Minister Flanagan Confirms Swiss Participation in Irish Passport Card System16 October 2015
The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Mr. Charlie Flanagan T.D., has announced that Switzerland will now accept the Irish Passport Card as a valid travel document. This brings the total number of countries that accept the Passport Card, the first of its kind in the world, to 31.
Minister Flanagan stated:
"I am delighted that Switzerland has now joined with the 27 EU Member States and the 3 States of the European Economic Area in accepting Ireland’s Passport Card, which I launched on October 5th.
“This is particularly good news for business travellers - some 28 flights operate from Dublin to Basel, Geneva and Zurich each week and there were over 30,000 Irish visitors to Switzerland in 2014. Switzerland is Ireland’s fifth largest export market for merchandise trade and its 10th largest services trading partner. In 2013, merchandise trade was valued at €5.96bn, with exports to Switzerland worth €5.12bn and imports worth €0.84bn. In 2013, services trade was rated at €4.22bn with exports worth €2.15bn.
“Ireland and Switzerland have very strong trade and business links in areas such as the pharmaceuticals industry, medical devices, dairy and food ingredients, and in financial services.
“Switzerland is also a significant source of Foreign Direct Investment, with Novartis, Nestlé and Zurich Insurance all having substantial investments here in Ireland. The Passport Card will mean greater flexibility of travel for Irish employees of those companies travelling to and from Switzerland.
“The strength of links between our two countries is also reflected in the estimated 8,000 Irish people living and working in Switzerland, many of whom would be regular travellers between the two countries.”
Minister Flanagan added:
"I am also delighted with the very positive response to the Passport Card by our citizens since I launched it on October 5th. As of this morning (October 16th), the Passport Office had so far received 6,785 applications for the Card.
“I am confident that the Passport Card will make travel in Europe easier for Irish citizens. Budget 2016 provides for the ongoing modernisation and reform of our Passport services.”