Swiss cooperation with the South Caucasus dates back to the devastating earthquake in 1988 in the North of Armenia. A regional Swiss Cooperation Office South Caucasus (SCO) representing the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) was established in Tbilisi in 1999, and country offices in Yerevan and Baku were opened in 2001 and 2002, respectively.
The SDC was one of the first to invest in the area of rural economic development and is well known for its tailor-made assistance to vulnerable conflict and natural disaster affected people in Georgia and Armenia. SECO is recognized for its assistance to non-oil sector development in Azerbaijan and for assisting the country to manage revenues in a more transparent and accountable manner.
Thanks to its long-standing engagement in the region, Switzerland has built strong and trustful relations with the governments and populations of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. Over the past fifteen years, cooperation programmes initiated by Switzerland contributed to improving the living conditions of the people in the targeted areas and to better functioning institutions. Swiss diplomacy has provided its good offices and supported dialogue processes and confidence building measures to address in a constructive manner the conflicts affecting the region.