The capacity to trade is significantly affected by the availability and cost of financing as well as the required expertise in trade finance. Many developing countries have very limited capacity to address national trade finance shortages on their own. SECO supports actions beyond short-term measures which are necessary to strengthen trade finance institutions, not least in their human capacity, and to improve the availability of trade finance for fair-trade and organic produce from emerging and transition countries. To facilitate SMEs’ access to finance, SECO, on the one hand, invests in private equity funds on commercial terms through the private management company Swiss Investment Fund for Emerging Markets (SIFEM) and, on the other hand, uses grant money to finance innovative schemes which facilitate financial access for SMEs and are operated by local financial intermediaries (banks, microfinance institutions as well as other nonbank institutions).
- Eastern Europe: EBRD Trade Finance Facility, since 1999
- Global: IFC Global Trade Finance Advisory Services Facility, 2010 – 2012
- Global: Triodos Sustainable Trade Fund, 2009 – 2019