IC: more impact in cooperation with the private sector
Bern, 28.01.2021 - The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) concretises its principles for cooperation with the private sector. Two new documents outline the main action areas for the next few years, which are aligned with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Switzerland's International Cooperation Strategy (IC).
As part of their International Cooperation Strategy 2021–2024, the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) and the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research (EAER) plan to build on existing cooperation with the private sector and to make its potential even more available to Switzerland's international cooperation in the future.
Private sector: playing a key role in ending poverty
Ending global poverty is one of the UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals and a core component of Switzerland's International Cooperation Strategy. Given that the private sector creates nine out of ten jobs in developing countries, it clearly plays an important role in attaining this objective. On the one hand, jobs create perspectives for the people on the ground and help to fight poverty in the countries concerned. On the other hand, responsible companies can sustainably improve the living conditions of the population through innovative and sustainable products, for example through technologies for the use of renewable energies or with the help of new medicines in the fight against deadly diseases.
SDC handbook and guidelines set out action areas
To define its orientation in its work on the private sector, the SDC has drawn up a handbook and guidelines. Future private sector engagement will focus on the following four action areas:
• Strengthening the economic policy framework to achieve greater sustainability
• Encouraging local enterprise in the SDC's priority countries
• Cooperating with established private sector players on attaining the Sustainable Development Goals
• Encouraging sustainability in relation to public procurement
As in years past, the SDC will continue to lay down clear conditions for public-private partnerships and ensure that environmental, social and governance standards are met. In addition, the risk analysis is of key importance.
Close cooperation with a range of public sector entities is also essential to building effective public sector engagement. The SDC will therefore coordinate its work with the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), the FDFA Peace and Human Rights Division, the Federal Finance Administration, the Swiss Investment Fund for Emerging Markets (SIFEM) and the State Secretariat for International Finance (SIF).
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Federal Department of Foreign Affairs