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Bilateral relations between Switzerland and Singapore
Singapore and Switzerland maintain good relations and cooperate closely, particularly in the economic and educational fields. As a result of favourable conditions, more than 200 Swiss companies are represented in Singapore. Universities in the two countries facilitate extensive student exchanges.
The Swiss Business Hub (SBH) represents the interests of Swiss companies in Singapore and has branch offices in Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam. swissnex promotes contacts in the fields of education, research and innovation. Switzerland Tourism has been represented in Singapore since 2012.
The ambassador of Singapore who is accredited to Bern resides in Singapore. A consulate in Geneva represents Singapore's consular interests in Switzerland.
Singapore is Switzerland's main trading partner in South-East Asia. The signing of the Free Trade Agreement between the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and Singapore in 2003, the first such agreement with an Asian country, resulted in a sharp increase in trade between Switzerland and Singapore. Switzerland's direct investments totalled CHF 18 billion in 2011, making Switzerland the fifth largest investor in Singapore after the United States, the Netherlands, Japan and the United Kingdom.
The Swiss Business Hub (SBH) and the Swiss-Asian Chamber of Commerce in Asia provide support to approximately 200 Swiss companies in Singapore, which employ some 24,000 people (2009) in the country.
Numerous large Swiss companies, particularly software companies and banks specialising in wealth management and private banking, have a regional office in Singapore.
The Swiss watch industry is the largest exporter of goods to Singapore, followed by the chemicals and pharmaceuticals industry and the machinery industry. These three sectors account for approximately 85% of Swiss exports to Singapore (2010).
In 2010, swissnex organised the "PlanetSolar Village" travelling exhibition in connection with the Swiss "PlanetSolar" solar energy project.
Swissnex provides support to Swiss universities, research institutes and high-tech companies in Singapore and sees itself as a promotional tool and bridge builder for Swiss institutions. Its primary focus is on student exchanges, scientific contacts and cooperation in research. Contacts have been established primarily between the University of St. Gallen (HSG), the Federal Institutes of Technology in Zurich and Lausanne (ETHZ and EPFL) and Singapore's National Research Foundation.
Scholars and artists from Singapore can apply to the Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) for Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships.
At the end of 2012, there were 2,978 Swiss nationals resident in Singapore, of whom 1,090 have dual citizenship.
Switzerland and Singapore have maintained diplomatic relations since 1967.