Australia is strengthening its diplomatic presence in Switzerland. 30 years later, the embassy in Bern will reopen in 2022. It thus seeks to strengthen its strategic partnership and extend its cooperation.
The move would strengthen political, economic, strategic, cultural and scientific ties between the two countries, Australian Foreign Minister Maris Payne said in a video message on Twitter on Friday. The announcement comes as Switzerland and Australia celebrate 60 years of official diplomatic relations.
In the video, Foreign Minister Ignacio Casis praised Australia’s decision, calling it ‘welcome’. ‘Dear Australian friends, welcome to Switzerland. It is so wonderful to have you here, ‘said the Federal Councilor. He emphasized that the decision was based on the political and economic interests of both countries.
Australia closed its embassy in Switzerland in late 1992. The reasons stated at the time were the weakening of public funds, as well as the strengthening of Australian diplomatic presence in Southeast Asia. The Australian Representation in Bern was established in 1970. The building is located in the Kirssenfeld district.
There is public consultation in Geneva, Australia. Visa matters have so far been handled by Australia from its embassy in Berlin. Switzerland and Australia signed the Declaration on Political Dialogue in 2013.
26,000 Swiss in Australia
Relations between the two countries are strong. According to the federation, Australia is one of the largest Swiss communities abroad, with about 26,000 Swiss citizens living in the country by the end of 2020.
Switzerland is one of the largest foreign investors in Australia. It especially exports pharmaceuticals and chemicals, precision tools and machinery. In return, Switzerland mainly imports precious metals, but also agricultural and pharmaceutical products.
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