Swiss Cooperation in Bangladesh

Switzerland and Bangladesh have enjoyed excellent bilateral relations since the 1970s. Switzerland was one of the first countries to recognize Bangladesh. The relations have witnessed positive evolution over the years.

Humanitarian assistance was the priority topic in the relations in the 70s. Later, development assistance became the main pillar of bilateral relations, which is still the case.

Bangladesh currently is one of the priority countries of Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation SDC. Its annual contribution to Bangladesh stands at around CHF 25 million. Swiss development assistance for Bangladesh is focused on Skills Development, Market Development and Local Governance. Switzerland’s development engagement in Bangladesh seeks to establish strong, accountable local administrative structures that provide important public services and foster democratic participation. Switzerland also promotes economic growth and employment opportunities through activities in the vocational training system and cooperation with the private sector. Switzerland’s development cooperation in Bangladesh is aiming at a lasting reduction in poverty. One priority is optimizing the living conditions of the poorest by improving the employment opportunities and by proving solid training courses and access to the labour market. Further, Switzerland implements gender equality and local governance as cross-cutting themes consistently in all projects.

Switzerland is using a coherent and comprehensive approach to work closely with local authorities, other donor countries and international organisations such as the United Nations. Trade relations between the two countries are also growing rapidly. Currently the trade volume is over CHF 500 million, which has been doubled since 2010. Swiss companies are increasingly becoming interested to do business in Bangladesh. All major Swiss investors have been present in Bangladesh for many years and are regularly expanding their business. In recent years, Swiss investments in Bangladesh have developed positively.

Cultural relations between the two countries have also further deepened in recent years. Regular cultural exchanges between the two countries are taking place in many areas, films, music and photography.

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