International cooperation 2025–2028

The Federal Council adopted Switzerland's international cooperation strategy for 2025 to 2028 on 22 May 2024. In accordance with this strategy, SECO will contribute to poverty reduction in its partner countries by strengthening the private sector, public institutions, infrastructure and urban development. 

Every four years the Federal Council adopts the strategy for Switzerland's international cooperation and submits it to Parliament. Parliament is expected to debate the new strategy in the second half of 2024. SECO will focus on three areas in 2025 to 2028.  

Private sector development

SECO is committed to progressive corporate governance. In addition to their pursuit of profit, companies should also act in a socially and environmentally responsible manner. To this end, SECO supports sustainability standards and sustainable value chains. It also brings together public and private stakeholders to improve the training of skilled labour. In cooperation with private stakeholders, SECO seeks to develop financial instruments that mobilise private capital for companies and the public sector. The focus is on impact investing. The Swiss Investment Fund for Emerging Markets (SIFEM), a federally owned development finance company, is part of this endeavour. 

Public institutions

SECO supports its partner countries in stabilising their fiscal, financial and monetary policies. Finance and tax administrations should pursue a sustainable budget and tax policy, and countries must support themselves as much as possible using their own tax revenues. SECO also maintains its long-standing commitment to debt management. It seeks to cultivate an unbureaucratic business environment in order to facilitate activities such as company setup. To promote developing countries' international trade, SECO works toward market access, sustainable free trade agreements and the protection of intellectual property.

Infrastructure and urban development

SECO supports governments in planning the sustainable development of cities and in financing and operating urban infrastructure, such as energy and water supplies. Renewable energies and energy efficiency play an important role here, as does cooperation with the private sector. SECO also promotes public transport in its partner countries, which in turn contributes to the reduction of greenhouse gases.

Many current challenges in international cooperation are global in nature, so SECO continues to work closely with multilateral development banks such as the World Bank.  

Completion in Colombia and beginning in Morocco

In 2020 Colombia became a member of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), an organisation whose member states are considered to be economically advanced. In light of this, SECO will withdraw from economic development cooperation with Colombia by 2028 and maintain normal bilateral economic relations with the country afterwards. Morocco is a new priority country for SECO's economic development cooperation.

Last modification 23.05.2024

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