Strategic focus 2021-2024

Adopting a stronger focus for Switzerland's international cooperation will help to make it more effective. SECO will concentrate more closely on promoting sustainable economic growth and social prosperity in its economic cooperation activities.

The Federal Council and parliament set out the strategic direction of Switzerland's international cooperation every four years. From 2021 to 2024, the following strategic goals will be pursued:

  • economic development: contribute to sustainable economic growth, market development and job creation;
  • environment: combat climate change and its effects and manage natural resources sustainably;
  • human development: save lives, ensuring high-quality basic services and reduce the causes of irregular and forced migration;
  • peace and governance: promote peace, the rule of law and gender equality.
Kolumbianische Bauarbeiter auf dem Weg zur Arbeit
Switzerland's international cooperation aims to contribute to human and economic development, environmental protection and peace and governance.

Swiss economic development cooperation defines its thematic and geographic focus areas based on the following criteria:  

  • needs of the population in partner countries,
  • Swiss interests,
  • the comparative advantage of Switzerland's international cooperation in terms of added value, expertise and innovation.

CHF 11.25 billion over four years

It is foreseen that five framework credits totalling CHF 11.25 billion will be provided to finance the projects and programmes. SECO will manage 13.7%, approximately CHF 1.55 billion, of the total amount. In addition, SECO bears responsibility together with the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation for the allocation of the funds to the international financial institutions.

Broadly supported process

For the first time, the federal administration realised a public consultation on the international cooperation 2021-2024. Parties, associations and other interested groups could provide their positions on the Explanatory Report on the strategic direction of the IC 2021-2024 in 2019. The Federal Council considered consultation results in its Dispatch on Swiss IC for 2021-2024 and passed it in February 2020. The National Council adopted the Dispatch during the summer session and the Council of States during the autumn session.

Last modification 18.09.2020

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