Switzerland and Oman have strengthened their relations in recent years. Swiss–Omani relations focus on peace and security policy, economic affairs and sustainable development. A special emphasis is placed on promoting stability in the region.
Bilateral relations Switzerland–Oman
Middle East and North Africa region (MENA Strategy) for the 2021–24 period. It identifies five thematic priorities: peace, security and human rights; migration and protection of people in need; sustainable development; economic affairs, finance, science; and digitalisation and new technologies.
These priorities are weighted differently across the various regions and countries. In the Arabian Peninsula and Iran, priority thematic areas for Switzerland are regional stability and security, economic and financial cooperation, and sustainable natural resource management.
Switzerland also wishes to support the Gulf countries in their efforts to professionalise their international cooperation, especially with regard to South-South cooperation and compliance with international development standards in the areas of climate change, health and water management.
Switzerland’s focus in Oman
The MENA Strategy 2021–24 identifies the following priorities for Switzerland in Oman:
1. Peace, security and human rights
Switzerland has launched an initiative to strengthen security and stability in the region in implementation of the memorandum of understanding on mediation and peacebuilding signed with Oman.
2. Economic affairs, finance, science
Switzerland is exploring opportunities for Swiss companies, especially in logistics, infrastructure and tourism.
On the economic front, Switzerland and Oman have concentrated on improving the general conditions for trade in recent years. A bilateral agreement on the promotion and reciprocal protection of investments entered into force in 2005, followed by an agreement on the avoidance of double taxation of income derived from international air transport in 2009. A free trade agreement between EFTA and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states entered into force in 2014.
3. Sustainable development
Switzerland is strengthening existing health initiatives and engaging in dialogue on vocational education and training. It includes Oman in regional initiatives in areas such as water management, food security and healthcare.
Swiss nationals in Oman
In 2020 there were 98 Swiss nationals living in Oman.
History of bilateral relations
Switzerland and Oman established diplomatic relations in 1973. The Swiss embassy in Oman was opened in November 2014, with the Swiss embassy in Riyadh continuing to perform consular functions.
Since 2018 Oman has had an embassy in Bern and a consulate general in Geneva to represent its interests in Switzerland.