SECO’s international cooperation fights poverty and reduces global risks. Its activities contribute to fewer people having to migrate due to a lack of prospects. SECO also supports contributions by migrants in Switzerland to development initiatives in their countries of origin.
People migrate for various reasons. SECO’s activities address some of the root causes of migration, such as the lack of decent work opportunities.
Improving economic prospects in partner countries
People are less inclined to leave their home country if they find a decent job. SECO’s activities seek to improve economic framework conditions and support innovative private initiatives in order to promote economic growth and sustainable prosperity. This results in development opportunities and the preservation and creation of high-quality jobs. Additionally, SECO is committed to climate protection, so fewer people have to flee their homes because of climate change.
By offering economic prospects to the people, SECO addresses one of the root causes of migration.
Opportunities for economic development
Migration offers opportunities to develop migrants’ countries of origin:
Remittances from migrants to families in their home country help to alleviate poverty. The volume of remittances by far exceeds official development assistance. SECO supports initiatives to improve the efficiency and transparency of money transfers.
In collaboration with the World Bank, SECO implements the Remittances and Payments Program (RPP) in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, Kosovo and Ukraine. The goal of the programme is to reduce the cost of sending remittances as well as to increase the percentage of remittances that is operated through formal channels and to extend basic financial services to formerly "unbanked" populations.
Given their knowledge about local industry, migrants have a distinct advantage when investing in businesses in their countries of origin. SECO supports promising private initiatives that have major job creation potential.
The SECO Start-up Fund helped Daccomet AG develop its furniture business in Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina and establish itself as a regular supplier for IKEA. Professional and responsible employment policies and training initiatives are essential for companies to remain competitive and attractive to international buyers. Daccomet AG offers its staff attractive salaries, career opportunities and a modern and safe working space. Since its creation, the company has generated around 600 jobs and more than half of its employees are women.
Switzerland holds discussions with partner countries on economic cooperation as well as on migration. By establishing relationships built on trust and mutual understanding, Switzerland can best pursue its foreign policy interests.
Migration is one of the thematic priorities of Switzerland’s strategy for international cooperation 2021–2024. SECO coordinates its efforts with other federal offices within the framework of the interdepartmental structure for international cooperation on migration (ICM structure). In addition to SECO, other bodies represented in the framework are the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the Peace and Human Rights Division (PHRD) of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) and the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) of the Federal Department of Justice and Police (FDJP). In its migration partnerships, Switzerland seeks solutions in the interests of both countries and migrants.