FDFA proposes closing the Swiss representation in Paraguay

Bern, Press release, 05.06.2015

As part of the cost-cutting measures decided by the Federal Council on 11 February 2015 and on the basis of a review of the network of representations abroad, the FDFA has proposed closing the Swiss embassy in Asunción. The closing of the embassy would be followed by the opening of an honorary representation in order to maintain contact and to support the Swiss community in the country (as at 2014: 1,385 Swiss citizens, of which 1,000 have dual nationality) and to ensure that political, economic and cultural relations between the two countries continue.

The Federal Council has taken note of the proposal and authorised the FDFA to consult the two parliamentary foreign affairs committees on the matter in anticipation of the new federal act on Swiss persons and institutions abroad. The FDFA will inform the Federal Council of the results of the consultation.
Consular services in Paraguay have been provided by the regional centre at the Swiss embassy in Buenos Aires since 2012. The Federal Council had already decided on 17 August 2011, at the recommendation of the FDFA, to close the embassy in Asunción. This decision was taken at the same time as the decision to open a diplomatic representation in Qatar. Up until now, however, the FDFA has not had to proceed with the closure of the embassy in Asunción as savings could be realised through synergies achieved by the regionalisation of consular activities, which was decided as part of the programme on the consolidation and review of tasks, carried out in 2014.

Switzerland's network abroad, currently comprising 170 representations, is continually being adapted on the basis of Switzerland's needs and the international situation. These representations are supplemented by 21 Swiss Business Hubs under the direction of Switzerland Global Enterprise (S-GE), six Swissnex centres (EAER) and 10 Pro Helvetia offices, which are generally housed in the same premises as the embassies or consulates general in order to concentrate Switzerland's presence in the host country in one location.

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