Ukraine is a priority country of Switzerland’s transition cooperation with Eastern Europe. Switzerland supports Ukraine on its path towards peace and sustainable development by building an inclusive society where all women and men equally contribute to and benefit from public integrity and sustainable growth.
Ukraine remains the second-poorest country in Europe. Over the last few years, GDP has grown slowly but steadily. The currency has been fairly stable and inflation has been kept low. However, the country is heavily indebted. Besides the ongoing conflict in Eastern Ukraine, a number of factors constrain the realisation of Ukraine’s substantial economic potential. The large shadow economy (40 percent of GDP), the emigration of skilled workers and insufficient investment in urban infrastructure hamper productivity.
What are SECO’s objectives?
SECO, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the Peace and Human Rights Division (PHRD) jointly implement the Swiss Cooperation Programme in Ukraine. Swiss support in Ukraine concentrates on local governance, peacebuilding, sustainable economic development and health. To foster sustainable economic development, SECO focuses on:
- Sustainable cities
The objective is to accelerate a resource-efficient and climate-friendly economic growth, as well as improving quality of life in the cities. Better energy management, integrated urban development and sustainable mobility form the cornerstones of Switzerland's contribution. In the long term, this multi-dimensional approach to promoting a green economy should make Ukraine's cities more attractive to the local population and investors.
- Competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises
The main objective is to achieve broad-based economic growth and, in particular, to harness the potential of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). This involves enhancing overall competitiveness and creating suitable framework conditions. Switzerland's efforts in this area focus on integrating the products of agricultural SMEs into sustainable value chains and facilitating access to financial services. This includes working with the financial sector to develop innovative financial products. Switzerland is also assisting national authorities in implementing effective financial and monetary policies as well as in creating a pro-competitive regulatory environment.
- Effective democratic governance and efficient public management
Switzerland aims in general at promoting transparent and effective public institutions, both at the national and sub-national levels. SECO specifically supports the improvement of public financial management at local level, in view of providing public services efficiently and inclusively.
From 2020 to 2023, a total of some CHF 108 million is foreseen for Swiss transition cooperation with Ukraine, of which around CHF 51 million are from SECO.