News Swiss support

On Monday, June 19, Delegate of the Swiss Government for Trade Agreements of the Swiss Confederation Ambassador Dominique Paravicini and Minister for Finance of the Republic of Latvia Arvils Ašeradens formally signed the Swiss-Latvian Cooperation Programme`s Framework Agreement for the Second Swiss Contribution, giving the opportunity for Swiss financial support to flow into the economy of Latvia in specific focus areas. This continues the long standing and successful bilateral cooperation established in the First Swiss Contribution with sustainable and visible results.

Latvia will receive 42.4 million euros (40.4 million Swiss francs) of Swiss contribution by December 2029. During this time four programmes will be supported – Research and innovation, Vocational and professional education and training, Advancement of paediatric cancer care, as well as Remediation of historical pollution. 

The research capacity and partnerships in the advanced materials, information and communication technologies (ICT) and smart energy fields will be promoted in Applied research programme. A work-based learning approach (including digital learning tools) and qualification examination model (piloted in 2-3 sectors) will be created and developed, as well as new vocational education teachers will be trained and prepared within the Vocational education and training programme.

For the Development of paediatric cancer care in Latvia, the approach to disease diagnosis and personalized treatment will be improved by creating a monitoring system in long-term support for children, who have recovered from oncological diseases, and which can later be developed for adult oncological and rare disease patients. In the Remediation of historical pollution, the remediation of nationally prioritized oil-contaminated site in Aizkraukle will be ensured at the site of the former factory of reinforced concrete, preventing further pollution emission into groundwater and the Daugava River.

Ambassador Dominique Paravicini stated: “We are convinced that the Swiss-Latvian Cooperation Programme will create long-lasting and fruitful partnerships and will achieve great success.

"Thanks to Memorandum of Understanding signed last year between the European Union and Switzerland, which provides Swiss funding of more than 1 billion to reduce economic and social disparities between individual EU Member States, Latvia has both access to a share of Swiss investment and the opportunity to apply unique Swiss expertise. I am grateful to our Swiss partners for the opportunity to jointly invest in areas of priority for both sides, ensuring the exchange of experience and knowledge," said Finance Minister Arvils Ašeradens.

“The Swiss-Latvian Cooperation Programme makes an important contribution to addressing Latvia's environmental challenges and provides an opportunity to work together with Swiss partners in the Second Swiss Contribution, continuing to clean up historically polluted sites that threaten water quality in Latvia's largest river Daugava,” emphasized Minister for Environment Protection and Regional Development Māris Sprindžuks.

"The Global Innovation Index shows that Switzerland has been a global innovation leader since 2015. It is therefore logical that our cooperation develops in the fields of science and innovation, vocational education, applied research and work-based learning. The adoption of the Swiss experience is particularly relevant for the Government, whose main goal is to achieve the prosperity of our country and its citizens through the transformation of Latvia's economic structure," said Anda Čakša, Minister of Education and Science.

"Cancer treatment is one of the public health priorities in Latvia. More than 60 children and adolescents are diagnosed with a malignant tumour every year and on average 14 deaths of children and adolescents are caused by malignant tumours every year. Thanks to the Swiss - Latvian Cooperation Programme, it will be possible to train and develop the competences of healthcare professionals and to implement patient-centred initiatives covering the whole continuum of treatment and care, which is particularly necessary for children with oncological and rare diseases. The programme will lead to the establishment of a long-term support and monitoring system, introducing evidence-based measurement, monitoring and improvement of treatment outcomes," said Minister of Health Līga Menģelsone.

Depending on the detailed documentation development and upcoming programme proposal approval processes in two stages, the implementation of the first programmes could indicatively start in the end of 2024.