Private sector engagement

The private sector is the world's biggest employer and plays an important role in economic growth and sustainable development. Switzerland's International Cooperation Strategy 2021–24 aims to expand cooperation with the private sector and exploit its potential to promote sustainable development in the countries of the South and East.

The International Cooperation Strategy 2021–24 sees great potential in private sector engagement. The private sector creates around 90% of all jobs worldwide and has a key role to play in implementing sustainable development. The innovative power, expertise and resources of private-sector companies are necessary for the implementation of international cooperation activities. The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) is diversifying and strengthening partnerships with the private sector, for example by working with social enterprises, impact investors and grant-making foundations.

Initial successes

The SDC has already established partnerships with the private sector through its development cooperation in the past. After initial successes and numerous different experiences, Switzerland is developing these partnerships further and refining its criteria for cooperation. Together with private actors, it is developing innovative solutions to give companies access to financing and provide investors with new investment opportunities. Switzerland remains committed to ensuring that its private sector partners respect human rights and meet ecological, social and governance standards.

Targeted engagement

Switzerland's international cooperation already works in a targeted manner with the private sector, including the financial sector, in order to jointly contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. Swiss Humanitarian Aid also makes use of private sector know-how, recruiting experts from the private sector for the Swiss Humanitarian Aid Unit and using the sector's logistics and material procurement channels.


General Guidance on the Private Sector in the context of the International Cooperation Strategy 2021–24 (PDF, 16 Pages, 682.3 kB, English)

SDC Handbook on Private Sector Engagement (PDF, 80 Pages, 8.4 MB, English)

Brochure: Switzerland's International Cooperation Strategy 2021–24 (PDF, 52 Pages, 1.3 MB, English)

Dispatch on Switzerland's International Cooperation Strategy 2021–24 (PDF, 92 Pages, 2.2 MB, German)

Leaflet: International Cooperation Strategy 2021–24 (PDF, 8 Pages, 3.5 MB, English)

Report on the results of the consultation on Switzerland's international cooperation 2021–24 (PDF, 25 Pages, 1.0 MB, German)

Sustainable Development Goals