Economic development

Switzerland's economic development cooperation seeks to improve access to global markets for businesses in developing countries and create decent jobs. To achieve these goals, Switzerland is working to improve framework conditions and increase cooperation with the private sector. Switzerland's efforts contribute to sustainable economic growth and prosperity.

Economic development is a prerequisite to improve sustainability and reduce poverty. Switzerland's International Cooperation Strategy 2021–24 aims to improve market access for people and businesses and create economic opportunities. The economic development cooperation of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) assists partner countries with private sector development and structural transformation processes, the creation of decent jobs and integration in the global economy. Switzerland's efforts contribute to sustainable economic growth and prosperity. Specifically, they give people and businesses in developing countries better access to capital markets and sustainable financing opportunities in order to boost production, help businesses access international markets for their products and create jobs. Swiss international cooperation supports not only businesses but also healthcare and education systems. In all their activities, Switzerland and its partners consider disadvantaged population groups and young women and men, adhere to sustainability and gender equality standards and respect human rights.

Favourable business environment

For the economy to prosper in developing countries, a favourable environment for business is needed. This starts with modern trade arrangements and free trade agreements. Swiss expertise in this area can make a difference. Efforts focus on tourism, agricultural raw materials such as cocoa or coffee, and trade in mineral resources. Switzerland is also committed to corporate governance that prioritises responsibility towards employees, society and the environment as well as business objectives. Moreover, Switzerland's international cooperation harnesses the opportunities of digitalisation to further increase the effectiveness and efficiency of administrations, reduce red tape and prevent corruption.

Private sector as driver of economic growth

Around 90% of all jobs worldwide are in the private sector. Private sector companies power the economic growth that is often a way out of poverty. The private sector's capacity to innovate, expertise, distribution channels, investment opportunities and potential in vocational education and training are indispensable to economic development. That is why Switzerland wants to increase and diversify its cooperation with the private sector to boost the economy in developing countries and create prospects for local people.


Broschüre «Strategie der internationalen Zusammenarbeit 2021-2024» (PDF, 52 Pages, 2.6 MB, German)

Botschaft zur Strategie der internationalen Zusammenarbeit 2021-2024 (PDF, 92 Pages, 2.2 MB, German)

Flyer: Strategie der internationalen Zusammenarbeit 2021-2024 (PDF, 8 Pages, 3.5 MB, German)

Ergebnisbericht zur Vernehmlassung der internationalen Zusammenarbeit der Schweiz 2021–2024 (PDF, 25 Pages, 1.0 MB, German)

Die internationale Zusammenarbeit der Schweiz wirkt. Schlussbericht zur Umsetzung der Botschaft 2017–2020

Erläuternder Bericht zur internationalen Zusammenarbeit 2021–2024 (PDF, 51 Pages, 2.4 MB, German)