Political relations between Switzerland and the archipelago in the Indian Ocean are good, though not very close. The country attracts tens of thousands of Swiss tourists every year. Both Switzerland and the Maldives often represent similar positions in terms of climate policy.
Bilateral relations Switzerland–Maldives
Key aspects of bilateral relations
Switzerland and the Maldives enjoy good political relations which are not affected by any major issues. Bilateral contacts are generally limited to meetings in international forums.
Both Switzerland and the Maldives often represent similar positions in terms of climate policy. For example, both countries were the main architects of the resolution on human rights and climate change adopted by the Human Rights Council in 2011.
Relations between Switzerland and the Maldives are dominated by the tourism sector. In 2018, more than 33,000 Swiss tourists visited the islands, making Switzerland eleventh on the list of tourist-generating countries.
In 2018, Swiss exports to the Maldives amounted to CHF 7.7 million and consisted mainly of pharmaceutical and agricultural products and watches. Imports from the Maldives – mainly agricultural products – amounted to CHF 8.5 million in 2018.
Cooperation in education, research and innovation
Researchers and artists from the Maldives can apply to the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) for Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships.
Swiss nationals in the Maldives
According to statistics on the Swiss abroad, 58 Swiss nationals (including 23 dual nationals) were living in the Maldives at the end of 2018.
History of bilateral relations
From 1887 until independence in 1965, the Maldives were a British protectorate. Switzerland immediately recognised the independent state and established diplomatic relations in 1981. The Maldives' first bilateral ambassador to Switzerland, based in Geneva, was accredited in November 2010. Switzerland has had an honorary consul in the Maldives since April 2019.