THE SDC PROGRAM IN THE MEKONG REGION
The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) aims to reduce poverty, support equitable and sustainable development, and foster democratic governance in the Mekong region.
Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Vietnam presently share a number of challenges: transboundary economic and environmental governance; management of land and forest resources; integration into the impending ASEAN Community; and increased labor migration. In response, SDC has introduced a regional program on:
- Agriculture and food security
- Local governance and citizen participation
- Employment and vocational education and training
SDC’s programming at the regional level is strategically and thematically linked with country-level interventions.
A wide range of partner organizations implement SDC’s programming in the Mekong region, including government agencies, bilateral and multilateral development organizations, and international and local non-government organizations.
The 2013-2017 budget is CHF 205 million. Of this, around CHF 22.5 million (11%) will be spent in Vietnam; around 55 million in Cambodia (27%); around 86.5 million in Lao PDR (42%), and around 32 million at the regional level.
(15%). CHF 10 million is reserved for management costs and other issues.
THE SECO PROGRAM IN THE CLMV REGION
The Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) supports sustainable economic growth in Vietnam, Lao PDR, and Cambodia by promoting private sector development, contributing to the establishment of conducive economic frameworks, and fostering integration into the world economy.
In Vietnam, which is a priority country for Switzerland’s economic development cooperation due to its middle-income status, SECO is working on the following three topical objectives:
- Promoting macro-economic stability and a transparent public finance management, an adequate business regulation and improved international market access.
- Increased competitiveness of SMEs through the dissemination of international quality standards and business practice, access to finance services and development of entrepreneurial skills, as well as sup- porting urban infrastructure for the regional economy.
- Environmentally friendly measures and methods through the promotion of energy efficiency and renewable energies, clean and sustainable production and consumption, as well as encouraging investments in climate protection measures.
SECO’s regional program aims to foster learning and sharing of good practices and adapted technologies among Vietnam, Lao PDR, and Cambodia. In Lao PDR, SECO supports the government’s efforts to integrate into regional and international markets, with a focus on the country’s recent accession to the World Trade Organization and sustainable tourism.
For its priority country Vietnam, SECO has recently adopted a new country strategy for the period 2013-2016, in which it aims to commit 100 million CHF, marking a 50% increase from the previous period. Laos and Cambodia will be covered through additional global funds.
More detailed information on Swiss Cooperation activities and projects within the Mekong Region can be found at the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs’ SDC website.