Migration and economic development

SECO’s international cooperation combats poverty and reduces global risks. Its work in partner countries means that fewer people have to migrate due to lack of prospects. SECO also supports contributions by migrants in Switzerland to development initiatives in their countries of origin.

People migrate for a variety of reasons. SECO’s programmes can tackle some of these, such as unemployment. However, people also flee their homelands on account of violence and conflict. Others are looking for better work prospects. These reasons can be more difficult to influence. Migration is part of the history of mankind, and now more than ever as a result of globalisation.

Young African employee working on a switchboard.
Switzerland benefits from climate-friendly economic and social development in its partner countries by way of new trading partners, greater security and less migratory pressure.

Improving economic prospects in the partner country

People are less inclined to leave their own country if they have work. SECO’s projects seek to improve legislation and services to achieve sustainable economic growth and a better quality of life. This creates fair employment opportunities for all segments of the population. Another of SECO’s commitments is climate protection, so fewer people have to flee their homes as a result of climate disasters.

SECO offers economic prospects to the people living in its partner countries, thereby combating one of the reasons for migratory flows.

Opportunities for economic development

Migration also offers opportunities to develop migrants’ countries of

  • Remittances to family members help alleviate poverty. The volume of such money transfers exceeds official development assistance several times over. SECO supports initiatives to improve the efficiency of money transfers.
  • Given their local knowledge, migrants have a distinct advantage when investing in businesses in their countries of origin. SECO supports such ventures. For example, a Swiss-based entrepreneur received support from SECO’s Start-up Fund to open a sewing factory in his town of origin in Bosnia. This business now employs around 180 people.

Coordinated Swiss migration foreign policy

Switzerland holds discussions with partner countries on economic cooperation as well as on migration. All offices involved must pull in the same direction. Switzerland’s interests are best pursued in a relationship built on trust and understanding.

In its migration partnerships, Switzerland seeks solutions in the interests of both countries and the migrants. SECO participates in migration partnerships with Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Serbia and Tunisia.

Last modification 12.03.2018

Top of page