Switzerland and Mexico maintain close and varied relations. The two countries are active at the multilateral level in particular, often adopting similar positions. Switzerland has lively commercial exchanges with Mexico, its second most important trading partner in Latin America.
Bilateral relations Switzerland–Mexico
Key aspects of diplomatic relations
Switzerland and Mexico have close political ties. The two countries have concluded agreements in a number of areas: air transport, double taxation, visas, investment and mutual legal assistance. Senior officials from both foreign ministries have met regularly since 2007 for political consultations. Switzerland and Mexico work particularly closely in the multilateral context.
The two countries address economic issues bilaterally and in the framework of the EFTA-Mexico Free Trade Agreement, which is currently being reviewed. The Swiss embassy in Mexico is also responsible for diplomatic relations with Belize.
Switzerland and Mexico undertook to strengthen bilateral trade under the EFTA-Mexico Free Trade Agreement. Exploratory discussions to update the agreement are under way. Switzerland is one of the largest foreign investors in Mexico, with total direct investments amounting to CHF 6.5 billion in 2018. Swiss companies employ over 38,200 people in Mexico.
Swiss imports from Mexico totalled CHF 933 million in 2019 and exports to the country came to almost CHF 1.43 billion.
To promote trade, Switzerland Global Enterprise opened a Swiss Business Hub in Mexico in May 2012, and a chamber of commerce (SwissCham México) was opened in November 2016.
Cooperation in education, research and innovation
Switzerland and Mexico have cooperated in vocational education and training since November 2016. A letter of intent signed by Mexico's Ministry of Public Education and Switzerland's State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) is the basis for this collaboration.
Mexico is also a priority partner for the Latin-American-Swiss Center (CLS-HSG), designated by SERI to coordinate and implement the cooperation programme with Latin America for the 2017–20 period.
Researchers from Mexico can apply to SERI for Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships.
Peacebuilding and human security
The Swiss embassy regularly oversees projects in the area of human security. There are also consultations between the two countries in this area.
Swiss nationals in Mexico
At the end of 2019, there were 5,275 Swiss nationals living in Mexico. They are served by the Swiss embassy in Mexico City and honorary consulates in Cancún, Guadalajara and Monterrey.
There are three Swiss schools in Mexico: in Mexico City, Cuernavaca and Querétaro.
History of bilateral relations
The United Mexican States gained independence from Spain in 1821. In 1827, Switzerland opened an honorary consulate in Mexico City. Exchanges of a predominantly commercial nature began in the mid-19th century. In 1945, Switzerland opened a legation in Mexico, which was upgraded to an embassy in 1958.
The 70th anniversary of bilateral relations was celebrated in 2015–16 with a series of high-level visits and numerous cultural events in Mexico and Switzerland. To mark the anniversary, federal councillors Didier Burkhalter and Alain Berset visited Mexico City along with Johann Schneider-Ammann, then President of the Swiss Confederation.