The SWITCH-Asia regional programme was launched in 2007 as part of the European Union’s priority to support a programme of sustainable consumption and production (SCP) in its regional cooperation strategy with Asia. As of 2023, the programme covers 41 countries in Asia, the Middle-East and the Pacific. It addresses emerging economies as well as least-developed and major CO2 emitting countries. The engagement of the programme with stakeholders is twofold:
The Policy Support Component (PSC) provides direct support to regional organisations, national governments and related implementing agencies in charge of policies and regulatory frameworks relevant to SCP. This component has been playing a key role in ensuring the coherence of activities and the communication of results to regional and EU stakeholders.
The activities are implemented through a consortium composed by GOPA and Niras.
The Grant Scheme Component targets micro, small and medium sized enterprises (MSMEs), business organisations and industrial clusters, retailers, chambers of commerce, national clean production centres, and universities, and NGOs and consumer organisations willing to test and adopt cleaner and more sustainable production processes, improve the sustainability of their products and change their consumption behaviours. Under this scheme, partnerships are established involving both organisations from the EU and from the region. The ultimate goal of this component is to facilitate the large replication of sustainable production and consumption practices in MSMEs in the region through investments.
Since the launch of the programme more than 140 projects have been funded with an average grant size of EUR 1.7 million across a wide range of sectors including energy efficiency in industrial plants and houses, agri-food and fishing sectors, textiles and leather, tourism, logistics and freight. These have been implemented by over 500 Asian and European partners and some 100 private sector associates, which indirectly benefitted up to 80,000 MSMEs (detailed information about the grant projects carried out from 2008 onwards can be found in the Grants Book published in 2023).
The evidence provided by grant projects is meant to feed into policy and regulatory dialogues with national governments for the elaboration and implementation of national policies, regulatory frameworks and policy instruments related to SCP, a circular and green economy, in collaboration with the EU Delegations and ad-hoc Focal Points in Ministries in eligible countries.
Synergies among the SWITCH-Asia programme and regional and international organisations ensure complementarities in the support provided to national governments in terms of policy development, for example in SCP practices like green building codes. The programme also builds collaboration with financial institutions, essential for promoting (new) green financing for MSMEs and for the wider replication of SCP practices tested through the SWITCH-Asia grants.
Support the transition of countries to a low-carbon, resource-efficient and circular economy while promoting sustainable production and consumption patterns within Asia, the Middle-East and the Pacific, and greener supply chains between these regions and Europe.