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Foreign Affairs


We pursue a targeted regional, national and international network and positioning of the city of Zurich. To this end, we are implementing various projects as part of the city council's foreign policy strategy. We are committed to ensuring that the city of Zurich assumes its responsibility beyond the city limits. The diverse domestic and foreign policy activities include the representation of the City of Zurich in national and international networks, the exchange of experience with other cities in Switzerland and abroad, location marketing and the general function of acting as a contact point, especially for delegations to the outside world. Since 2021, the city of Zurich's development cooperation has also been part of its external relations.

Stay informed about the external relations of the city of Zurich with our newsletter "Zurich (Inter)national".

Participation in networks

Zurich is networked with other cities in a variety of ways through city networks and direct exchange. The city actively participates in regional, national and international networks, working groups and assemblies. Political alliances and a good network of relationships are valuable resources that must be carefully maintained.

Cooperation with cities

For a globally oriented and solidary Zurich, the cultivation of international contacts and cooperation is of great importance. The city benefits from the exchange of knowledge and experience in temporary thematic cooperations as well as in longer-term partnerships or participation in European projects. At the same time, it has the opportunity to support other cities facing similar major challenges.

Location and destination marketing

The "Integrated Location and Destination Marketing" ISDM was jointly launched in 2011 by the City of Zurich, the Canton of Zurich and the Zurich Tourism Association. With this instrument, the three partner institutions present Zurich as a location in joint appearances abroad. Within the framework of various events, Zurich is positioned as a research, educational and business location, as a city of culture and as a tourism destination. The event series "Zurich meets ... » plays an important role in this, but also appearances as part of Switzerland's presence at world exhibitions or the role as host city for important international sports and cultural events.


Convinced of the social significance of a national exhibition, the ten cities of Basel, Bern, Biel, Geneva, Lausanne, Lugano, Lucerne, St. Gallen, Winterthur and Zurich founded the association "NEXPO – the new Expo" in 2018. The NEXPO will not be a classic national show on a fenced area, but for the first time will cover the whole of Switzerland and all language regions. It will develop in the coming months and years, but is already an important platform for exchange between the various regions and the implementation of the first pilot projects.

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International cooperation in the context of development

The City of Zurich has been involved in international development cooperation (IZA) for decades, thus contributing to global sustainable development and poverty reduction. In doing so, it is guided by the 2030 Agenda, for the implementation of which cities in particular play an important role. International cooperation is now part of the city of Zurich's external relations. 

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Humanitarian aid

In the event of natural disasters at home and abroad or in the event of refugee misery, the City of Zurich provides emergency humanitarian aid, for example for tsunami victims in Indonesia or for the Swiss communities affected by a landslide.

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