Bilateral Profiles and National Agencies > Sweden

General information on Sweden’s development cooperation

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. Political actions shall be permeated by a rights perspective on development and by the poor’s perspectives of the poor on development.

Swedish development cooperation has its own specific goal. In the Budget Bill for 2012 the Government proposes a development cooperation budget of SEK 30.2 billion for 2012, which corresponds to one per cent of estimated GNI.

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

Swedish development policy is based on two pillars: (i) Policy Coherence for Development; and (ii) Swedish development aid. 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 aid lies with the Ministry for Foreign Affairs (MFA).

The focus of Swedish Policy Coherence for Development (PCD) is on six global challenges, of which one is “Economic Exclusion”. The Government communication on PCD implementation 2013 (Skr. 2011/12:167) places particular attention on economic exclusion, defined as poor countries’ and people’s lack of opportunities to participate in the global economy. The Government communication deals with issues of financial markets, trade in agricultural products, and Swedish trade and investments. Follow-up activities on the theme “Economic Exclusion” will be arranged during 2013, inter alia, through outreach activities with actors from different parts of Swedish society, along with international experts.

The implementation of Swedish development aid 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.

Integrating trade into Sweden’s overall development aid is important to the Swedish Government. The Government is currently working on a thematic strategy for global activities within economic sustainable development that is related to Aid for Trade. Sida’s Aid for Trade “Plan for trade-related development cooperation” focuses specifically on the integration of AfT into other intervention sectors. Many new Swedish country cooperation strategies will be developed in 2013. The majority of these have the potential to meet partner countries’ demand for trade-related assistance within the fields of market development and agriculture.

Aid for Trade (AfT) Strategy

Economic growth, including trade and market development assistance, continues to be a priority for Swedish development cooperation. The main steering documents for trade-related aid are the EU Strategy on Aid for Trade, and the Swedish Government’s guidelines on AfT. The overall target for Swedish AfT is to strengthen the Least Developed Countries’ integration into world trade and their ability to take advantage of the possibilities of the multilateral trading system. Swedish AfT is also intended to support and promote responsible business practice in accordance with international guidelines and frameworks.

During the past few years, Sweden has reformed its agenda for development cooperation, and now emphasizes results, transparency and accountability.

The Swedish Government’s guidelines on AfT are based on the EU’s document on Policy Coherence for Development, the WTO recommendations on AfT, and the EU AfT Strategy, and aim to contribute to the objective of creating conditions that will enable poor people to improve their lives.

The guidelines comprise the following categories of aid for trade:

  • Trade policy, and trade rules and regulations
  • Trade development
  • Strengthening the supply side, including trade-related infrastructure.

The priority areas of the Swedish Government’s guidelines on AfT are:

  • Sanitary and phytosanitary measures (SPS) and technical barriers to trade (TBT);
  • Research, training and policy processes, in particular support for Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs);
  • Trade and climate change, in particular carbon trading;
  • Trade facilitation and transport, i.e. reducing transaction costs.
  • Investments: capacity to negotiate and implement investment rules.

Sweden’s trade-related assistance has increased significantly since the beginning of the Doha Round. In 2011, Swedish AfT, trade-related assistance in the narrow sense, amounted to 1.1 billion SEK. As an EU member state, it contributed to the joint commitment to increase the EU’s trade-related assistance to €2 billion per year by 2010. This quantitative target was reached in 2008. At the country level, Sida is an important contributor to the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF). Regional integration is an important part of the Swedish Aid for Trade Strategy, both as a means to enhance regional South-South trade and as an important stepping-stone to increased multilateral trade. Among Sweden’s principal cooperation partners at the regional level are regional organisations. Sweden’s AfT focuses on sub-Saharan Africa and economic development is central to the Strategy for Regional Development Co-operation in Sub-Saharan Africa 2010-2015. The strategy also has regional economic integration (including trade integration) as one of its main priorities. Sweden is increasingly moving towards joint integrated trade programmes, channelling funds through co-funded programmes with other bilateral donors; with multilateral organisations, such as the WB, UN agencies, WCO, WTO, AfDB, research networks and universities; and with Swedish trade support agencies and institutions.


Principal official agency responsible for TCB assistance to developing countries


Swedish International Development Agency (Sida)

Valhallavägen 199

SE-105 25 Stockholm




Swedish International Development Agency (Sida): 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 a total of 33 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America. 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.

Sida is making direct efforts to promote economic growth primarily in the following areas:

  • Private Sector
  • Trade
  • Financial systems
  • Labour market and employment
  • Farming
  • Forestry
  • Fishing
  • Management of natural resources.

For more information: E-mail: and

Other government and official agencies with responsibilities directly relevant to TCB


Ministry of Foreign Affairs Sweden (MFA)

Gustav Adolfs torg 1



Postal address

SE-103 39 Stockholm

Tel: +46 8 405 1000

Fax: +46 8 723 1176

Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA): The MFA is responsible for the formulation of Sweden’s development policy. It manages four agencies relevant to this policy: Sida; 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. Co-ordination involves not only the ministries but also dozens of semi-autonomous implementing agencies, using existing standard inter-ministerial consultation mechanisms and relationships to co-ordinate policy coherence.

For more information:


Sida Partnership Forum

Södra Vägen 3d

SE-871 40 Härnösand


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 works with representatives from the business community, state authorities, public sector, academia, and civil society. The work focuses on capacity building activities, with courses and throughout Sweden and participate 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 dialogue.

For more information: E-mail: ; and


National Board of Trade


Box 6803

SE - 113 86 Stockholm

Tel: +46 8 690 48 00

Fax: +46 8 30 67 59


National Board of Trade: 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. In addition, 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.

For more information:


Swedfund International AB

P.O. Box 3286

SE-103 65 Stockholm

Tel: +46 8 725 9400

Fax: +46 820 3093


Swedfund: Swedfund is Sweden’s risk capital company specializing in investments in developing countries.Business and industry can benefit from its expertise in its endeavours to create profitable business 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.

For more information:

Other official or government trade-related organizations

Invest in Sweden Agency (ISA): ISA is a Government agency that assists and informs foreign investors about business and investment opportunities in Sweden. Companies planning to establish or expand business operations in Sweden are provided with information and assistance by ISA and its regional and international network. The services it offers include comprehensive information on business and investment opportunities in Sweden, key business sectors and the Swedish economy. It also assists companies in finding and arranging visiting programmes to the most suitable locations in Sweden.

For more information: E-mail: and

Nordic Africa Institute (NAI) : NAI is a centre 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. Activities in the past year have focused on the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), the African Union, African Regional Cooperation, and democratic development in newly liberated states.

For more information: E-mail: and

SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden (SP): SP is designated as a national metrology centre by the Swedish Government. It is an institute for technical evaluation, testing and metrology, and research and development. It develops and supplies technologies that promote the development and competitiveness of industry and that uphold security, resource-saving and a good environment in society.

For more information: E-mail: and

Swedish Cooperative Centre (SCC): SCC is a global development organisation 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”, SCC 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.

For more information:

Swedish Board for Accreditation and Conformity Assessment (SWEDAC): 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 organisations to perform their duties or work. It covers laboratories, certification bodies and inspection bodies concerned with analysis, testing, calibration, certification and inspection in various sectors.

For more information: E-mail: and and

Swedish Export Credits Guarantee Board (EKN): 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 subsidise Swedish exports.

For more information: E-mail: and

Swedish Patent and Registration Office (PRV) : 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.

For more information: E-mail: and

Swedish Standards Institute (SIS): 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 standardisation; 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.

For more information: E-mail: and

Swedish Trade Council (STC): STC provides all the services required to establish a company and its products, services or ideas in new markets. With offices in more than 50 countries and working closely with trade associations, embassies, consulates and chambers of commerce around the world, STC serves the Swedish Government and Swedish business. It also works to facilitate business contacts between Swedish and foreign companies through bilateral events such as seminars, fairs, press-trips and match-making projects.

For more information: E-mail: and

Swedish Trade Procedure Council (SWEPRO): 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.

For more information: E-mail: and

Non-governmental organizations involved in TCB


Näringslivets Internationella Råd (NIR)

International Council of Swedish Industry Box 5501 S-114 85 Stockholm

Tel.: +468 73 80 00

Fax: +468 665 90 29


International Council of Swedish Industry (NIR): 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 organisations and with governments and government agencies, all in order to carry out business promotion as well as development programmes. Its overall aim is to contribute to new business opportunities in markets with difficult and complex political and commercial conditions.

For more information: E-mail: and

TCB cooperation initiatives with UN/International agencies and bilateral partners

The list below is not exhaustive. All organisations mentioned below implement TCB. However, for some of the organisations TCB is just one of many forms of working. Sweden’s collaboration is in the form of funds and grants.

Sweden has arrangements with UNIDO, UNECA, UNECE, ITC, World Bank, Standard and Trade Development Facility (STDF), Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF),

The mechanisms for data collection and reporting are narrative and financial reporting, with a focus on Result Based Management.

The mechanisms for monitoring and evaluation are internal and external evaluations.

Selected TCB programmes and initiatives in this guide


  • AfT Initiative


  • International Training Programmes
  • Private Sector Development (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)
  • United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA)


  • Support to Liberia’s accession to the WTO
  • Institutional support – National Enquiry Point Ukraine Technical Barriers to Trade
  • Capacity Building Moldova
  • Mentorship programme, Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT)
  • Training Programme on Rules of Origin


  • Broader Economic Cooperation (BEC) South Africa
  • Capacity building on cleaner production in Hyderabad region


  • Strengthening the National Quality Infrastructure for enhanced trade capacities and improved consumer protection in Iraq
  • Support to the worldwide umbrella organisation for the organic movement IFOAM


  • Open Trade Gate Sweden


  • Support to World Customs Organization (WCO) – Phase 2 of the WCO Columbus Programme
  • Training Programmes (TP) on Trade Facilitation
  • Trade Facilitation Implementation Guide


  • Information and Communication Technology for Rural Development (ICT4RD)
  • Facilitating Sustainable Environment − Friendly Regional Power Trading (RPT) in the Greater Mekong Sub Region


  • Making Finance Work for Africa (MFW4A) Initiative
  • Efficient Securities Markets Institutional Development (ESMID) Africa
  • The FIRST Initiative



  • Training Programmes on Rules of Origin