Bilateral relations Switzerland–Panama

Switzerland's relations with Panama are good. They are mainly focused on economic affairs. Panama is a leading destination in Central America for Swiss exports.

Key aspects of diplomatic relations

The Swiss embassy in San José (Costa Rica) is responsible for diplomatic relations with Panama. Switzerland has an honorary consulate general in Panama. Switzerland and Panama have agreements in several areas: free trade, investment protection, air traffic, automatic exchange of information on financial accounts, and visa exemptions.

Treaty database

Government of Panama, (es)

Economic cooperation

In 2022, Switzerland imported CHF 50.3 million in goods from Panama – mainly precious stones, precious metals and jewellery. It exported goods to the value of CHF 210 million to Panama – primarily pharmaceuticals and watches. At the end of 2021, direct investment from Switzerland in Panama amounted to just under CHF 1.6 billion, and Swiss companies employed 2,932 people in the country.

The free trade agreement between EFTA and the Central American States, one of which is Panama, came into force in 2014.  

Trade promotion, Switzerland Global Enterprise SGE

Cooperation in education, research and innovation

Researchers who are citizens of Panama can apply to the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) for Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships.

Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships for Foreign Scholars and Artists, SERI

Swiss nationals in Panama

According to statistics on the Swiss abroad, there were 916 Swiss nationals living in Panama at the end of 2022.

History of bilateral relations

Switzerland recognised Panama immediately after the founding of the state in 1903, but the two countries did not establish diplomatic relations until 1941.

Switzerland had already opened a consulate in Panama City in 1884. The consulate was closed in 1891, reopened in 1913, and was upgraded to a consulate general in 1959. It became an embassy in 1980. Since 1995 the Swiss embassy in San José, Costa Rica, has been responsible for Switzerland’s diplomatic affairs in Panama.

Panama, Historical Dictionary of Switzerland (de, fr, it)

Diplomatic Documents of Switzerland, Dodis

Last update 27.06.2023

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