Migration and economic development

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.  

A worker sits on a warehouse vehicle.
SECO factors the economic, political and social perspectives of migration and flight into its programmes, for instance by supporting integration into the local labour market.

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.
  • 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.  

Coordinated Swiss foreign migration policy

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 Human Security Division (HSD) 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.

Last modification 25.01.2021

Top of page

https://www.seco-cooperation.admin.ch/content/secocoop/en/home/strategy/development-policy-issues/migration.html