Language selection


Canada-Switzerland relations

On this page

Bilateral relations

Canada and Switzerland enjoy close and multifaceted bilateral relations, based upon strong people-to-people ties, shared fundamental values, and a commitment to supporting democracy, human rights and the rules-based international order. Our two countries cooperate closely within multilateral forums and benefit from a robust commercial relationship. Canada and Switzerland share French as an official language and are both active in l’Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (OIF). Canada and Switzerland are prosperous, plurilingual societies, as well as federal states.

As the host of numerous United Nations (UN) agencies, the World Trade Organization (WTO), and other multilateral organizations and events, Switzerland frequently hosts Canadian officials as well as Canadian business leaders. Due to their respective French-speaking populations, Canada and Switzerland are also both member states of the OIF.

Canada and Switzerland have bilateral agreements related to tax information exchange, double taxation, agriculture, air transport, sharing confiscated assets, mutual recognition of conformity assessments, nuclear co-operation, social security, extradition and mutual assistance in criminal investigations, and film and video relations.

In addition to its embassy in Ottawa, Switzerland has Consulates General in Montréal and Vancouver and Honorary Consuls in five provinces. Canada has an embassy in Bern, as well as a Permanent Mission to the WTO and UN (including a Consulate) in Geneva.

People-to-people relations

Canada hosts the fifth-largest Swiss diaspora abroad, with about 41,500 Swiss nationals in Canada (Federal Statistics Office of Switzerland). Nearly 146,000 Canadians identify as being of at least partial Swiss origin (Statistics Canada).

It is estimated that approximately 311,000 Canadians travelled to Switzerland in 2023 (Swiss Tourism Federation), while approximately 104,000 Swiss citizens travelled to Canada in 2023 (Statistics Canada).

Academic relations and cooperation on science, technology and innovation

There is significant potential for greater innovation partnerships in cleantech and life sciences. In April 2023, to encourage the deepening of bilateral cooperation in the areas of science, technology and innovation (STI), Minister Champagne and Swiss Federal Councilor of Economic Affairs, Education and Research (EAER) Guy Parmelin signed a renewal of a 2018 STI Joint Statement.

Commercial relations

Canada and Switzerland enjoy a strong and diverse economic and commercial relationship that covers the full spectrum of trade, investment and innovation.

A free trade agreement between Canada and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), of which Switzerland is one of four members, came into force in 2009. In 2023, two-way merchandise trade between Switzerland and Canada amounted to $13.1 billion, comprising Canadian merchandise exports to Switzerland of $4.6 billion, and merchandise imports from Switzerland of $8.5 billion.

Overall Switzerland is Canada’s ninth most important source of foreign direct investment (FDI). In 2023, FDI stock from Switzerland, as the Ultimate Investing Country (UIC), was valued at $18 accounting for 1.3% of the total direct investment in Canada.

Related links

Partnerships and organizations

Canada and Switzerland recognize that the rules-based international order, as articulated in the UN Charter and embodied in the multilateral system, is vital to preserve the principles of international law and avoid the return to general wars in the nuclear age.

Both countries support the principles of multilateral co-operation and humanitarian assistance and collaborate closely on a diverse range of priorities, such as promoting democracy, human rights and the rule of law and combatting climate change. Both countries have a great interest to promote media and press freedom and combat the negative effects of disinformation.

To develop effective responses to today’s most pressing global challenges, Canada and Switzerland work closely in multilateral forums, such as:

Date Modified: