Who we are

The Swiss Import Promotion Programme (SIPPO) is a well-established mandate of the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) within the framework of its economic development cooperation.

SIPPO aims to better integrate developing and emerging countries into world trade. While export companies in SIPPO countries may have good products to offer to importers in foreign markets, they struggle finding ways to reach out to potential buyers. Likewise, there are importers in target markets looking for suppliers with great products but sourcing them abroad is a challenging and time-consuming task.

Thus, SIPPO’s focus is to support this «last mile» of the supply chain, where exporters and importers connect together. Business Support Organisations (BSOs) are the point of contact to bridge this «last mile» and to facilitate market access and exports to Switzerland, the EU, and regional markets.

Thus, SIPPO exclusively supports BSOs in SIPPO countries (public or private organisations like trade promotion organisations, export promotion boards, sector associations, chambers of commerce, etc.) in improving their export promotion service portfolio towards export-ready companies in their countries.

Through competent local SIPPO teams and in collaboration with a network of international and national experts, the SIPPO programme enhances the performance of the selected BSOs in two areas:   

  1. Improving BSO’s trade promotion activities through capacity development in market research, trade fair participation, selling missions, buyer missions and study tours.
  2. Supporting BSOs in their organisational development, strategic planning and positioning, project cycle management, knowledge sharing and continuous learning.

SIPPO is active in 11 partner countries and 6 sectors: Fish & Seafood, Processed Foods, Natural Ingredients, Technical Wood, Value-added Textiles and Sustainable Tourism.

SIPPO has been implemented by Swisscontact since 2017 in partnership with BHP Brugger and Partners and Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation and is now in its Phase 2 (2021-2025).

About us

The situation in South Africa

South Africa is one of the most sophisticated, diverse and promising emerging markets in the world. The country has a well-developed, diversified manufacturing base that has shown its potential to compete globally as a credible international role player, which supplies high quality products at competitive prices.

The South African government has identified agriculture and agro processing as one of the crucial economic sectors to transform the economy through sustainable employment creation, business opportunities, investment attraction and growing the export base.

The country has one of the most open economies in the world (exports and imports collectively represented approximately 51% of GDP in 2020), and with preferential access to numerous global markets. 


Our two sectors

SIPPO supports BSOs through capacity building in two sectors: Natural Ingredients and Processed Foods.

Processed Foods

Processed Foods

South Africa’s agro-processing sector is a key sector for its potential to spur economic growth and create sustainable employment, largely because of its strong backward linkage with the primary agriculture sector. Canned and frozen fruit...

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Natural Ingredients

Natural Ingredients

With its rich biodiversity as the third most bio-diverse country in the world, South Africa is a highly viable source for natural ingredients, with unique opportunities and growing demand in international markets.Natural ingredients are na...

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Our Team – Your Contact

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