Collaborative partnerships with public and private institutions have become a vital component of international cooperation. SECO works to establish strong partnerships as part of its economic development cooperation.

Over the years, SECO has built an extensive network of dependable partners. These include the governments of partner countries, multilateral organisations, Swiss, international and local non-governmental organisations, as well as universities and research institutes. It also has the support of other investors as well as private businesses in Switzerland and abroad.

A Swiss delegation seated around a conference table with Asian partners.
As the challenges facing development policy are too great for SECO alone, it works closely in cooperation with various partner organisations.

Privat sector

Cooperation with the private sector is becoming increasingly important in securing financing to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Governments alone cannot provide all the necessary funding. Also, the private sector has access to specialist knowledge that can benefit SECO’s partner countries.

In certain circumstances, the efforts made by private actors can be enhanced with public-sector support. For instance, the public sector can help cushion the risks associated with doing business in developing countries. However, state intervention should not distort the market and should not displace competition from any private actors.

SECO awards contracts to private businesses for implementation of some of its projects. This also creates different forms of partnerships with the private sector.

Non-governmental organisations   

SECO commissions Swiss and international non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to implement certain projects. Other projects are developed in partnership with NGOs receiving SECO funding. SECO makes use of the operational and specialist skills of NGOs and benefits from their experience and extensive networks. Some examples:

Multilateral development banks

SECO’s projects are also implemented in partnership with multilateral development banks, such as the World Bank. Furthermore, SECO’s Economic Cooperation and Development division acts as Switzerland’s representative on these international organisations’ management boards.

International governmental organisations   

SECO also supports programmes and projects of various international governmental organisations (IGOs). These include the United Nations System.

SECO’s Economic Cooperation and Development division coordinates Switzerland’s relations with the following economic organisations of the United Nations:

The same applies for the following commodity organisations of which Switzerland is a member:

SECO carries out projects for its partner countries or collaborates at a strategic level with the following organisations:

Federal Administration

SECO works in close cooperation with other federal agencies, e.g. in the conception and implementation of the government’s official message on international cooperation:

Where appropriate, SECO can also call upon the expertise of other agencies within the Federal Administration:

Universities and research institutes

SECO contracts or partners with the following institutions:

Special programmes

SECO supports the following selected Swiss programmes:

Actors in partner countries

Partnerships on the ground are a key factor in the success of projects. SECO maintains good relations with the governments of partner countries, local authorities, civil society organisations and other actors in international cooperation.

Last modification 17.05.2019

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