Good governance – a foundation for economic development

Economic governance is a constant theme throughout all SECO programmes and projects. It also forms part of risk analysis. This enables SECO to ensure transparent, responsible and efficient economic processes in partner countries.

Economic governance refers to the regulatory framework for doing business. Good economic governance encompasses the principles of transparency, accountability and non-discrimination. These are central to not only the public sector but also private enterprise: the economy is more stable, and institutions are stronger and better recognised. This also leaves less room for corruption. Good economic governance is an important instrument in fighting poverty. It facilitates capital access, triggers investment and thus creates employment.

A doctor checking a little girl's lungs using a stethoscope.
Fair and transparent rules of play help to reduce poverty. Thanks to the PEFA programme (Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability), the local government has more money available for healthcare: Here, country doctor Pablo Ramirez Pasache at work in Quesco, Huancavelica (Peru).

The many faces of economic governance

Economic governance comes into play at several levels. Internationally, it concerns organisations such as the IMF, the World Bank Group and the WTO in shaping the global economy. At a national level, it offers a straightforward and efficient framework for governing the corporate environment. Economic governance for the private sector is of particular value in areas that are poorly or inefficiently governed by the state. For example, it should ensure that companies assume their social responsibility and meet environmental and labour standards.


SECO encourages the responsible management of companies in its partner countries.


The following sample projects illustrate the variety of SECO’s approaches in good economic governance:

  • Since 2003, SECO has supported the Istanbul Anti-Corruption Action Plan under the aegis of the OECD. This has formulated a procedure to combat corruption in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
  • The “Sustaining Competitive and Responsible Enterprises” (SCORE) project delivers training in responsible working conditions for SMEs in nine countries. To date, 250 SMEs have received such training. The project is implemented by the International Labour Organisation.

Good results for SECO's approach

In 2015, a team of selected experts awarded SECO good marks for its strategy for improving economic governance in its projects.

Last modification 01.02.2017

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