Archive «Hot topics» 2019

Swiss Import Promotion Programme SIPPO

SIPPO Forum 2019

SIPPO Forum 2019: Procurement 4.0

26.11.2019 – The third SIPPO Forum in Basel in mid-November focused on the political, technological and social aspects of sourcing. Confidence-building in digital trading solutions was a priority topic, especially the question of how possible losers in these developments can be better integrated into the trade.

SIPPO Factsheet (PDF, 137 kB, 15.06.2020)

Global Trade Facilitation Program

Launch Global Trade Facilitation Program Peru

Successful launch in three countries

22.11.2019 – SECO together with the World Customs Organization successfully launched three country projects in Colombia, Peru and Bolivia within the framework of the recently started Global Trade Facilitation Program (PDF, 120 kB, 16.04.2019). Main objective of these interventions is to contribute to fostering and facilitating cross-border trade through enhanced capacities of Customs Administrations and improved procedures.

World Bank's Annual Meetings

Strengthening public finances

19.10.2019 - SECO supports reforms in the commodities sector in developing countries. Accordingly, Federal Councillor Guy Parmelin signed an agreement at the annual meetings of the World Bank. The World Bank uses the agreement to finance projects that help resource-rich developing countries make better use of their revenues from the extraction of oil, gas and mineral resources to promote sustainable and inclusive economic growth.

Swiss-Egyptian cooperation

Egyptian on a market while shopping

Celebration of 40 years of development cooperation

08.10.2019 - 1979 Switzerland and Egypt concluded a partnership to stimulate economic cooperation and investments. Today, Switzerland’s development projects have expanded greatly to activities in the fields of empowerment of civil society, inclusive sustainable economic growth and employment, as well as migration and protection. Video: 40 years of development cooperation with Egypt

Indonesia Urbanization Flagship Report

Urbanisation Flagship Report Indonesia

Time to Act: Realizing Indonesia’s Urban Potential

03.10.2019 - With the financial backing of SECO, the World Bank has finalized the Indonesia Urbanization Flagship Report. It concludes that institutional reforms and policies are needed now, so that cities can realize their full potential for prosperity and inclusiveness in Indonesia. SECO continues to work with the Indonesian Government to tackle these challenges through the Sustainable Urbanization Trust Fund.

BioTrade Congress in Geneva

Linking trade and biodiversity

13.09.2019 – BioTrade can help address the globally increasing threat of biodiversity loss. That is why SECO supports UNCTAD’s Global BioTrade Programme «Linking trade, biodiversity and sustainable development» and participated at the UNCTAD BioTrade Congress in Geneva.

UNCTAD BioTrade Initiative

International Finance Corporation (IFC)

Green Buildings Certification Program (EDGE)

14.08.2019 - Vietnam's urban population is booming, which puts a strain on the nation's power resources. That is why IFC launched, in partnership with SECO, EDGE - a green-building certification program - in Vietnam. Since the program's launch in 2015, EDGE-certified buildings have benefitted 50'000 residents, allowing them to cut the use of 12'000 megawatt hours of energy per year.

Federal Councillor Guy Parmelin in Vietnam

More and better jobs

Mid-July, Federal Councilor Guy Parmelin visited projects of the economic development cooperation in Vietnam. Among them a textile factory, which the SECO supports as part of the "Better Work" initiative. This initiative improves the working conditions of employees in companies in the clothing sector.

FactSheet Better Work


Gender equality

Equal rights means good business

14.06.2019 - The prospect of sustainable development and inclusive growth is an illusion if equal rights do not exist. All of SECO’s projects have equal opportunities for men and women as a key criterion. The SECO-backed Women Banking Champions Programme, for instance, is helping women in Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia gain access to financial services.

Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (GPDRR)

SECO and the AfDB promote dynamic entrepreneurship in Africa

13.06.2019 - On the occasion of the Annual Meetings of the AfDB, SECO signed a project with the AfDB to support innovative start-ups and entrepreneurs across Africa. The project aims to strengthen entrepreneurial ecosystems and thereby give start-ups a greater chance of long-term success and create perspectives for young people. This is the first time SECO co-finances a project with the AfDB as an implementing partner.  

Switzerland's enlargement contribution

Jahresbericht Erweiterungsbeitrag 2018

Annual report on the enlargement contribution

08.05.2019 - Mine clearance, better access to education for minorities and promoting clean urban transport: Switzerland's enlargement contribution helps to reduce the economic and social disparities within the EU.  The latest annual report on the enlargement contribution has now been published. It contains information on the results achieved in the last three remaining country programmes.  

Swiss platform for sustainable cocoa

Mitgliederversammlung Kakaoplattform 2019

More sustainability in cocoa production

30.04.2019 – The first General Assembly of the Swiss Platform for Sustainable Cocoa supported by SECO was held at the ETH in Zurich. The 55 members held a lively dialogue with high-level international guests. They underlined the global integration of Swiss efforts to improve the sustainability in the cocoa value chain.
Press release Cocoa Platform (in German)

Mid-term report for the message 2017-2020

The effectiveness of development cooperation

25.02.2019 – SECO had its projects that are presented in the current message on international cooperation, externally evaluated. Around 85% of them turned out to be successful. Despite their high relevance, their results are not always sustainable.
Article in "La vie économique"

World Economic Forum (WEF)

BR G. Parmelin, WEF 2019

Federal Councilor Guy Parmelin meets representatives of the development banks

22.01.2019 - Federal Councilor Guy Parmelin received the high representatives of the seven major Multilateral Development Banks at the WEF in Davos. Switzerland reiterated its commitment to multilateralism and to the important role that the Development Banks are playing, in the discussions on making the global financial system work for all.


Kurzportrait SECO Wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbei und Entwicklung.JPG

New Operating Principles on Impact Investing

22.01.2019 - The Swiss financial sector welcomes the principles on impact investing developed by the International Finance Corporation (IFC). This is the outcome of a consultation amongst more than 100 members of the association Swiss Sustainable Finance (SSF). The results were discussed at a meeting of the partners of IFC and SECO in Bern.  

Swiss Platform for Sustainable Cocoa


SECO launches innovative partnerships with the private sector

11.01.2019 – At the beginning of January, the Swiss Platform for Sustainable Cocoa, supported by SECO, launched in Bern seven projects in cocoa value chains. These projects pursue innovative approaches to improve the conditions of farming families and to make the cocoa cultivation more environmentally and climate-friendly.