On Tuesday, September 6, the Cabinet of Ministers of Latvia supported the report prepared by the Ministry of Finance (FM) on the launch of the Latvian-Swiss Cooperation Programme, the areas to be supported and the distribution of funding, so that negotiations with Switzerland on the conclusion of the bilateral Framework Agreement between Latvia and Switzerland could continue.
Planned Swiss Contribution funding for Latvia is 40.4 million CHF (Swiss francs), indicative of €41.1 million for investments in focused areas by December 2029. This will be the second period of the Latvian-Swiss Cooperation Programme, the previous one concluded in 2017.
"We are grateful to Switzerland for appreciation of existing national cooperation and trust, providing new contribution over €40 million, which will be invested in four areas in the coming years: vocational education, science and innovation, health and environmental protection. The results of the first period of the Latvian-Swiss Cooperation Programme in 2017 showed that in Latvia we are able to make full use of the support by carrying out important projects in all regions of Latvia. We are committed to do the same in this, new, support period also!” emphasizes the Minister for Finance Jānis Reirs.
Following initial bilateral technical exploratory talks with experts from the FM and the authorities responsible for the fields, Switzerland informed the FM of its proposal for thematic areas supported by the second Swiss Contribution and the distribution of funding based on bilateral interests raised by Switzerland.
Accordingly, the approval of Cabinet of Ministers on September 6, is the first official step closer to the implementation of second Swiss Contribution in Latvia. Following this decision, the FM will inform the donorstate of the Latvian Government’s approval of a specific allocation of funding for thematic areas. The FM and the competent line ministries will continue to work on the preparation of the necessary documentation to launch real investment implementation period in areas such as: Research and Innovation, Vocational and professional education and training, Development of Child Cancer Care in Latvia and Remediation of historically polluted areas. Depending on the process of elaboration and reconciliation the detailed documentation, the implementation of the first programmes could be indicatively started in the second half of year 2023.