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Cost-cutting Consulates in LA and Karachi to close

Swiss embassy to Islamabad

The Swiss embassy in Islamabad (picture) is taking over the consular activities of the representation in Karachi.

(Keystone)

Two Swiss consulates general in the United States and in Pakistan are to close by the end of this year.

On a recommendation by the foreign ministry, the government on Wednesday decided to shut down its representations in Los Angeles and Karachi, a statement said.

It said the two consulates general no longer provided consular services and had limited opportunities to promote Swiss business interests, trade and tourism.

Such activities on the west coast of the US have been carried out primarily by the consulate general in San Francisco together with institutions including Switzerland Tourism, Swiss Business Hub and swissnex.

The foreign ministry said it was considering a request by the parliament’s foreign affairs committees to reopen the consulate general in Chicago, to further Switzerland’s economic interests in the Midwest.

Network adapted

Switzerland’s network abroad currently comprises about 170 representations, including 36 embassies and consulates general that have been opened since the 1990s.

In turn, more than 30 consulates general, mainly in the US and in western Europe, have been closed over the past 20 years.

Following a decision about cost-cutting measures last year the government has proposed a further reduction of consulates general.

Cuts in Switzerland’s diplomatic network have frustrated the Swiss Abroad community over the past few years.

+ Swiss expats dismayed at consulate closures

swissinfo.ch/urs


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