Relations between Switzerland and Bolivia are good. Bolivia is a priority country for the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).
Bilateral relations Switzerland–Bolivia
Key aspects of diplomatic relations
The SDC has been active in Bolivia since 1968. As part of its cooperation strategy it has implemented projects focusing on decentralisation, human rights, climate change mitigation and employment and income opportunities.
Switzerland and Bolivia have entered into agreements on air transport, scientific and technical cooperation and disaster relief.
Trade relations between Switzerland and Bolivia are limited in scope. In 2020, Switzerland imported goods worth CHF 7.2 million from Bolivia – mainly agricultural and mining products – and exported machinery, medical devices and pharmaceuticals to the value of CHF 13.2 million.
At the end of 2019, direct investment from Switzerland in Bolivia stood at CHF 74 million and Swiss companies employed about 730 people in the country.
Cooperation in education, research and innovation
Researchers who are citizens of Bolivia can apply to the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) for Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships. Under a mandate conferred by SERI, the University of St Gallen is currently coordinating research cooperation initiatives between Switzerland and Latin America.
Development cooperation and humanitarian aid
Swiss development cooperation is based on the priorities set by the Bolivian government for reducing poverty. The measures are intended to increase incomes, job opportunities and quality of life for poor and marginalised people and involve them more in the political process.
The SDC mainly works in the rural areas of the Bolivian Altiplano and surrounding valleys. Rapid urbanisation in recent decades has also necessitated interventions in impoverished areas.
Swiss nationals in Bolivia
At the end of 2020 there were 842 Swiss nationals living in Bolivia.
History of bilateral relations
Switzerland opened an honorary consulate in Bolivia in 1935 and an embassy in 1962. It has had consular relations with Bolivia since 1911 and diplomatic relations since 1946.
The Andean Regional Consular Centre in Lima has been dealing with consular matters relating to Bolivia since 2013.