Switzerland and Canada have close economic, social and cultural ties. Canada was one of the most popular destinations for Swiss migrants in the 19th and 20th centuries. Some 40,000 Swiss live in Canada, while more than 150,000 Canadians are of Swiss extraction.
Canada is Switzerland’s second-largest economic partner in the Americas. In 2015, Swiss companies exported goods worth CHF 3.5 billion to Canada, while imports from Canada amounted to CHF 1 billion . Swiss and Canadian universities and research institutions also have numerous close links.
Political relations between Switzerland and Canada have, in comparison, been less intensive in recent years, the last visit by an FDFA head being that of Pierre Aubert in 1981. Mr Burkhalter wants to revitalise relations and boost political dialogue between the two countries. Sharing the same interests in many areas, Canada and Switzerland can be regarded as natural partners. In particular, they are kindred spirits when it comes to promoting world peace and security, within the context of the UN and in the field of development assistance.
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