Relations between Argentina and Switzerland are close and wide-ranging, underpinned by regular political consultations and high-level meetings.
Bilateral relations Switzerland–Argentina
Key aspects of diplomatic relations
At the heart of bilateral relations are the intensification of trade, Swiss investment in Argentina, cooperation on tax matters and cooperation within the United Nations. Regular political consultations have taken place with Argentina since 2005. As of May 2011, all consular matters concerning Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay are handled by the regional consular centre in Buenos Aires.
The two countries have concluded bilateral agreements on trade, investment protection, aviation and against double taxation.
Argentina is Switzerland’s fourth largest trading partner and the third major export destination for Swiss goods and services in Latin America. In 2018, Switzerland imported goods – primarily precious metals and agricultural products – worth CHF 1,35 billion. The value of Swiss exports to Argentina – primarily chemical products, pharmaceuticals, machinery and watches – amounted to CHF 830 million.
At the end of 2017, Swiss direct investments stood at CHF 43.9 billion and Swiss firms employed 11,200 people in Argentina.
The negotiations for an EFTA free trade agreement with Mercosur are well advanced.
Cooperation in education, research and innovation
Researchers from Argentina can apply to the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) for a Swiss Government Excellence Scholarship.
A trainee exchange agreement enables young people from Argentina to acquire additional professional experience and hone their language skills in Switzerland.
There are numerous ties between universities and research institutes in the two countries. A joint research programme was launched in 2016.
Swiss nationals in Argentina
Argentina is home to the largest Swiss expatriate community in Latin America. There were 15,400 Swiss nationals officially registered there at the end of 2018. Various Swiss clubs exist in Argentina as well as partnerships between cities and municipalities in Switzerland and Argentina.
History of bilateral relations
Switzerland opened a consulate in Buenos Aires in 1834, followed in 1891 by its first diplomatic mission in South America. Swiss migrants founded several settlements, schools, some 50 Swiss associations and a chamber of commerce there. Thousands of Argentines are of Swiss descent.