Bilateral relations Switzerland–Colombia

Switzerland and Colombia enjoy close and wide-ranging relations, strengthened by regular political consultations and high-level meetings. Colombia is one of Switzerland's priority countries in the fields of economic cooperation, humanitarian aid and peace promotion.

Key aspects of diplomatic relations

Relations between Switzerland and Colombia are close and wide-ranging. The areas they cover include bilateral trade promotion, humanitarian aid, peace promotion, economic development, and cultural and multilateral cooperation.

Switzerland and Colombia have concluded agreements in the following areas: investment protection, free trade, double taxation, international mutual assistance in criminal matters, air transport, scientific cooperation, and the protection of cultural property. 

Treaty Database

Government of Colombia (es)

Virtual library of Colombian international treaties

Economic and trade relations

In 2023, Switzerland imported goods worth a total of CHF 418 million from Colombia, mainly precious stones and metals and agricultural products. Swiss exports to Colombia amounted to CHF 559 million and mainly comprised chemical and pharmaceutical products, machinery, watches and precision instruments. Swiss direct investments in Colombia amounted to CHF 5.5 billion at the end of 2022.  Swiss companies operating in the country employed 13,725 people that year.

Economic relations between Switzerland and Colombia are based on a robust legal framework. A free trade agreement between the EFTA states and Colombia has been in effect since 2011. A joint economic commission, composed of government and private sector representatives from both countries, serves to strengthen bilateral economic and trade relations.

Switzerland and Colombia have also had an agreement on the promotion and mutual protection of investments since 2009 and a double taxation agreement since 2011. In March 2019, Switzerland and Colombia signed an accord to ensure the correct implementation of the double taxation agreement. 

Trade promotion

The Swiss–Colombian Chamber of Commerce (Cámara de Comercio Colombo Suiza, CCCS) has served as a bridge for the promotion of trade between the two countries since 1974. The CCCS currently has 50 members, primarily Swiss and Colombian companies (including multinationals and SMEs). It works closely with the Swiss embassy and Switzerland Global Enterprise (S-GE). The CCCS has a cooperation agreement with the S-GE for processing mandates from Switzerland.

Trade promotion, Switzerland Global Enterprise (S-GE)

Country information, SECO

Swiss–Colombian chamber of commerce (es)

Free trade agreement between Colombia and the EFTA States (fr, de, it)

Automatic exchange of information in tax matters (AEOI)

Switzerland and Colombia have implemented the automatic exchange of information (AEOI) in tax matters. Information on accounts has been collected in accordance with the international AEOI standard since 2018 and exchanged since 2019. 

AEOI – State Secretariat for International Finance SIF

Cooperation in education, research and innovation

Researchers and artists with Colombian citizenship can apply to the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) for Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships, which are awarded annually. Applications are submitted via COLFUTURO and ICETEX.

The University of St Gallen (HSG) is the leading academic institution for Swiss cooperation with Latin America. The HSG offers various funding instruments to facilitate exchanges between Colombian and Swiss researchers. It also organises academic and industry-focused training programmes to support young Swiss and Colombian companies in marketing their products.        

Furthermore, the Swiss embassy in Bogotá supports a pilot project for dual vocational training in Colombia. Launched in 2020 by Nestlé, this project involves collaboration with the Colombian government and private and educational sector partners.

Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships for Foreign Scholars and Artists, SERI

FAQs on scholarships (es) (PDF, 3 Pages, 19.6 kB)

Academia Industry Training (AIT)



Development cooperation and humanitarian aid

Since 2001, the SDC’s humanitarian aid programme has focused on supporting and protecting civilians affected by the conflict. For the years 2021–24, CHF 48 million has been budgeted for this purpose. Colombia is also part of the SDC’s Andean programme in the areas of climate change adaptation and sustainable water management (with a budget of CHF 2.3 million).

Development cooperation and humanitarian aid (SDC)

Peace and Human Rights (PHRD)

Since 2002, Colombia has been a priority country for Swiss peace and human rights policy. Switzerland supports Colombia's conflict resolution efforts and has contributed to multiple peace processes in Colombia. The current programme of the Peace and Human Rights Division (PHRD) focuses on the promotion of human rights, civil society participation, dealing with the past and transitional justice. The budget allocated for the period 2021–24 is CHF 4.4 million.

Peace and Human Rights (PHRD)

Cultural exchanges

Colombia is a priority country for Switzerland's Federal Office of Culture. Switzerland and Colombia collaborate under a 2011 agreement to prevent illicit trafficking in cultural property and for the restitution of cultural objects. Since 2019 Switzerland has funded, in collaboration with the Colombian Ministry of Culture, two projects related to the archaeological sites of Facatativá and Santa María la Antigua del Darién. In 2023, the Colombian Institute of Anthropology and History (ICANH) was granted funding for the excavation of the historically significant Plaza San Sebastián.

Swiss nationals in Colombia

According to statistics on the Swiss abroad, 2,348 Swiss nationals were living in Colombia at the end of 2023. 

History of bilateral relations

Switzerland has maintained consular and diplomatic relations with Colombia since the end of the 19th century. A treaty of friendship, settlement and trade concluded in 1908 improved the position of the Swiss colony. Switzerland opened a consulate in Bogotá in 1911, which was upgraded to a legation in 1940 and an embassy in 1958. In 1974, the Colombian–Swiss Chamber of Commerce was founded in Bogotá.

In 1949, the Swiss community in Colombia founded the Colegio Helvetia de Bogotá. This institution offers a unique combined qualification, with the main language of instruction being either German or French. Pupils graduate with both a Colombian and a Swiss secondary school diploma.

Colombia, Historical Dictionary of Switzerland (de, fr, it)

Diplomatic Documents of Switzerland, Dodis

Colegio Helvetia de Bogotá 

Last update 08.07.2024


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