Swiss Na­tional Day cel­e­brated in Baku

Azer News - - Nation - By Amina Nazarli

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.worl­dome­, 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.

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