Swiss Import Promotion Programme

The Swiss Import Promotion Programme (SIPPO) is a well-established mandate of the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) within the framework of its economic development cooperation. As for the new investment phase (2017-2020), SIPPO is carried out by Swisscontact.

The overall objective of the Swiss Import Promotion Programme (SIPPO) is to integrate developing and transition countries into world trade. Targeted export promotion services delivered through Business Support Organizations (BSOs) strengthen the competitive position and facilitate market access and exports of companies in partner countries to Switzerland, the EU and regional markets

rabat, maroc
hanoi, vietnam
capetown, south africa
belgrad, serbia
swisscontact peru
skopje, macedonia
swisscontact indonesia
swisscontact colombia
swisscontact, albania
sarajevo, bosnia herzegovina
tunis, tunisia
Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Colombia, Indonesia, Morocco, North Macedonia, Peru, Serbia, South Africa, Tunisia, Vietnam
Project duration
2017 - 2020
Financed by
  • State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO

The project

SIPPO works with a systemic market approach by putting BSOs (instead of individual companies) in partner countries into the centre of the programme to provide professional ‘last mile services’ for exporting companies.

Accordingly, SIPPO enhances the performance of selected BSOs to enable them to provide targeted export promotion services to improve exports in specific economic sectors and contribute to increased income and more and better jobs. The implementation of the approach will be decentralized, utilizing local knowledge and developing high commitment of local actors. The programme will support them so that they can provide high-quality services to their client companies and members in the areas of market intelligence, B2B matchmaking, and networking.

In addition, it shall create synergies by delivering export promotion services to other trade related Swiss development initiatives. In the partner countries, SIPPO builds the capacities of select export promotion boards and sector-wide associations.

The project will operate in 6 sectors:

  • Fish & seafood
  • Processed foods
  • Natural ingredients
  • Technical wood
  • Value-added textiles
  • Sustainable tourism

Expected results/outcomes:

  • Exporters and importers establish trade contracts
  • Increase in jobs in sectors supported by SIPPO
  • Potential Exporters access services of BSOs
  • BSOs professionalize their export promotion services, develop their organisational management and improve their performance measurement

Project partner

  • BHP Brugger & Partner
  • HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation


SIPPO supports BSOs through tailor-made capacity building in two areas:

  1. Improving BSO Market entry activities through capacity building in market intelligence, trade fair participation, selling missions, buyer missions and study tours, and
  2. Institutional Strengthening of Business Support Organizations (BSOs)

through Strategic planning and positioning, Project Cycle Management and Knowledge sharing and learning.
BSOs are capacitated at their own speed and ownership is placed entirely in the hands of the service provider: BSOs who want to explore and improve access to new markets and opportunities for their export-ready companies to undertake these “last mile services” activities. SIPPO thereby enhances BSO member companies’ performances in export and thus contributes to increased income and more and better jobs.

Expected results by end of phase:


  • Number of additional jobs created or retained by the programme in BSO and companies: 38’835
  • Contribution to Increase in Export Turnover Created in Companies supported by the BSOs: CHF 1’800


Trade facilitation
First award for Tunisian olive oil in Switzerland
For the first time, a Tunisian olive oil, the Alta Olea Extra Virgin "Chetoui", has been awarded for its exceptional quality at the International Olive Oil Award in Zurich. This successful participation was supported by the SIPPO programme and its partner, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Tunis CCIT.
LinkedIn Article: The private sector can be a driver for sustainable change
Cooperation with the private sector is one of the central elements of the federal government’s new framework-credit for international cooperation 2021-2024. Swisscontact has been working with and through the private sector to promote sustainable income and better jobs for people in developing countries since it was founded in 1959.
Swisscontact’s SIPPO Supported Indonesia Ministry In The Seafood Trade Fair In Belgium
Swisscontact’s Swiss Import Promotion Programme (SIPPO) supported the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries of the Republic of Indonesia (MMAF) at the Seafood Expo Global (SEG) trade fair 2019 in Brussels, Belgium (May 7 to 9). SEG is is the world’s largest trade fair in the fisheries sector, with 1,940 exhibitors from 78 countries. At...