Trade Promotion East

The Trade Promotion East Program aims to enhance competitiveness and sustainable export growth of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) engaged in agro-processing from SECO’s Eastern partner countries. The Program will be implemented by the International Trade Centre in the Western Balkans and Central Asia.

Country/region Period Budget
01.10.2022 - 31.12.2026
CHF  5’000’000

In SECO’s Eastern partner countries agro-processing represents an important sector of the economy, contributing significantly to trade, economic growth, and employment. However, SMEs engaged in the sector generally lack competitiveness and diversification in the products they offer as well as the markets they sell to. Sector-specific business support services and coordination between stakeholders are inadequate. A need exists for increasing the share of processed and added-value production and strengthening access to more diversified global markets.


The Program aims to improve the capacity, support system and regulatory environment of export-oriented enterprises in the agro-processing sector of Albania, Serbia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. These will be better capacitated and connected, thus creating sustained export growth of SMEs and more decent jobs for men and women.

Medium-term outcomes

Outcome 1: Enhanced competitiveness and internationalization of SMEs by enhancing their understanding of market requirements, introducing quality standards and adjusting their products to enter higher value-added segments. SMEs improve the social and environmental performance of their operations, and establish new business linkages to increase value added production and expand sales.

Outcome 2: Improved performance of business support organizations in the sector. These organizations - such as sector associations, training institutes, private consultants, public service providers – offer services demanded by SMEs, including market analysis and research, e-commerce, corporate social responsibility, or resource efficiency.

Outcome 3: Better framework conditions and collaboration in the sector. Public and private stakeholders have sector-specific exchanges and thereby improve sector coordination and improve regulations and policies.


Expected results:  

Output 1.1: Capacities of SMEs strengthened to improve international competitiveness and increase value-added production

Output 1.2: Capacities of SMEs strengthened to improve social and environmental sustainability

Output 1.3: Business opportunities identified, and market linkages for SMEs created to expand sales in international markets

Output 2.1: Business support organizations in different sector-specific business areas of relevance to and demanded by SMEs supported

Output 3.1: Facilitated sectoral partnerships and regional exchange among enterprises and support organizations

Results from previous phases:  

The successful SECO program GTEX offers lessons and serves as a model for the overall Program design. GTEX was implemented by ITC and featured a programmatic multi-country approach. It focussed on the micro- (companies) and meso-level (associations) of one specific sector (textiles and clothing), thus enabling sustainable systemic change.

The clear focus on a sector and a core group of actors in it allowed an effective and efficient division of labour with complementary projects. Since 2017, a total of CHF 3.5 million were invested in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan under GTEX, enabling client companies to achieve a total of USD 80 million of additional exports, to retain 3'020 jobs and create 2'194 new ones.

Directorate/federal office responsible SECO
Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    5’000’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    0 Budget inclusive project partner CHF    5’500’000
Project phases Phase 1 01.10.2022 - 31.12.2026   (Current phase)