Importance of the multilateral development banks

The multilateral development banks (MDBs) play a key role in international cooperation. Switzerland has an interest in participating in their decision-making.

Switzerland is a member, i.e. shareholder, of the multilateral development banks for the following reasons:

Switzerland participates in the decision-making of the MDBs. Here, Federal Councillor Guy Parmelin with Kristalina Georgieva (CEO World Bank) and Ambassador Raymund Furrer (SECO) at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
Switzerland participates in the decision-making of the MDBs. Here, Federal Councillor Guy Parmelin with Kristalina Georgieva (CEO World Bank) and Ambassador Raymund Furrer (SECO) at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Switzerland’s objectives in the MDBs

As Switzerland contributes financially to the MDBs and co-finances their development projects, it has a say in their organisation and in how they implement their projects. In all MDBs, Switzerland is committed to ensuring that they:

  • make an important contribution to reducing poverty,
  • make all their activities development-relevant,
  • focus on their core competencies and the added value of their projects and adhere to international quality standards as well as environmental and social standards,
  • perform all activities efficiently,
  • pledge effective contributions for implementation of the internationally agreed climate and development goals,
  • measure their results reliably, and
  • remain financially stable.

Multilateral development banks establish a system of internationally recognised rules and make an important contribution to overcoming global challenges.


Furthermore, Switzerland aims to strengthen its presence in the MDBs:

  • Switzerland supports young as well as experienced Swiss professionals who are interested in career opportunities at the MDBs.  
  • Swiss companies from the private sector have the possibility to participate in tenders issued by MDBs. 

Through the Board of Governors, the supreme body of a MDB, Switzerland participates in key policy and strategic decisions such as negotiations on capital increases or the replenishment of concessional funds.

Switzerland oversees the day-to-day business through its membership of the Board of Directors. SECO coordinates Switzerland’s position on individual transactions within the Swiss Federal Administration. For selected themes, SECO also seeks dialogue with consultants and partners outside of government.

Last modification 25.01.2019

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