Political relations between Switzerland and the archipelago in the Indian Ocean are good, though not very close. The country attracts tens of thousands of Swiss tourists every year. Both Switzerland and the Maldives often represent similar positions in terms of climate policy.
Bilateral relations Switzerland–Maldives
Key aspects of bilateral relations
Relations are dominated by the tourism sector. According to statistics produced by the Maldives Tourism Board, more than 34,000 Swiss tourists visited the Maldives in 2013. Switzerland is thus the eighth
most important country of origin for visitors to the Maldives. Bilateral contacts are generally limited to meetings within international bodies.
A Swiss embassy representative took part in the European Union observation mission conducted during the 2013 presidential elections in the Maldives.
The income generated by Swiss tourists (services export) is estimated at around CHF 47 million. Bilateral trade is modest. The volume of trade in 2014 was just under CHF 10 million with exports totalling CHF 4.2 million and imports amounting to CHF 5.3 million.
Cooperation in education, research and innovation
Scholars and artists from the Maldives can apply to the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) for Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships.
Swiss nationals in the Maldives
In 2014, there were 49 Swiss nationals living in the Maldives.
History of bilateral relations
From 1887 until independence in 1965, the Maldives were a British protectorate. Switzerland immediately recognised the independent state. Diplomatic relations were established in 1981 and are handled by the Swiss Embassy in Sri Lanka. The Maldivian ambassador to Switzerland is based in Geneva at the international organisations and has been accredited since 2010. The Maldives' embassy in Switzerland is located in International Geneva where it has been accredited since 2010.