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Bhutan-Switzerland Relations

Bhutan and Switzerland established diplomatic relations on 16 September 1985. Bhutan’s relationship with Switzerland dates back to the close personal friendship between Late His Majesty the Third King and the Von Schulthess family in the 1950s.

Mr. Tenzin Rondel Wangchuk, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Bhutan to the United Nations in Geneva, is concurrently accredited to Switzerland. H.E. Dr. Ralf Heckner, Ambassador of Switzerland to India, is concurrently accredited to Bhutan.

Switzerland has been an important development partner of Bhutan since the 1960s. Swiss assistance initially was confined largely to livestock. However, in 1983, when Bhutan was identified as one of the 16 “Cooperation Countries” by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, their assistance to Bhutan expanded to areas in education, culture, rural infrastructure and renewable natural resources.

While Switzerland phased out its development cooperation in Bhutan at the end of 2016, it continues to engage and provide support to Bhutan through Helvetas. Development cooperation between the two countries today focus on the key areas of vocational education, decentralization, local governance and civil society.