Bilateral relations Switzerland–Costa Rica

Switzerland enjoys good diplomatic and economic relations with Costa Rica and works closely with the country at the multilateral level. Costa Rica is known as the 'Switzerland of Central America' for its political stability and relative economic prosperity, and the two countries have enjoyed a strong diplomatic and economic relationship for many years. At the multilateral level, for example within the UN, Switzerland and Costa Rica often work closely together to advance common causes.

Key aspects of diplomatic relations

Switzerland and Costa Rica have a large number of bilateral agreements in force in the fields of investment protection, visas, technical and scientific cooperation, aviation and the exchange of information on tax matters. The EFTA states, Costa Rica and Panama also signed a free trade agreement in 2014.

The close diplomatic relationship between Costa Rica and Switzerland also extends to the multilateral level: both countries work at the UN within the ACT (Accountability, Coherence and Transparency) group of states, which supports shared values and ideas such as the reform of the UN Security Council and its working methods. Even before joining the UN, Switzerland worked with Costa Rica on various initiatives aimed at improving international law.

Treaty database

Government of Costa Rica (es)

Economic cooperation

Costa Rica is Switzerland's foremost trading partner in Central America. In 2023, Switzerland imported goods worth CHF 154 million, mainly agricultural products. Swiss exports to Costa Rica totalled CHF 208 million, consisting mainly of pharmaceutical products, medical and precision instruments, watches, jewellery and machinery. At the end of 2022, Swiss direct investment in Costa Rica amounted to almost CHF 2 billion, and Swiss companies operating in the country employed 3,190 people.

Trade promotion, Switzerland Global Enterprise

Cooperation in education, research and innovation

Researchers and artists who are citizens of Costa Rica can apply to the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) for Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships.

In February 2014, Costa Rica and CERN signed an agreement to facilitate scientific cooperation and access to grants for students and researchers.

Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships for Foreign Scholars and Artists, SERI

Swiss nationals in Costa Rica

At the end of 2023 there were 1,716 Swiss nationals living in Costa Rica.

History of bilateral relations

The Federal Council appointed an honorary consul for Costa Rica in 1912 and the two countries established diplomatic relations in 1957. At the same time, Switzerland transformed its representation into a consulate general and, ten years later, opened an embassy in San José. Costa Rica has had an embassy in Bern since 1981.

Costa Rica, historical Dictionary of Switzerland (de, fr, it)

Diplomatic Documents of Switzerland, Dodis

Last update 09.07.2024


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