Following the first-ever visit of a Swiss president to Colombia, the two nations have announced an $18 million USD program to support small- and medium-sized businesses. Local partners will contribute $4.3 million USD while Switzerland will supply $14 million USD to the initiative, which is aiming to increase competitiveness through reforms and strengthening the value chain in sectors including tourism, cocoa, cosmetics, and construction.
The new joint program between the two mountainous nations, called SeCompetitivo, will run until 2020. It will include the financing for projects that help improve export networks, develop human capital, and find ways to apply some Swiss technologies locally. Switzerland will also support local companies through knowledge transfer and direction on best practices.
“This support reinforces the work we are pushing forward in a modern Colombia by focusing on productive regions,” said Maria Claudia Lacouture, Colombia’s minister of commerce, industry and tourism.
SeCompetitivo is a joint effort that was created by Colombia’s National Planning Department; Ministry of Commerce, Industry, and Tourism; Presidential Agency of International Cooperation; Innpulsa Colombia; and the Swiss embassy in Colombia.