Relations between Switzerland and Morocco are good and wide-ranging. Cooperation between the two countries in the economic field and many other sectors have been growing. Morocco is popular among Swiss tourists.
Bilateral relations Switzerland–Morocco
Key aspects of diplomatic relations
The quality of relations between the two countries are reflected in a series of bilateral agreements covering a range of areas. A free trade agreement between Morocco and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) was signed on 19 June 1997 and entered into force in 1999.
The foreign ministries of the two countries have held political consultations since 2009, aimed at developing areas of common interest, for example in development cooperation, migration, democratic reforms, good governance, human security, human rights and different sectors of the economy (energy, transport, agriculture and sustainable tourism).
The two countries work closely together in the multilateral domain, in particular in the UN Human Rights Council and within the International Organisation of La Francophonie, where they often defend shared interests.
Morocco is Switzerland's 7th largest trading partner in Africa. In 2018 the volume of trade between the two countries amounted to CHF 580 million.
Switzerland mostly exports pharmaceutical products, machinery and watches to Morocco, while its imports are comprised mainly of precious stones and metals, jewellery, textiles and clothing.
Switzerland has been actively involved in Morocco for more than 60 years. The Swiss chamber of commerce was established in Casablanca over 25 years ago.
Cooperation in education, research and innovation
Researchers and artists from Morocco can apply to the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) for Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships.
At an institutional level, there is a cooperation programme between a Swiss hotel and catering school and several hotel and catering 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 interdepartmental strategy for North Africa for the 2017–20 period has three pillars:
Democratic processes and human rights
Economic development and employment
Migration and protection
In terms of the strategy's first pillar, Switzerland is committed to strengthening dialogue between authorities and citizens.
It also supports projects to improve implementation of the recommendations of the Universal Periodic Review, and to promote respect for the rights of migrants and refugees.
Development cooperation and humanitarian aid
As part of Switzerland's cooperation strategy for North Africa, it works in Morocco to promote democracy, foster economic development and prevent natural disasters. It also provides a contribution to protect vulnerable migrants and defends their rights.
Resources devoted to international cooperation with Morocco amounted to CHF 32 million in 2011–16. A budget of over CHF 19 million has been earmarked for the 2017–20 period.
Switzerland regularly takes part in the festivities surrounding the 'Journée internationale de la Francophonie' (international Francophonie day), and in the 'Settimana della Lingua Italiana nel Mondo' (a week celebrating the Italian language in the world). It also organises various cultural events
Swiss nationals in Marocco
At the end of 2018, there were 1,495 Swiss citizens living in Morocco.
History of bilateral relations
The first Swiss merchants to arrive in Morocco settled in Tangiers at the end of the 19th century. Official relations between Switzerland and Morocco have existed since the beginning of the 20th century.
In 1921, Switzerland opened a consulate in Casablanca, which was moved to Rabat in 1947. Switzerland recognised Morocco's independence in 1956. During the building of diplomatic relations, Switzerland opened a legation in Rabat, which was raised to the status of embassy in 1960. It also maintained a consulate in Tangiers from 1958 to 1968. Switzerland currently maintains an honorary consulate in Casablanca and in Marrakech.
In 1959, Morocco opened a representation in Switzerland which was raised to the status of embassy in 1961.