Switzerland and Peru enjoy friendly relations, which are reinforced by regular political consultations. Since 2009, Peru has been one of SECO's priority countries for economic cooperation and development.
Bilateral relations Switzerland–Peru
Key aspects of diplomatic relations
Switzerland and Peru maintain active political relations. Bilateral relations are focused primarily on trade enhancement, cultural and judicial cooperation, business and human rights issues and Switzerland's assistance in promoting economic development and climate change adaptation.
Switzerland and Peru have entered into agreements on free trade, investment protection, double taxation, air transport, mutual legal assistance, and the protection of cultural property.
On 20 October 2020, Switzerland and Peru signed an agreement setting out the basis for Switzerland to offset part of its CO2 emissions through projects in Peru. This agreement, which entered into force on 1 August 2021, is the first of its kind in the world.
On 16 December 2020, Switzerland, Peru and Luxembourg signed an agreement governing the return of around CHF 26 million in illicitly acquired assets to Peru (Montesinos case). The agreement came into force on 18 April 2021. The funds will be used to fight corruption in Peru. Between 2002 and 2006, Switzerland had previously returned around CHF 93 million to Peru in relation to the Montesinos case.
In 2020, Switzerland imported goods worth CHF 1.7 billion from Peru, with gold representing over 90% of the total. In 2020, Switzerland exported goods worth CHF 123 million to Peru, mainly comprising machinery, pharmaceutical products and watches. At the end of 2019, Swiss direct investment in Peru showed a deficit of CHF 2.8 billion due to a reported asset deficiency on the part of Swiss companies in relation to subsidiaries based in Peru. In 2019, Swiss companies employed some 7,400 people in Peru.
Cooperation in education, research and innovation
Researchers who are citizens of Peru can apply to the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) for Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships. Under a mandate conferred by SERI, the University of St Gallen is currently coordinating research cooperation initiatives between Switzerland and Latin America.
Development cooperation and humanitarian aid
Peru has been a priority country for SECO's economic development cooperation since 2009. Approximately CHF 75 million has been allocated for this purpose for the 2021–24 period. Peru is also a beneficiary of the SDC's programme for the Andean region, which focuses on climate change, natural disasters and the sustainable management of water resources.
Peru is a priority country for cooperation with the Federal Office of Culture. Switzerland and Peru have co-financed several cultural projects. The Museum Rietberg in Zurich, for example, held an exhibition on the Nasca culture in 2017 and 2018. Since 2020, Switzerland has been funding the restoration of several artefacts from Caral, the oldest civilisation in the Americas.
Swiss nationals in Peru
According to statistics on the Swiss abroad, there were 2,952 Swiss nationals living in Peru at the end of 2020.
History of bilateral relations
A Swiss consulate opened in Lima in 1884 and was upgraded to a consulate general in 1931. A diplomatic representation has existed since 1946. In 1964, Switzerland launched one of its first technical cooperation programmes in the Peruvian Andes. There has been a Swiss Chamber of Commerce in Peru since 1979. Following a severe economic crisis at the beginning of the 1990s, Switzerland cancelled Peru's debt.