- 10 Feb 2024 8:20 am CET
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The Federal Department of Foreign Affairs was able to prevent the closure of the Swiss embassy in Bolivia and the consulate general in Chengdu, China, which had been considered for cost-saving reasons. Both representations were on the brink of closure last summer.
The embassy in La Paz (Bolivia) would have had to close in summer 2024, and the consulate general in Chengdu in China was due to close at the end of 2023. The "NZZ am Sonntag" reported on these closure plans in summer 2023; the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) confirmed the information at the time.
However, both representations are still listed in the recently published Foreign Policy Strategy 2024 - 2027. The external network is of central importance for Switzerland and the global representation of its interests, the FDFA wrote in response to a request from the Keystone-SDA news agency.
Closures in the external network are generally the last option. Thanks to intensified cost-cutting efforts at head office, it has so far been possible to implement the savings targets without the planned closures.
The savings package from the beginning of 2023 included a savings order of around CHF 64 million for the FDFA. According to FDFA figures from last summer, the costs for the more than 160 representations abroad amounted to around CHF 500 million.