Compliance support infrastructure and services - Switzerland
To raise export capacity in its partner countries and ensure their greater integration into international value chains, SECO supports the strengthening of standards, quality, accreditation and metrology systems to help these countries meet international technical and sanitary and phytosanitary standards requirements. In cooperation with partners like UNIDO or ITC, it assists SMEs to build up their ability to meet international norms and standards (SPS/TBT) and to enhance their export capacities and their competitiveness (marketing, market research, quality management, procurement).
Furthermore, particular attention is given to the promotion of coherence between trade, biodiversity, climate change and social considerations. SECO programmes support the efforts of partner countries and their industry sectors to comply with international environment and social instruments related to trade. It supports the establishment of standards for niche products in developing countries (fair trade, Label STEP) but is also becoming increasingly involved in initiatives to encourage the sustainability of products in the mass market (mainstreaming). The latter is also done through the support of multi-stakeholder-dialogues for the establishment of voluntary sustainability criteria for trade in selected commodities. It is only through complying with essential quality, social, and environmental standards that entry into high-price markets can be secured in the long term.
In line with the objectives of the Convention on Biodiversity, SECO has, together with UNCTAD, developed and implemented the concept of biotrade: promotion of exports based on local biodiversity under sustainable management plans.