The State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) is the federal government's centre of expertise for all core issues relating to economic policy. Its aim is to ensure sustainable economic growth by putting in place the necessary regulatory and economic policy conditions.
On the domestic front, SECO acts as an interface between business, social partners and government. It supports the regionally and structurally balanced development of the economy and ensures the protection of employees. Through its labour market policy, it contributes to the prevention and tackling of unemployment and consequently to upholding social peace.
SECO also helps to ensure access to all markets for Swiss goods and services and investment. In terms of foreign trade policy, SECO is active in the formulating of efficient, fair and transparent rules for the world economy.
SECO’s Economic Cooperation and Development Division
The “Economic Cooperation and Development” Division of SECO is responsible for planning and implementing economic and trade policy measures with developing countries, Eastern European and Central Asian States as well as the new member States of the European Union (contribution to the EU enlargement).
The primary aims of SECO cooperation are to integrate partner countries into the world economy and promote their sustainable economic growth, making an efficient and effective contribution to reducing poverty.
SECO’s priorities lie in strengthening developing countries’ competitiveness and diversifying their trade, mobilising domestic and foreign investments, improving the basic infrastructure and promoting stable economic framework conditions. Special attention is paid to economic governance, the climate, energy and the environment. The mobilisation of private capital and know-how on-site and in Switzerland forms an important principle of SECO’s development cooperation.
Moreover, in collaboration with the relevant federal offices, including the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), SECO acts as the leading federal agency in defining the position and strategy of Switzerland in the decision making committees of the World Bank Group and regional development banks.
The Economic Cooperation and Development Division is headed by a member of SECO’s executive board and has a staff of around 70. The Division’s seven sections are structured according to areas of activity. It has an annual budget of around 255 million Swiss Francs.
Economic and trade cooperation play a major role in promoting investments and trade. Such cooperation makes a key contribution towards creating an environment that provides favourable framework conditions for economic growth and private initiative.
To enhance coherence between economic and trade cooperation and foreign policy goals as well as to develop synergies with other instruments and forms of cooperation of the Swiss Confederation, the Economic Cooperation and Development Division works closely together with other SECO Divisions, with the SDC and other federal offices involved in international cooperation.
For more information about SECO’s Economic Cooperation and Development Division and SECO in general visit the following internet sites: