Diplomatic relations between Switzerland and Morocco are good and varied. Morocco is a popular destination for Swiss tourists.
Bilateral relations Switzerland–Morocco
Key aspects of diplomatic relations
The foreign ministries of the two countries have held regular political consultations since 2009. The meetings aim to establish or strengthen cooperation in different areas such as development cooperation, migration, democratic reform and good governance, human security, and human rights.
The two countries work closely together in the multilateral domain. They often defend shared interests, in particular in the UN Human Rights Council and the International Organisation of la Francophonie. Since 2012, annual consultations have taken place between the heads of the United Nations and international organisations divisions of the two countries' foreign ministries.
Morocco is a medium-sized trading partner for Switzerland. The trade volume in 2016 amounted to CHF 520 million. Switzerland exports mainly pharmaceutical products, machinery and watch and clock products to Morocco and primarily imports precious stones and metals, jewellery, textiles and clothing.
Switzerland has been active in Morocco for over 60 years. The Swiss chamber of commerce in Casablanca has been in existence for more than 25 years
Cooperation in the domain of education
Researchers and artists from Morocco can apply for Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships from the State Secretariat for Education Research and Innovation (SERI).
At an institutional level, there is a cooperation programme between a Swiss hotel and catering school and several such schools in Morocco, as well as between hospitals in both countries in the area of further education for medical personnel.
Peacebuilding and human security
Switzerland's North Africa strategy guides the activities of the Human Security Division (HSD) in Morocco. The HSD supports human rights projects.
Development cooperation and humanitarian aid
Switzerland's interdepartmental North Africa programme covers three areas:
Democratic processes and human rights
Economic development and employment
Migration and protection
Within the framework of this programme, Switzerland is working in Morocco to promote democracy and economic development, and disaster risk reduction. It also contributes to the protection of vulnerable migrants and advocates for their rights.
Resources devoted to international cooperation with Morocco amounted to CHF 32 million in 2011–2016.
Swiss nationals in Marocco
At the end of 2016, there were 1,606 Swiss citizens living in Morocco.
Switzerland regularly takes part in the festivities surrounding the 'Journée internationale de la Francophonie' and in the 'Settimana della Lingua Italiana nel Mondo', and organises a variety of cultural events.
History of bilateral relations
The first Swiss merchants to arrive in Morocco settled in Tangier at the end of the 19th century. Official relations between Switzerland and Morocco have existed since the beginning of the 20th century.
In 1906, the Conference of Algeciras decided that the Swiss Federal Supreme Court should pronounce the final ruling in the dispute concerning the future Moroccan central bank. In 1921, Switzerland opened a consulate in Casablanca, which was moved to Rabat in 1947. In 1956, the Swiss government formally recognised Morocco’s independence.
During the build-up to diplomatic relations, Switzerland opened a legation in Rabat, which was given the status of embassy in 1960. Switzerland operated a consulate in Tangier in the period from 1958 to 1968. There is now a consulate in Casablanca. Morocco opened a representation in Switzerland in 1959. This was given embassy status in 1961.