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Bilateral relations between Switzerland and Finland
Taking into account the numerous similarities existing between Finnish and Swiss civil society, societies which both enjoy a high standard of life and boast leading-edge technological development, the two countries maintain close relations in several domains.
Direct diplomacy between the two countries is very intensive and includes regular consultations at ministerial and high government official levels on issues of mutual interest such as trade and investment, energy, defence, disarmament, the environment, and peace policy.
Within the frame of the international organizations of which the countries are both members, e.g., the Partnership for Peace, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), and the UN, Finland and Switzerland join forces on a number of subjects about which they share a common experience and are like-minded.
By virtue of the bilateral agreements concluded between the European Union and Switzerland, Finland and Switzerland are part of the same interior market. Commercial exchange between the two countries reached the sum of approx.CHF 1.6 billion in 2011.
Scholars and artists from Finland can apply to the State Secretariat for Education and Research (SER) for Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships.
At the end of 2011, there were 1,648 Swiss nationals living in Finland.
A close exchange links the Swiss and the Finnish artistic scenes. Every year several visual artists from Switzerland travel to work in ateliers in Finland for from three to six months, and vice-versa for Finnish artists coming for a stay in Switzerland.
The Finnish Senate proclaimed independence in 1917, and on 18 February 1918, Switzerland was one of the first European States to recognize Finland. A Swiss consulate was opened in Abo (Turku) in 1914, and the first Finnish Consulate in Switzerland was opened in Zurich in 1920. Finland opened a legation (Embassy) in Bern in 1937, and Switzerland did the same in Helsinki in 1939.