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Sweden invests in sustainable growth and mobilises new capital for green and digital transition


Sweden is a leading donor of development assistance, but meeting the funding needs for a green and digital transition requires closer cooperation between development assistance and trade, greater mobilisation of private capital and harnessing the business sector’s innovation capacity. A current example of this is Sweden’s partnership with Bangladesh, which HRH Crown Princess Victoria visited together with Minister for International Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Johan Forssell on 18–21 March.

Strong partnerships needed to meet challenges

There is a major gap between needs and funding available for meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Swedish Government is working to combat poverty through job creation, trade and growth. For the Government, it is of the utmost importance that partnerships create positive change, assistance goes to the right things in the right places and all activities have a high level of transparency. 

No country can lift itself out of poverty through international development assistance alone; improving the prospects of strong economies and trade in partner countries is key. By engaging the business sector, private capital can be mobilised, job opportunities can be created and growth can be achieved.

Swedish businesses have great potential – the Swedish business sector is innovative and often a leader in green and digital transition. The Government is scaling up climate aid and making it more effective so as to better support partner countries’ efforts to adapt to climate change.

Sweden – a leading donor

Sweden is a leading donor of humanitarian and development assistance and climate finance. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) plays a central role in the implementation of the SDGs and is one of Sweden’s major partner organisations within the UN system. Sweden’s core support to UNDP in 2024 amounts to SEK 413 million.

Sweden and Bangladesh – an example

Bangladesh has made an impressive economic and social development journey in recent years and is expected to go from a low-income country to a middle-income country in 2026. However, the country is also grappling with the consequences of rising energy and food prices and challenges resulting from having received around one million Rohingya refugees. In addition, Bangladesh is one of the most vulnerable countries in terms of natural disasters caused by climate change.

The partnership between Sweden and Bangladesh goes back more than 50 years and comprises long-term development cooperation and extensive trade. The countries are currently cooperating to identify sustainable solutions, particularly in the textile industry. The green and digital transition helps create more jobs and sustainable growth in Bangladesh, an area in which the business sector and Swedish companies play an important role. 

HRH The Crown Princess visited Bangladesh

On 18–21 March, HRH Crown Princess Victoria visited Bangladesh together with Mr Forssell. The trip focused on the country’s progress and ongoing challenges in the implementation of the SDGs, as well as trade and the private sector’s key contributions to sustainable development in Bangladesh.

HRH Crown Princess Victoria, new Goodwill Ambassador for UNDP

On 17 October 2023, HRH Crown Princess Victoria – who has long shown a deep commitment to sustainable development – was appointed as a new Goodwill Ambassador for UNDP and the SDGs.

In this role, HRH The Crown Princess works in Sweden and globally to raise awareness of, and engagement in, the SDGs and a sustainable future where no one is left behind. The visit to Bangladesh on 18–21 March was HRH The Crown Princess’s first trip as Goodwill Ambassador for the SDGs.