General information on development cooperation

Swedish development policy is based on two pillars: (i) Policy Coherence for Development; and (ii) Swedish development cooperation. Policy Coherence for Development is the responsibility of all Government Offices (coordinated by the Minister for International Development Cooperation), whereas the responsibility for Swedish development cooperation lies with the Ministry for Foreign Affairs (MFA).


Sweden’s Policy for Global Development is based on the Parliamentary Bill from 2003 (2002/03:122). The policy gives all Ministries within the Government Offices a responsibility to coherently contribute to the objective of equitable and sustainable global development.


In 2016 the Swedish Government introduced a new policy framework for Swedish development cooperation and humanitarian aid. The policy framework takes the global situation regarding development policy as its point of departure and relates to the 2030 Agenda, the undertakings on development financing and the Paris Agreement on climate change.


Sweden’s development cooperation is characterized by the perspective of poor people on development and by a rights-based perspective. These two overarching perspectives are analyzed and integrated throughout Swedish development cooperation. Furthermore, Swedish development cooperation is to be based on a conflict perspective as well as on a gender perspective. The Government is increasing its focus on gender equality by taking gender equality aspects into account throughout its development cooperation. An environmental and climate perspective is also to be integrated into Swedish development cooperation.


The objective of Swedish development cooperation is to help to create conditions that will enable poor people to improve their lives. Development cooperation focuses on combating poverty. The objectives of reform cooperation in Eastern Europe are strengthened democracy, equitable and sustainable development, and closer ties to the EU and its basic values.

In the Budget Bill for 2017, the Government proposes a development cooperation budget of SEK 46.1 billion for 2017, which corresponds to approximately one per cent of estimated GNI.


The implementation of Swedish development cooperation is undertaken by a number of government agencies and institutions, with the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), an authority under the jurisdiction of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs (MFA), acting as the coordinating agency.

Aid for Trade Strategy

Sustainable and inclusive economic development, including trade, continues to be an important part of Swedish development cooperation. Although Sweden does not have a specific strategy for Aid for Trade (nor other equivalent thematic areas), the direction of Swedish Aid for Trade is singled out in the policy framework for Swedish development cooperation (from 2016) as well as in broader thematic and geographical strategies.

Inclusive economic development is one of eight thematic directions in the policy framework for Swedish development cooperation, where the importance of trade is highlighted. It is acknowledged that free and fair trade is a powerful tool for economic growth, sustainable development and fighting poverty. Furthermore, trade creates more productive jobs, higher incomes and greater access to goods and services, as well as technology transfer, more efficient production and incentives for innovation and investment.

The policy framework for Swedish development cooperation acknowledges the importance of for example:

  • strengthening countries’ ability to participate in regional and global value chains and trade, e.g. through efforts for trade facilitation, reduced trade barriers, trade-related sustainable infrastructure and private sector development
  • supporting initiatives for national and regional institution building, transparent and effective regulations and a greater capacity to analyse, negotiate on and carry out development-friendly trade and investment agreements.
  • supporting all sustainability dimensions in trade agreements
  • increasing the ability to meet international standards, including increasingly ambitious sustainability requirements, which among other things seek to maintain and strengthen the protection of the environment and human and animal health.
  • supporting work on trade and human rights, anticorruption and gender equality as well as decent working conditions to ensure that men and women living in poverty gain better opportunities to benefit from the advantages of trade.

Sweden provides important Aid for Trade support to global programmes and organisations such as the Enhanced Integrated Framework, the International Trade Centre and the World Bank. This support is guided by the Results strategy for global action on economically sustainable development, applied from 2014 to 2017. The government is currently working on a new global strategy. In addition, bilateral and regional strategies guide Aid for Trade support to specific countries and regions.

Sweden’s trade-related assistance has increased significantly since the launch of the Aid for Trade initiative. In 2010-2014, Swedish yearly Aid for Trade support amounted to approximately EUR 300 million, making Sweden one of the EU’s five largest donors. As an EU member state, Sweden also contributes to the Aid for Trade supplied by the EU institutions. This support is guided by the EU Aid for Trade Strategy, which is currently being revised. The EU and its member states remain, by a large margin, the most important Aid for Trade donor in the world.


Principal official agency responsible for TCB assistance to developing countries

Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida)
Contact details

Tel: +46 8 698 50 00

Fax: +46 8 20 88 64

E-mail: sida [at] sida.se

Physical Address
Valhallavägen 199
SE-105 25 Stockholm, Sweden

Sida is a government agency working on behalf of the Swedish parliament and government, with the mission to reduce poverty in the world. Through its work and in cooperation with others, Sida contributes to implementing Sweden’s Policy for Global Development (PGU). Another part of its mission is conducting reform cooperation with Eastern Europe, which is financed through a specific appropriation. The third part of its responsibilities is to distribute humanitarian aid to people in need of assistance. Sida carries out enhanced development cooperation with more than 30 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America. In addition to bilateral work, and especially in aid for trade, a large portion of the development cooperation is carried out on a regional as well as global level. The selection of cooperation countries is based on political decisions made by the Swedish government. Sida’s mission is to allocate aid and other funding. Its operations are subject to the government’s guidelines, describing the goals for each year’s operations and the size of the development aid budget.

Other government and official agencies with responsibilities directly relevant to TCB

Business Sweden
Contact details

Tel: 08-588 660 00

Fax: 08-588 661 90

E-mail: info [at] business-sweden.se

Physical Address
Klarabergsviadukten 70, 11164 Stockholm

Business Sweden’s purpose is to help Swedish companies reach their full international potential and foreign companies to invest and expand in Sweden. It is owned by the Swedish Government and the industry. Business Sweden was founded in 2013 by a merger of the Swedish Trade Council and Invest Sweden. They can help international companies to develop in Sweden by providing strategic advice, information and hands-on support.

Ministry for Foreign Affairs (MFA)
Contact details

Tel: +46 8 405 1000

Contact forms: http://www.government.se/contact-information/

Physical Address
Gustav Adolfs torg 1
SE-103 39 Stockholm, Sweden

The MFA is responsible for the formulation of Sweden’s development policy. It manages several agencies relevant to this policy: Sida, but also for example the National Board of Trade, the Nordic Africa Institute and the Folke Bernadotte Academy. MFA has responsibility for the overall co-ordination and reporting of Sweden’s international development cooperation within the Government and to parliament.

For more information: http://www.government.se/government-policy/multilateral-cooperation/

National Board of Trade
Contact details

Tel: +46 8 690 48 00

Fax: +46 8 30 67 59

E-mail: registrator [at] kommers.se

Physical Address
Kommerskollegium Box 6803
113 86 Stockholm, Sweden

The National Board of Trade is the Swedish governmental agency responsible for issues relating to foreign trade and trade policy, with the mission to promote open and free trade with transparent rules. Also, as an expert authority in trade policy issues, the National Board of Trade provides assistance to developing countries, through trade-related development cooperation. The National Board of Trade also hosts Open Trade Gate Sweden, a one-stop information centre assisting exporters from developing countries with information on rules and requirements in Sweden and the EU. In 2016, the National Board of Trade launched Trade Academy, an advanced trade policy course for participants from developing countries. It provides comprehensive knowledge of modern trade and trade regulation, as well as skills in analysing, formulating and implementing trade policy.

Nordic Africa Institute (NAI):
Contact details

Tel: +46 18 471 52 00

Fax: +46 18 56 22 90

E-mail: nai [at] nai.uu.se

Physical Address
Villavägen 6, 752 36 Uppsala

NAI is a center for research, documentation, and information on modern Africa in the Nordic region. It is jointly financed by the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden), but is formally a Swedish authority, and its activities are ruled by the Swedish Parliament and Government. It is dedicated to providing timely, critical and alternative research and analysis on Africa, as well as to strengthening cooperation between African and Nordic researchers. As a hub and a meeting place in the Nordic region for a growing field of research and analysis, it strives to put knowledge of African issues within reach of scholars, policy makers, politicians, media, students and the general public, regularly providing background information and analyses based on research results and special studies that inform policy decisions on current African issues in the Nordic countries

Research Institutes of Sweden (RISE)
Contact details

Tel 010-516 62 80
E-mail: info [at] ri.se

Physical Address
Mäster Samuelsgatan 60, plan 9
111 21 Stockholm, Sweden

RISE is fully owned by the Swedish state. It is a merge of the institutes Innventia, SP and Swedish ICT. Through their international collaboration programmes with academia, industry and the public sector they ensure competitiveness of the Swedish business community on an international level and contribute to a sustainable society.

Sida Partnership Forum
Contact details

Tel: +46 8 698 50 00
Fax: + 46 8 20 88 64
E-mail: sida [at] sida.se ()

E-mail: spf [at] sida.se ()

Physical Address
Valhallavägen 199
SE-105 25 Stockholm, Sweden

Sida Partnership Forum is part of the Unit for Capacity Development and Cooperation, which in turn belongs to the Department of Global Cooperation at Sida. Sida Partnership Forum is a platform for Swedish actors in development cooperation and therefore works with representatives from the business community, government authorities, academia, and civil society. The work focuses on capacity building activities, with courses, and throughout Sweden and participates in conferences on development work in Sweden and abroad. Sida Partnership Forum is not a traditional learning provider and aims to be an innovative meeting place where new insights and ideas can grow out of the dialogue.

For more information: http://www.sida.se/English/partners/resources-for-all-partners/courses-and-training/Sida-partnership-forum/

Swedfund International AB
Contact details

Tel: +46 8 725 94 00
Fax: +46 8 20 30 93

Physical Address
Drottninggatan 92-94
P.O. Box 3286
SE-103 65 Stockholm, Sweden

Swedfund is Sweden’s risk capital company specializing in investments in developing countries. Business and industry can benefit from its expertise in its endeavors to create profitable businesses in new markets. It offers risk capital and competence for investment in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe (non-EU members); its vision is to contribute to the development of profitable companies and thereby stimulate sustainable economic development in the countries in which it invests.

Swedish Board for Accreditation and Conformity Assessment (SWEDAC)
Contact details

E-mail: registrator [at] swedac.se ()

Physical Address
Gustavslundsvägen 151 E, Plan 8, 167 51 Bromma

SWEDAC is the national accreditation body in Sweden. It is a Swedish public authority, responsible to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, with the main duty of determining the competence of organizations to perform their tasks. It covers laboratories, certification bodies and inspection bodies concerned with the analysis, testing, calibration, certification, and inspection in various sectors.

Swedish Export Credits Guarantee Board (EKN)
Contact details

Tel: +46 8 788 00 00

Fax: +46 8 411 81 49

E-mail: info [at] ekn.se

Physical Address
Kungsgatan 36, 6th floor, Stockholm

EKN, a state authority with a directive from the Government to help improve the competitiveness of Swedish companies, functions in the same way as an insurance company, providing guarantees which serve as an insurance policy covering export transactions and investments abroad. It is mandated to provide guarantees that are competitive in relation to what other export credit agencies offer, without being so generous that they subsidies Swedish exports.

Swedish Patent and Registration Office (PRV)
Contact details

E-mail: prv [at] prv.se

Tel: +46 8 782 28 00

Physical Address
Kungsgatan 8, Söderhamn

The PRV provides protection and exclusive rights for technological ideas, trademarks and industrial designs; effective and appropriate systems for their registration; and appropriate and qualitative information and services on intellectual property issues for enterprises and business.

Swedish Trade Procedure Council (SWEPRO)
Contact details

E-mail: swepro-kansliet [at] kommers.se

Physical Address
Drottninggatan 89, 8th floor
113 86 Stockholm

SWEPRO is Sweden’s forum for discussion and information on international work for all issues related to the simplification of trade procedures. It includes representatives from business and the public sector, and coordinates and participates in work within UN, OECD, WTO and EU frameworks.

Other offical and NON-governmental organizations involved

International Council of Swedish Industry (NIR)
Contact details

Tel: +468 783 80 00
Fax: +468 665 90 29
info [at] nir.se ()

Physical Address
Sturegatan 11, Stockholm, Sweden

NIR is an independent affiliation of the Confederation of Swedish Enterprises with the mission of working closely with major companies in Sweden and abroad, with potential business partners and private sector organizations and with governments and government agencies, all to carry out business promotion as well as development programmes. Its overall aim is to contribute to new business opportunities in markets with challenging and complex political and commercial conditions.

Swedish Standards Institute (SIS)
Contact details

Tel: +46 8 555 520 00
Fax: +46 8 555 520 01

E-mail: info [at] sis.se

Physical Address
Solnavägen 1E, 113 65 Stockholm

Standardization is carried out by three standardization bodies: SIS, for business areas covered by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the European Committee for Standardization (CEN); ITS (Informationstekniska Standardiseringen) for all telecom standardization; and SEK (Svenska Elektriska Kommissionen) for all standards for electrical, electronic and related technologies. As a non-profit organization, SIS promotes Swedish participation in international standardization.

We Effect
Contact details

Tel: +46(0)8 120 371 00
Fax: +46(0)8 657 85 15

E-mail: info [at] weeffect.se

Physical Address
105 33 Stockholm

We Effect (Formerly called Swedish Cooperative Centre) is a global development organization founded by the Swedish Cooperative movement in 1958, with three regional offices and operations in more than 20 countries worldwide. Through long-term development work and “help to self-help,” We Effect equips poor people with the tools needed to fight poverty themselves and, through its advocacy work; it strives to convince more people to take a stand for a world free from poverty and injustice. Projects are financed through fundraising and by Sida.

Selected TCB programmes and initiatives in this guide

AfT Initiative
International Training Programmes (ITP)
PSD-Hub in Ethiopia
Trade Policy Training Centre in Africa (Trapca)
Trade Law Centre for Southern Africa (Tralac)
WTO Doha Development Agenda Global Trust Fund (DDAGTF
Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF)
Trade Academy
The MENA-OECD Competitiveness Programme
Support to Liberia’s accession to the WTO
Strengthening Regional Grain Markets II
SIS Standardisation in ECOWAS and ARSO
IFOAM Organic Trade and Value Chain Development in East Africa
Agricultural Market Activity AMA-FARMA II
Open Trade Gate Sweden
Support to World Customs Organization (WCO)
Making Finance Work for Africa (MFW4A) Initiative
EBRD Ukraine Multidonor Account
Trade Policy Training Centre in Africa
UNCTAD Trade and Gender toolbox for the assessment and measurement of gender effects of trade policies
UNCTAD Trust Fund for Capacity Building in Trade and Gender
Gender analysis of the EU AA/DCFTAS with Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine
International Alert: Democratic Republic of Congo and Great Lakes Region
TCB cooperation initiatives with UN/international agencies and bilateral partners

The list below is not exhaustive. All organizations mentioned implement TCB. However, for some of the organizations, TCB is just one of many forms of working. Sweden’s collaboration is in the form of funds and grants. Sweden has arrangements with UNCTAD, ITC, World Bank, Standard and Trade Development Facility (STDF), Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF), ICTSD, etc.