Diplomatic relations between Switzerland and Guinea are not very intensive. In the 1990s, during the civil wars in Liberia and Sierra Leone, Switzerland provided humanitarian aid to Guinea. Various agreements on debt reduction and migration were negotiated.
Bilateral relations Switzerland–Guinea
Key aspects of diplomatic relations
Since Switzerland recognised the independence of Guinea, the two countries have signed a number of bilateral agreements relating to trade, investment protection, aviation, technical cooperation and migration.
The volume of trade between Switzerland and Guinea is low. In 2011, Switzerland imported goods to the value of CHF 0.1 million. Exports to Guinea amounted to CHF 9 million, mainly paper and printed products, machinery and vehicles.
Cooperation in the domain of education
Scholars and artists from Guinea can apply to the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) for Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships.
Development cooperation and humanitarian aid
In the 1990s, during the civil wars in the neighbouring countries of Liberia and Sierra Leone, Switzerland provided humanitarian aid to Guinea, which in some cases is still ongoing.
From 2005–2011, together with SDC and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the Federal Office for Migration FOM implemented a repatriation assistance programme specifically tailored to Guinea.
Swiss nationals in Guinea
In 2015, the Swiss community numbered 106. The majority of Swiss citizens resident in Guinea work for the Protestant Mission Philafricaine which has been active in the country for 30 years.
History of bilateral relations
Switzerland recognised the independence of the former French colony of Guinea on 13 October 1958. Diplomatic relations were established in 1960. In 1965, the consulate in Conakry that had opened in 1959 was upgraded to an embassy run by a chargé d'affaires. This closed in 1992. Since 2001 there has been a consulate-general headed by an honorary consul.
In the 1960s, along with an aviation agreement, Switzerland and Guinea signed an agreement relating to trade, investment protection and technical cooperation and an aviation agreement. Further development of relations was hindered by the prevailing political structures in the country up until 2010.
Switzerland nevertheless provided Guinea with financial aid in the 1980s and 1990s as part of multilateral structural adjustment programmes. Further agreements covered debt restructuring with respect to the Paris Club. An agreement on debt reduction was signed in 1997.
In the area of cooperation on migration, in 2004 a protocol on the repatriation and reintegration of Guinean nationals illegally residing in Switzerland was signed. A migration agreement was signed in 2011. This will enter into force once the ratification process has been completed.