Canada-Switzerland Relations

Canada and Switzerland enjoy close and multifaceted bilateral relations, based upon shared values and a commitment to democracy and human rights. Our two countries cooperate closely within multilateral forums and enjoy a robust commercial relationship. Canada and Switzerland share French as an official language. As the host of numerous United Nations agencies, the World Trade Organization, the World Economic Forum, and other multilateral organizations, Switzerland frequently hosts representatives from all levels of Canadian government as well as Canadian business leaders.

Multilateral and international engagement

Canada and Switzerland work together closely within key multilateral institutions such as the United Nations, International Organisation of La Francophonie, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. Both countries support the principles of multilateral co-operation and humanitarian assistance and collaborate closely on a diverse range of priorities, such as promoting democracy and human rights and inclusion and combatting climate change.

Trade relations

Canada and Switzerland enjoy a strong and diverse commercial relationship that covers the full spectrum of trade, investment and innovation. In 2009, a free trade agreement with the European Free Trade Association, of which Switzerland is one of four members, came into force. In 2018, Canada and Switzerland signed a joint declaration to encourage the deepening of bilateral cooperation in the fields of science, technology and innovation.

People-to-people relations

There are more than 155,000 Canadians of Swiss origin. Both countries exchange large numbers of tourists.

Academic relations and youth mobility

Canadian and Swiss universities have numerous agreements, reinforcing the quality of education, research and innovation in both countries. Every year, several hundred Swiss citizens go abroad on exchange year, to collaborate on a research project or to pursue their academic studies in a Canadian institution.

In 2007, Canada and Switzerland signed a memorandum of understanding to facilitate and increase youth mobility by creating new opportunities for young (aged 18 to 35) Canadians and Swiss to gain international work experience to complement their studies or within their study curriculum. Canada is the top non-European destination for young Swiss undertaking such programs.

June 2018