Bilateral relations Switzerland–Uruguay

Switzerland and Uruguay enjoy friendly political relations and cooperate closely in multilateral organisations. The two countries have close ties dating back to the 19th century, when large numbers of Swiss nationals emigrated to Uruguay.

Key aspects of diplomatic relations

Switzerland and Uruguay are very active at the multilateral level and pursue similar interests in a wide variety of areas, including the promotion of human rights and international humanitarian law as well as environmental issues.

Since July 2012, all consular services in connection with Uruguay have been handled by the regional consular centre in Buenos Aires.

Switzerland currently has agreements with Uruguay in the areas of investment protection, double taxation, social security and air transport.

Treaty database

Government of Uruguay (es)

Economic cooperation

In 2023 Switzerland imported CHF 36.4 million worth of goods from Uruguay, mainly agricultural products. Exports to Uruguay in the same year amounted to CHF 154.6 million, and were mainly composed of pharmaceutical products and watches.

At the end of 2022 direct investment from Switzerland in Uruguay amounted to just under CHF 2.1 billion, and Swiss companies employed 835 people in the country.

The Swiss–Uruguayan chamber of commerce, founded in 1944, seeks to promote economic exchange between the two countries and to create business opportunities.

The negotiations for the EFTA–Mercosur free trade agreement were substantially completed in August 2019. 

Trade promotion (Switzerland Global Enterprise)

Swiss-Uruguayan Chamber of Commerce (es)

Cooperation in education, research and innovation

Researchers and artists who are citizens of Uruguay 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.

Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships for Foreign Scholars and Artists, SERI

Leading House for the Latin American Region

Cultural exchange

Some famous Uruguayan artists have Swiss roots. For example, José Belloni, Martino Perlasca and Juan José Morosoli come from families whose origins lie in Ticino.

The Swiss embassy in Montevideo supports efforts to preserve and disseminate the common cultural heritage through small-scale projects. 

Swiss nationals in Uruguay

At the end of 2023 there were 1,068 Swiss citizens living in Uruguay.

History of bilateral relations

Founded in 1828, the Republic of Uruguay became a popular destination for Swiss emigrants.  In 1862 and 1863, farmers from the German-speaking part of Switzerland founded the 'Nueva Helvecia' community, bringing cheese-making and other agricultural innovations to Uruguay. Migrants from Ticino became successful architects, artists and sportspeople in Uruguay.

Switzerland posted a consul to Uruguay in 1859 and opened a diplomatic representation in Montevideo in 1947. In April 2012, official Swiss delegations attended a series of events to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the founding of Nueva Helvecia. 

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

Diplomatic documents of Switzerland, Dodis

Swiss community in Nueva Helvecia (es)

Last update 04.07.2024

+41 800 24-7-365 / +41 58 465 33 33

365 days a year – around the clock 

The Helpline FDFA deals as central contact point with matters relating to consular services.

Fax +41 58 462 78 66

vCard Helpline FDFA (VCF, 5.6 kB)


Phone free of charge from abroad with Skype

You will receive an error message if the Skype application is not installed on your computer or smartphone. If such a message appears, please proceed to install it right off, simply by clicking on the following link:
Download Skype

Skype: helpline-eda

Start of page