Relations between Switzerland and the Republic of Moldova have developed significantly. They focus primarily on technical cooperation and migration matters.
Bilateral relations Switzerland–Moldova
Key aspects of diplomatic relations
The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) has had a cooperation office in the Moldovan capital since 2000. The Swiss ambassador in Kyiv is accredited in Chişinău. The Permanent Mission of the Republic of Moldova in Geneva has a double accreditation covering both the international organisations in Geneva and bilateral relations with Switzerland. Since 2017, regular political consultations between Switzerland and the Republic of Moldova have allowed for a broad exchange of views. These discussions cover bilateral relations in development, migration and economic cooperation matters and cooperation in the multilateral sphere.
The volume of trade between the two countries is very limited. In 2019, Switzerland mostly exported pharmaceutical products, machines and vehicles to Moldova. It imported machines, equipment, textiles and agricultural products. In 2020, the 7th Switzerland-Moldova Mixed Economic Commission took place in Bern.
Cooperation in education, training, research and innovation
Researchers and artists from the Republic of Moldova can apply to the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) for Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships.
Development cooperation and humanitarian aid
In 2008, the SDC phased out its humanitarian aid programme and fully shifted its focus to development cooperation. Switzerland's 2018–21 cooperation strategy for Moldova allocates CHF 50.9 million for development programmes. The priorities of the 2018–21 strategy are healthcare, local governance, economic development and employment. Switzerland is a major bilateral donor to the Republic of Moldova.
The Swiss cooperation office in Chişinău works to foster the local culture sector, supporting concerts, theatre, etc. It also supports the Ethno Jazz Festival, which hosts a Swiss group each year.
Swiss nationals in the Republic of Moldova
According to the statistics on the Swiss abroad, 27 Swiss nationals were living in the Republic of Moldova at the end of 2019.
History of bilateral relations
Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Switzerland established diplomatic relations with the newly-founded Republic of Moldova in 1992.
In 2000, the SDC opened a cooperation office at the request of the Moldovan authorities. From 2000 to 2008 the office focused mainly on humanitarian aid. From 2005 this was supplemented by development cooperation. Switzerland's humanitarian assistance included the renovation of nursing homes and psychiatric clinics in addition to emergency relief, supplying powdered milk to social institutions.
Development partners brief new prime minister
The Briefing Book, presented on 4 March 2015 to the new Prime Minister of Moldova Chiril Gaburici, consists of 30 policy notes on key development issues of the country, including energy, justice and police reform, economy, water and health, civil society and education.
The recommendations were prepared by the United Nations, World Bank, the Delegation of the EU to Moldova, and diplomatic missions of the USA, Sweden, Germany, Switzerland and Austria.