Switzerland and Argentina have close relations which are reinforced by regular bilateral exchanges.
Bilateral relations Switzerland–Argentina
Key aspects of diplomatic relations
At the heart of bilateral relations are trade, Swiss investment in Argentina, cooperation on tax matters and cooperation within international bodies. Regular political consultations have taken place with Argentina since 2005. Since July 2012, all consular services for Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay have been handled by the regional consular centre in Buenos Aires.
Switzerland and Argentina have signed agreements on trade, investment protection and double taxation.
Argentina is Switzerland's fourth largest trading partner and third major export destination in Latin America. In 2020 Switzerland imported goods – primarily precious metals and agricultural products – worth CHF 1 billion. The value of Swiss exports to Argentina – primarily chemical products, pharmaceuticals, machinery and watches – amounted to CHF 553 million.
At the end of 2019, direct investment from Switzerland in Argentina stood at CHF 3.1 billion and Swiss companies employed about 11,100 people in the country.
The negotiations for the EFTA-Mercosur free trade agreement were largely completed in August 2019.
Cooperation in education, research and innovation
Researchers who are citizens of Argentina can apply to the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) for Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships.
A trainee exchange agreement enables young people from Argentina to acquire additional professional experience and hone their language skills in Switzerland.
There are numerous ties between universities and research institutes in the two countries and a joint research programme was launched in 2016. Under a mandate conferred by SERI, the University of St Gallen is currently coordinating research cooperation initiatives between Switzerland and Latin America.
Swiss nationals in Argentina
Argentina is home to the largest Swiss expatriate community in Latin America. There were 15,296 Swiss nationals officially registered there at the end of 2020. Various Swiss clubs exist in Argentina as well as partnerships between cities and municipalities in the two countries.
History of bilateral relations
Switzerland has run a consulate in Buenos Aires since 1834, followed in 1891 by its first diplomatic mission in South America. Swiss migrants founded several settlements, schools, some 50 Swiss associations and a chamber of commerce. Hundreds of thousands of Argentines are of Swiss descent.