Bilateral relations

In line with its One China policy, Switzerland does not recognize Taiwan (Chinese Taipei) as an independent state. In terms of trade, Taiwan (Chinese Taipei) is of importance for Switzerland.

Key aspects of bilateral relations

Two private organizations support relations between Switzerland and Taiwan (Chinese Taipei): the Trade Office of Swiss Industries in Taiwan (Chinese Taipei) and the Taiwan Cultural and Economic Delegation in Bern and Geneva. These representations do not have any diplomatic status; however, they do offer consular services.

Switzerland regularly calls on the government of the People’s Republic of China and the Taiwanese authorities to resolve their differences by negotiation.

Economic relations

Taiwan (Chinese Taipei) is Switzerland’s seventh largest export market in Asia. According to figures of Swiss Customs, exports to Taiwan in 2014 amounted to USD1,800 million. Chemical/pharmaceuticals remained the largest export product category at 35 % of the total. Watch exports represented 27 %. Third in the ranking are machinery and apparatus electronics.

Meanwhile, Swiss imports from Taiwan (Chinese Taipei) amounted to USD 1,000 million. Machinery, apparatus, electronics still accounted for the largest share of total imports. Bicycles imports demonstrated a strong expansion. For decades Switzerland has enjoyed a significant trade surplus. Swiss companies employ around 17,500 people in Taiwan (Chinese Taipei).

Trade promotion (Switzerland Global Enterpirse)

State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO)/Country profile

Swiss nationals in Taiwan (Chinese Taipei)

At the end of 2014, there were 320 Swiss nationals resident in Taiwan (Chinese Taipei).

History of bilateral relations

Switzerland recognized the People's Republic of China on 17 January 1950. Since then it has maintained a One China policy and regards the Republic of China, as the Taiwan (Chinese Taipei) authorities continue to style themselves, not as an independent state, but as a region of China. In relation to its bilateral relations and at international level, Switzerland recognizes only one China: the People’s Republic of China, with its seat of government in Beijing.

Entry in the Historical Dictionary of Switzerland (de, fr, it)