner in Latin America – is a member of the G20 and has recently charted a new foreign policy course that presents an opportunity to expand trade relations with Switzerland and boost investment. Switzerland and Argentina also have a close relationship in other areas, including their shared commitment to human rights. Mr Burkhalter will meet with Argentina's new Foreign Minister, Susana Malcorra, in Buenos Aires.

The day after, Mr Burkhalter will hold bilateral talks in Montevideo with Uruguayan Foreign Minister Rodolfo Nin Novoa – the first working visit by a member of the Federal Council to Uruguay since 2005. Switzerland and Uruguay, which is currently a member of the UN Security Council, are working together on various matters within the UN. Uruguay is often referred to as 'the Switzerland of South America' and has a long-standing history of close relations with Switzerland. A large number of descendants of Swiss emigrants live in Uruguay to this day. Mr Burkhalter plans to meet members of the Swiss community in the city of Nueva Helvecia.