Switzerland and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) have announced a joint programme for boosting infrastructure in developing countries. Some CHF17 million ($17.3 million) have been earmarked over five years.
Swiss President Doris Leuthard announced the package in Vienna, Austria, on Monday where she was speaking at UNIDO’s 17th General Conference.
The joint ‘global quality and standards programme’ will target priority countries of Swiss development cooperation, and aims to strengthen the building of quality infrastructure, notably by offering know-how in the form of standardisation and conformity assessment.
The overall objective is to deepen the integration of such countries – many in Africa – into world markets, according to UNIDO. The programme also supports the body’s mandate to achieve the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Speaking at the conference, Leuthard referred to Switzerland’s history of innovation in building quality infrastructure, from road and rail networks to the digital infrastructure in recent years.
She also met on the side-lines of the conference with Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen and newly-elected Chancellor Christian Kern. According to the Swiss foreign ministry, they discussed European policy, including Jean-Claude Juncker’s recent visit to Bern, as well as Austria’s upcoming presidency of the European Union.
swissinfo.ch and agencies/dos