Switzerland and Bosnia and Herzegovina maintain close political relations. Switzerland is committed to strengthening good governance, justice, the market economy and health services in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Bilateral relations Switzerland–Bosnia and Herzegovina
Key aspects of diplomatic relations
Switzerland has an interest in lasting stability in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is why it supports the reform efforts of the country's authorities at all levels – whole state, entities, cantons and municipalities. Thanks to its substantial commitment, Switzerland is contributing to strengthening good governance, justice, the market economy and health services in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It also supports local efforts to deal with the legacy of the 1992–95 war.
Switzerland and Bosnia and Herzegovina have agreements in such areas as free trade, visa facilitation, investment protection and air transport, and have also signed a migration partnership.
Switzerland is Bosnia and Herzegovina's tenth largest trade partner and ninth largest investor. In 2018, Switzerland imported goods – primarily furniture, iron and steel products and agricultural products – worth CHF 113 million; Swiss exports that year amounted to CHF 93 million, mainly chemical and pharmaceutical products and aluminium.
The large Bosnian diaspora community in Switzerland and the remittances its members send home are an important aspect of the economic relations between the two countries.
Cooperation in education, research and innovation
Researchers and artists from Bosnia and Herzegovina can apply to the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) for a Swiss Government Excellence Scholarship.
Switzerland supports Operation Althea, the multinational peacebuilding force of the European Union (EUFOR) in Bosnia and Herzegovina. A maximum of 20 members of the Swiss Armed Forces participate at any one time in this mission. In addition, a maximum of six military personnel are part of mobile training teams ensuring the safe and secure storage of ammunition and weapons stockpiles.
Bosnia and Herzegovina is a priority country for Switzerland's cooperation programme in Eastern Europe, which aims to ensure political stability in the country and to implement much-needed structural economic and political reforms. To this end, Switzerland has contributed over CHF 500 million to projects, programmes and multilateral missions in Bosnia and Herzegovina during the last 20 years. Switzerland supports the Bosnian people's wish to join the EU. The current 2017–20 cooperation strategy has a budget of approx. CHF 74 million.
Another key activity under the cooperation programme in Sarajevo are State Secretariat for Migration projects, which are part of the migration partnership with Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Pro Helvetia and the Swiss embassy have been very active in the cultural field in Bosnia and Herzegovina since the end of the war. Switzerland has provided support since 1996 for the Sarajevo Film Festival (SFF), the most important in south-eastern Europe, and funds the awards for the best documentary and best film about human rights.
Swiss nationals in Bosnia and Herzegovina
According to statistics on the Swiss abroad, there were 750 Swiss citizens living in Bosnia and Herzegovina at the end of 2018.
History of bilateral relations
Switzerland and Bosnia and Herzegovina have maintained diplomatic relations since 1992. Switzerland's acceptance of large numbers of refugees during the 1992–95 war and its subsequent support for reconstruction in Bosnia and Herzegovina have contributed to the good image it has in the country.
The Swiss government, through the Federal Commission for Scholarships for Foreign Students (FCS), awards various postgraduate scholarships to foreign scholars and researchers.
Scholars from Bosnia and Herzegovina are entitled to apply for University scholarships for PhDs, postdoctoral research and a research in the realm of their PhD or their medical specialization.