An innovation-friendly business environment contributes to the competitiveness and productivity of companies and leads to higher economic growth. Globalisation and the increasing interdependence of markets require favourable and unbureaucratic framework conditions that enable companies to do their business efficiently.
Favourable framework conditions
An innovation-friendly business environment makes a country more attractive and promotes long-term investment. SECO supports its partner countries in designing the legal framework to establish, to operate and, if need be, to liquidate a company in a transparent and efficient manner. Corresponding reforms reduce the costs for companies and increase their planning reliablility. This benefits SMEs in particular. In this way, they can maintain jobs or create new ones and generate sustainable economic growth. The reform projects financed by SECO play a significant role in improving the business environment in these countries.
The Multi-Country Investment Climate Programme (MCICP) implements business regulation reform projects in around 20 countries. It improves economic framework conditions, reduces administrative hurdles, and plans, designs and implements systemic, sector-specific reforms, thereby avoiding market distortions, promoting innovation-oriented institutions and networks, and reducing the costs for companies to comply with regulatory requirements. In Columbia, for instance, it supports agencies that advise SMEs on technology and innovation. Furthermore, the programme advises authorities at national and subnational level.
According to the Doing Business Report 2020, some of SECO’s partner countries are featured among the top 20 reform countries again in 2020.
Women and people affected by poverty benefit additionally from favourable business reforms. This is particularly the case in sectors such as tourism and agriculture, which employ many women, young people and the poor. They are often less connected and more dependent on a favourable and transparent regulatory framework. Reforms also seek to abolish laws that discriminate against women. In practice, however, women are often disadvantaged because existing gender-sensitive laws are not always implemented properly.
Innovative approaches and digitalisation
SECO is committed to supporting the digitalisation of administrative processes and public services. This enables companies, for instance, to apply for business licenses more quickly and complete approval processes more efficiently. They save time and resources, while reducing the space for corruption. Innovative, digital approaches create incentives for efficient business, for productivity growth as well as for increased transparency and accountability. Companies can tap into new markets and the public and private sector can interact more easily.
Reducing migratory pressure
SECO’s programmes indirectly contribute to reducing migratory pressure in its partner countries. Producers, investors and workers – primarily young people – thus have less reason to leave their country due to a lack of prospects.
Facility for Investment Climate Advisory Services (FIAS) annuel report 2020 (EN) (PDF, 8 MB, 25.08.2022)
Last modification 22.02.2023