Bilateral relations between Switzerland and the Republic of Serbia are assessed as good and on the rise. During the sanctions and the Yugoslav crisis in the 1990s, Switzerland continuously provided humanitarian aid, intended primarily for internally displaced persons and refugees. Switzerland recognised the unilateral declaration of independence in respect of Kosovo. Since 2000, relations with Serbia have been gaining momentum and political dialogue is intensifying. After the OSCE consecutive chairmanship in 2014 and 2015, political relations have taken on a new dimension, political consultations are held on an annual basis, and Serbia has been identified as an important partner and a link between the East and the West.
- The President of the National Council, Isabelle Moret, visited Serbia on 9 November 2020,
- The President of the Republic of Serbia, Aleksandar Vučić, and Prime Minister Ana Brnabić participated in the 50th session of the World Economic Forum in Davos (20–24 January 2020),
- The President of the Republic of Serbia, Aleksandar Vučić, participated in the Strategic Dialogue on the Western Balkans (in Geneva, 7–8 November 2019),
- The Prime Minister of the Republic of Serbia, Ana Brnabić, visited Switzerland on 2–3 September 2019.
Among important persons in the history of bilateral relations is Dr Rodolphe Archibald Reiss, professor of chemistry at the University of Lausanne, criminologist, forensic scientist, publicist, friend of Serbia during and after the First World War. He volunteered in the period 1914–1918 on the fronts with the Serbian Army. He personally engaged in the care of Serbian orphans in Switzerland and in helping the Serb people who stayed in the occupied country, and made an exceptional contribution with his papers to how Serbia is viewed at the international level.
Economic relations between Serbia and Switzerland may be estimated as traditionally good and diverse, considering they include all aspects of economic cooperation. The free trade agreement with the EFTA countries (Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein) enables duty-free export of Serbian products and new investments. Switzerland is Serbia’s most important foreign trade partner within the EFTA.
According to the volume of trade, Switzerland is Serbia’s 26th partner. In terms of domestic exports, it is also on the 26th place, and, in terms of imports, it is on the 22nd place. In the period January–November 2020, total exports from Serbia amounted to 142.1 million euros, and imports to 266.8 million euros. A total of 543 active corporate entities are registered on the territory of Serbia, whose majority owners are Swiss citizens, and they employ more than 11,000 workers.
Some of 20 largest Serbian exporters to Switzerland in 2019 were companies operating within Swiss concerns, such as: MikrotecOptikaKać (MikropAG), Tobler-Skele (ToblerAG), TelsonicdooKać (TelsonicHoldingAG), as well as SerbiaZIJINBorCooper, while some of 20 largest importers from Switzerland are: Rochedoo Beograd (ROCHE FINANZ AG), PhilipMorris, Syngenta Agro (SyngentaCropProtection AG), SIKA Serbia (SIKA AG), and Nestle Adriatic S (NESTLE SA).
Switzerland is on the list of the largest investors in the Serbian economy. In 2019, investments amounted to 448.4 million euros. In 2019, another company from Switzerland, BarryCallebaut, started with the implementation of an investment project in Serbia related to the construction of a factory for chocolate and cocoa products in Novi Sad in the form of an investment of 45 million euros and the creation of 100 jobs.
Switzerland is also one of the largest donors of development and humanitarian aid, and the value of funds donated in the last 30 years was almost 400 million francs.
There are 51 bilateral agreements in force, some of which are:
Extradition Treaty between Switzerland and Serbia (28 November 1887);
Convention on the Settlement and Consular Services between the Kingdom of Serbia and the Swiss Confederation (16 February 1888);
Agreement on Trade and Economic Cooperation between the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the Swiss Confederation (21 November 2001)
Agreement between the Council of Ministers of Serbia and Montenegro and the Swiss Federal Council on the Avoidance of Double Taxation with respect to Taxes on Income and on Capital (13 April 2005),
Agreement between Serbia and Montenegro and the Swiss Confederation on Mutual Promotion and Protection of Investments (7 December 2005).
The Embassy of the Republic of Serbia in Bern (Switzerland): http://www.berne.mfa.gov.rs/.
The Embassy of Switzerland in Belgrade (Serbia): http://www.eda.admin.ch/belgrade.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia – Department for Europe: tel. 00 381 (0) 11 30 68 326, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.