Jordan is one of the priority countries for Switzerland's humanitarian work. Good bilateral relations with Jordan are enabling an expansion of exchanges in the field of science diplomacy.
Bilateral relations Switzerland–Jordan
On 14 October 2020 the Federal Council adopted a specific strategy for the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA Strategy) for the 2021–24 period. It identifies five thematic priorities: peace, security and human rights; migration and protection of people in need; sustainable development; economic affairs, finance, science; and digitalisation and new technologies.
These priorities are weighted differently across the various regions and countries. Switzerland's three priority thematic areas for the Middle East region are armed or political conflicts, economic development and governance. Switzerland is also addressing the needs of young people by promoting the development of vocational training, thus facilitating access to the labour market.
Switzerland's priorities in Jordan
The MENA Strategy identifies the following priorities for Switzerland in Jordan:
1. Migration and protection of people in need
Through its support for projects and trilateral dialogue with the Jordanian authorities and UNRWA, Switzerland is working towards sustainable solutions and better living conditions for people in need, refugees and IDPs.
Since the outbreak of the Syrian crisis in 2011, Switzerland has provided more than CHF 520 million in humanitarian aid and to efforts to strengthen the resilience of people in need. Switzerland supports initiatives to assist and provide services to communities affected by violence. It is also working to encourage sustainable water management, high-quality education, and income opportunities for refugees, IDPs, vulnerable migrants and host communities in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Turkey.
2. Sustainable development
Vocational education and training partnerships are concluded to promote entrepreneurship and innovation.
3. Economy, finance and science
Switzerland supports transnational research and innovation projects undertaken by independent organisations, such as Synchrotron-Light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East (SESAME), and, where possible, uses them as platforms for regional peace initiatives.
Researchers and artists who are citizens of Jordan can apply to the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) for Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships.
Other areas of cooperation
Swiss companies active in the pharmaceutical, tourism and food services sectors are present in Jordan. Numerous companies with Swiss business ties are members of the Swiss–Jordanian Business Club, which was founded in 2006 on the initiative of the Swiss embassy.
In 2020, the volume of trade between the two countries stood at CHF 531 billion.
Since 2004, the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia has organised an annual exchange residency for Swiss and Jordanian artists.
Switzerland regularly participates in events to promote the French language as part of the International Day of La Francophonie and also the Italian culture week (Settimana della Lingua Italiana nel Mondo). It also organises various cultural events.
Swiss nationals in Jordan
In 2020, there were 265 Swiss citizens living in Jordan.
History of bilateral relations
Switzerland recognised the Kingdom of Jordan in 1949. It opened an embassy in Amman in 1970 and a Swiss cooperation office in 2001. Until 2008, Jordan was a priority country for SECO's economic cooperation. The Jordanian royal couple are involved in various World Economic Forum projects and Queen Rania is a member of its board of trustees.
In 1812, Johann Ludwig Burckhardt, a Swiss geographer, rediscovered the ancient city of Petra, which is now a UNESCO World Heritage site.