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Bilateral relations between Switzerland and Panama
Panama is one of Switzerland’s most important export destinations in Central America, and attractive to Swiss investors.
Although the Swiss Embassy in San José (Costa Rica) is responsible for diplomatic relations with Panama, there does however exist an Honorary General Consulate.
The openness of its economic policy together with favourable framework conditions make Panama an interesting proposition for Swiss investors. In terms of exports, Panama ranked as the 7th most important market for Swiss products in Latin America in 2011. These exports were mainly pharmaceutical products, chemicals and watches. It can be assumed that most of these exports were re-exported to the region’s “Colón” free trade area.
Scholars and artists from Panama can apply for scholarships to the State Secretariat for Education and Research (SER) and for Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships.
At the end of 2011, there were 610 Swiss living in Panama.
Switzerland recognised Panama immediately after the founding of the state in 1903. Diplomatic relations were initiated in 1941.
As early as 1884, Switzerland opened a Consulate in Panama City, closing it in 1891 only to reopen it in 1913. In 1959 the Consulate was upgraded to a Consulate General, and in 1980 an Embassy was opened. As of 1995 the Swiss Embassy in San José, Costa Rica, looks after Switzerland’s diplomatic affairs in Panama.