Swiss National Day celebrated in Baku
The national holiday of Switzerland was celebrated in Baku with an official reception organized by the country`s Embassy on the last day of August.
A grand reception brought together the heads of diplomatic missions accredited in Azerbaijan, representatives of the Swiss diaspora and public figures of Azerbaijan.
Swiss National Day, also known as the founding of the Swiss Confederation, is always held on the first of August since 1891. This year, the Swiss celebrate 726 years of togetherness. The date refers to an alliance formed in 1291 by the three cantons of Uri, Schwyz and Unterwalden, the centre around which Switzerland was built. It is also the one day Switzerland's residents come together to celebrate in towns and cities all over the country.
Ambassador of Switzerland to Baku, Philip Stalder, opening the event, spoke about the history of the creation of the Swiss Confederation.
Stalder said that although Switzerland is small in size, it is the leader in terms of living standards, democracy, technology development and innovation.
Speaking about the Azerbaijani-Swiss relations, Stalder said that two countries celebrate the 25th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations this year. These relations are characterized by the existence of mutual interests, close economic and trade ties, according to the diplomat.
He also said that Switzerland is one of the leaders in direct investments in the non-oil sector of Azerbaijan and was one of the main donor countries for rendering assistance to internally displaced people.
In turn, Ambassador-at-large of the Foreign Ministry of Azerbaijan Shahin Abdullayev on behalf of the Azerbaijani government congratulated the Ambassador of Switzerland and all the people on the national holiday, wished prosperity to this country.
He recalled numerous bilateral visits between the countries, noting their importance in the development of bilateral relations. The diplomat expressed hope that the Azerbaijani-Swiss relations will develop for the benefit of the peoples of the two countries.
Switzerland is a small, mountainous country in Central Europe with not many natural resource sand no access to the sea. Today, based on data from www.worldometers.info, the land-locked country has only 8.46 million people (latest data), including 2 million foreigners, or just 0.11 percent of the world population of 7.5 billion, ranking them 97th biggest in the world by population. With just 41,285 square kilometers of total area, Switzerland is the 135th biggest country in the world by area.
Based on data from the WorldBank, the Swiss economy is the world’s 19th biggest economy with $659.82 billion GDP.
With a record $303 billion in exports in 2016, Switzerland is the world’s 15th largest export economy. People may wonder how a small country with few resources and few people produce products in large quantities, exporting all over the world. Every year Switzerland exports around $100 billion in gems, precious metals and jewelry. Its second biggest export sector is medicine, which stood at $67.1 billion last year. Other exports include $19.7 billion in clocks and watches, $19.3 billion in organic chemicals, $15.4 billion in optics and medical equipment and around $900 million in chocolate. Switzerland’s biggest service sector, banking, manages $2.7 trillion.
Switzerland recognized Azerbaijan as an independent state in 1991 and a year later the diplomatic relations between the two states were established.
Azerbaijan, which is Switzerland’s most important trading partner in the South Caucasus, enjoys good economic ties, since the federal republic in Europe cooperates with the country for over 20 years. The two countries have accelerated their bilateral relations over the past decade by signing several agreements strengthening their cooperation, especially in the economic sphere.