Bilateral relations centre on financial services and tourism. Swiss firms consider the general conditions for doing business to be good. Trade between the two countries is limited.
Bilateral relations Switzerland–Bahamas
Key aspects of diplomatic relations
The Swiss ambassador in Ottawa is accredited to the Bahamas government. Consular matters are handled by the Swiss consulate general in Montreal. An honorary consul represents Switzerland in Nassau.
The overall volume of trade is very low. In 2018, Switzerland's imports of goods amounted to CHF 1.3 million and its exports CHF 19.6 million. Trade is mainly composed of watches, and although the volume of trade is modest, capital flows are considerable. More than 30 Swiss financial institutions are active in this Caribbean state.
Since 1 January 2019, the Bahamas have been a partner country for the automatic exchange of financial account information (AIA). The exchange of information will begin in 2020.
Cooperation in education, research and innovation
Researchers from the Bahamas can apply to the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) for Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships
Swiss nationals in the Bahamas
At the end of 2018, 365 Swiss nationals were living in the Bahamas, the majority of whom were employed in the financial sector.
History of bilateral relations
In 1973 the Federal Council recognised the independence of the Bahamas and established diplomatic and consular relations in 1974.
The Nestlé food group has had a branch in the Bahamas since 1936. Swiss bankers and hoteliers have had a growing presence in the Bahamas since the 1950s. While there were just two branches of Swiss banks in 1973, this had increased to 30 by 2018.