Bilateral Profiles and National Agencies > Germany

General information on German development cooperation

The German government is seeking with its development policy to help make globalization an opportunity for all. The sectors that German development cooperation is focusing on in particular are:

  • Education
  • Health
  • Rural development
  • Good governance

Sustainable economic development

The six priority areas for German development cooperation are:

  1. Sustainable poverty reduction
  2. Reducing structural deficits
  3. Encouraging civil society involvement
  4. Making private sector activities deliver for development
  5. Enhancing the effectiveness of German development cooperation
  6. Improving visibility of development policy

The development policy of the Federal Republic of Germany is formulated by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). BMZ draws upon the German Government’s development policy guidelines and fundamental concepts, and defines the rules by which they are put into practice. For the implementation of the development projects and programmes, BMZ commissions so-called implementing agencies. KfW Bankengruppe (KfW) and Deutsche Entwicklungs- und Investitionsgesellschaft mbH (DEG) are responsible for financial cooperation while GIZ is responsible for technical cooperation. Two specialized agencies – Federal Institute of Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR) and the German Metrology Institute “Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt” (PTB) – also implement projects on behalf of BMZ within their respective areas of expertise.

Aid for Trade (AfT) Strategy

The priority goal of German trade-related development policy is to assist partner countries in successfully integrating themselves into the global economic system and regional economic communities, diversifying their economies and exports and using trade in goods and services and FDI to effectively reduce poverty in the context of sustainable development. This includes:

  • Strengthening negotiation capacities and capacities for policy design with the goal of improving the partner’s ability to more effectively influence national, regional and international economic framework conditions for trade in the interest of their own development goals;
  • Enhancing capacities to effectively implement agreements and policies. This includes the ability of partners to guide trade policy towards coherence, poverty orientation and social and economic sustainability, in order to increase the positive effects of trade liberalization;
  • Increasing partner countries’ own trade capacities, and specifically the export and supply capacities of the private sector;
  • Improving integration into regional and international value chains and strengthening compliance with social and environmental standards:
    • Strengthening the private sector and civil society;
    • Developing economic infrastructure.

Through synergies, AfT can also help achieve goals in other policy areas, for example, improving the socio-economic position of women, protecting the environment and human rights, if projects are oriented, for example, to the employment of women or compliance with environmental and social standards. By integrating trade, patent and environmental legislative concerns, AfT promotes the protection and sustainable use of biodiversity in developing countries. AfT also aims to improve the availability of basic foods through production, storage and marketing, and thus to contribute to food security.

In line with the five AfT categories defined by the WTO, German development cooperation approaches AfT in a holistic and comprehensive manner. Trade aspects are understood as an incremental part of every country’s path towards economic development and should therefore be included when a partner country designs its national development strategy or relevant sector strategies. The aim is to help diversifying their economies and exports as well as using trade in goods and services and foreign direct investment to more effectively create employment and reduce poverty.

The WTO definition of AfT distinguishes between the narrow definition of trade-related assistance (TRA), covering the categories of trade policy and regulation (1) and trade development (2) and broad AfT (all five categories, i.e. additionally including building productive capacities, infrastructure and trade-related adjustment). TRA promotes specific and mostly immaterial trade capacities (human capital, technical, institutional and regulatory practices, trade environment and services).

Germany provides assistance in all categories of AfT, at both individual country level and regional/ supra-regional level. The German AfT approach with its pro-poor focus and orientation to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), its priorities and delivery mechanisms is in line with the EU AfT Strategy. In order to achieve these goals, German trade-related development policy aims at assisting partner countries in successfully integrating themselves into the global economic system and regional economic communities. Germany participates in donor coordination efforts and is increasingly engaged in joint programming, analysis and delivery. Besides its bilateral AfT programmes, Germany funds measures implemented by multilateral organizations such as the WTO (Doha Development Agenda Global Trust Fund), UNCTAD, ITC, EIF and UNIDO.

Within German development policy, trade is a cross-sectoral issue, meaning that it is part of various bilateral development priorities and programmes. AfT support can be embedded as a component in a broader programme, or it can be a primary goal in programmes in areas such as sustainable economic development, food security and agriculture, conservation and sustainable use of natural resources, or democracy and public administration. Priority areas for German AfT are based on the comparative advantage and experience of German Development Cooperation as well as partner needs. In its AfT-Strategy, BMZ sets out future priority areas for German AfT. These include regional economic integration, trade facilitation, quality infrastructure and the integration of trade in partner countries’ development strategies in a systemic and poverty-sensitive way. The potential of regional and international export markets are systematically incorporated into the design of measures for developing productive capacities. Over the last decade, Germany ranked third among bilateral donors, behind Japan and the US, in total AfT contributions, making it first among EU Member States.

In line with the joint EU AfT Strategy, Germany’s geographical AfT focus is on ACP countries, particularly Sub-Saharan Africa. Asia and the Americas are other important regions of German AfT, especially with regards to building productive capacity. As part of its regional AfT strategy, Germany is in the process of increasing bilateral cooperation with regional integration commissions and secretariats. Here, cooperation focuses on institution building and organizational development, as well as trade aspects of regional integration, such as implementing trade protocols in goods and services.

The principles of the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness are at the core of the German approach to development. German support is aligned with the respective priorities of the partner countries. It recognizes and encourages ownership of partner countries and is demand-driven. Germany is actively supporting an increased results orientation, also regarding AfT.

The success of German AfT programmes is defined by their contribution to the following goals: (a) a strengthened capacity of policy design in national, regional and international fora, (b) an enhanced capacity to effectively implement agreements and policies, (c) increased partner countries’ own trade capacity, (d) improved integration into regional and international value chains and strengthened compliance with social and environmental standards, (e) a strengthened private sector and civil society, (f) a more developed economic infrastructure. Through synergies, AfT programmes can also contribute to achieving goals in other policy areas (e.g. protecting the environment and human rights, the sustainable use of biodiversity or by contributing to food security).

To use AfT effectively as an instrument for employment creation, poverty reduction and sustainable development, the success of the interventions is continuously being monitored by using a results-based framework. The orientation on the above-mentioned targeted results of German AfT projects and programmes has been further strengthened over the last years by putting even greater attention on measurable results and the incorporation of corresponding indicators. Systematic project reviews are identifying the key barriers to trade and corresponding concrete AfT needs. In accordance with the managing-for-results approach, funds are then used so that the set objectives are achieved in the most effective manner, taking into account the partner’s requests. Results are monitored in the course of the projects using customised results-based monitoring systems. The projects are subjected to interim evaluations so that any necessary corrective action can be taken. Independent final and ex post evaluations provide a concluding or retrospective assessment of the success of German AfT measures.

Principal official agency responsible for TCB assistance to developing countries


Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)

Bonn office
Postfach 12 03 22
D-53045 Bonn

Dahlmannstrasse 4
D-53113 Bonn

Central switchboard

Tel: +49 22 899 5350
Fax: +49 22 899 535 3500

Berlin office

Stresemannstrasse 94
D-10963 Berlin

Tel: +49 3 018 5350
Fax: +49 3 018 535 2501



Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ): The Federal Republic of Germany has been engaged in development cooperation since 1952. The growing importance of this field of policy and the complexity of this work led, in 1961, to the establishment of BMZ. BMZ draws up the German Government’s development policy guidelines and fundamental concepts, lays down its long-term development cooperation strategies, defines the rules by which they are put into practice, and steers the field operations of German implementing agencies in programming, sectoral policies and the geographical allocation of funds. BMZ is guided in this by the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. The work of BMZ is subject to parliamentary control, and a specialist Committee on Economic Cooperation and Development (AwZ) is responsible for this. BMZ is responsible for Germany’s contribution to multilateral organizations: this includes financial contributions to the European Development Fund, shares in the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the regional development banks, and support for the United Nations programmes and funds.

For more information: E-mail: and

Other government and official agencies with responsibilities directly relevant to TCB


Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH

Friedrich-Ebert-Allee 40
D-53113 Bonn

Tel: +49 228 4460 0
Fax: +49 228 4460 1766

Dag-Hammarskjöld-Weg 1-5
D-65726 Eschborn

Tel: +49 619 6790
Fax: +49 619 679 1115



Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ): GIZ is an international cooperation enterprise for sustainable development with worldwide operations. The services delivered by GIZ draw on a wealth of regional and technical expertise and tried and tested management know-how. As a federal enterprise, GIZ supports the German Government in achieving its objectives in the field of international cooperation for sustainable development. The GIZ Trade Programme provides advisory services to BMZ on international trade negotiations and the dissemination of tools and instruments for the mainstreaming of trade-related assistance in German development cooperation.

For more information: E-mail: and


DEG (Deutsche Entwicklungs- und Investitionsgesellschaft) mbH

Kämmergasse 22
D-50676 Köln

Tel: +49 2 214 9860
Fax: +49 2 214 986 1290



Deutsche Entwicklungs- und Investitionsgesellschaft mbH (DEG): Since 2001, DEG has been a member of KfW Group and is thus an integral part of its international project activities such as exports finance and financial cooperation with developing countries. Its mission is to promote private enterprise initiatives in developing countries and countries undergoing reform. As a market-oriented investment and development company, DEG provides equity and risk capital to private business structures in partner countries of German development cooperation.

For more information: E-mail: and


KfW Bankengruppe

Palmengartenstrasse 5-9
D-60325 Frankfurt am Main

Tel: +49 697 4310
Fax: +49 697 431 2944




Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW) Entwicklungsbank: On behalf of the Federal Government, KfW Entwicklungsbank administers Germany’s official Financial Cooperation in more than 100 developing and transition countries in Africa, Asia, South and Central America, the Middle East and the Caucasus. Its priority areas of activity include poverty reduction and economic development, good governance, education and health care, and protection of the climate and the environment. In this way the bank helps the Federal Government achieve its developmental goals. KfW IPEX-Bank GmbH is one of the leading funders in international project and export finance. KfW Entwicklungsbank is part of the KfW Group and Germany’s leading development bank, cooperating with partners all over the world.

For more information: E-mail: and or

Other official or government trade-related organizations

Centre for International Migration and Development (CIM): Founded in 1980, CIM is largely financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), but other ministries, state and para-statal institutions, non-governmental organizations and the private sector also contribute to its programmes. CIM runs the Integrated Experts Programme, which places highly qualified experts from Germany and other EU countries with companies and organizations in developing and transition countries. It also runs the Returning Experts Programme, which provides advice and a placement service to individuals from developing countries, emerging economies and transition states, who have completed training courses in Germany, or are working in Germany but are interested in reintegrating into a career at home.

For more information: Email: and

Deutsche Akkreditierungsstelle (DAkkS): DAkkS is the German accreditation body and is, among other things, responsible for the accreditation of testing and research laboratories, of certification bodies and of inspection bodies in the voluntary area as well as for the accreditation of material-testing and chemical analytical bodies in Germany.

For more information:


Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe (BGR)

Geozentrum Hannover
Stilleweg 2 D-30655 Hannover

Tel.: +49 511 643 0
Fax.: +49 511 643 2304



Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB)
Bundesallee 100
D-38116 Braunschweig

Tel.: +49 531 592 3006
Fax.: +49 531 592 3008



Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR): BGR is the central geoscientific authority providing advice to the German Federal Government in all geo-relevant questions and is a subordinate of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi) . BGR advises BMZ in the fields of energy and mineral raw materials, groundwater, soil, usage of the deeper subsoil and risk analyses and carries out technical cooperation projects with developing countries, directly commissioned through BMZ.

For more information: and

Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM): BAM is a senior scientific and technical Federal Institute with responsibility to the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi) . Among other things, BAM is active in the field of international technology transfer with a focus on conformity assessment, accreditation and management systems. Aims are the removal of technical barriers to trade by mutual recognition of accreditation of testing, calibration, certification and inspection bodies, assistance in partner countries for integration in regional and international trade systems and the increase of technical safety and reliability. The activities of BAM cover projects of technical co-operation financed by BMZ and its implementing organisations or by the European Commission as well as EU-funded projects on behalf of BMWi.

For more information: or

Federal Office of Economics and Export Control (BAFA): BAFA is a federal authority subordinated to the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi) . As a central import and export licensing authority, it is responsible for the administrative implementation of the Federal Government’s import and export control policy.

For more information:

German Business Portal: The German Business Portal is the central contact platform that steers all inquiries about Germany through the right channels with the goal of making Germany and its domestic market more transparent to foreign companies interested in Germany as a location for their businesses. The website was initiated by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology.

For more information:

German Chamber Network (AHK): The members of the German Chamber Network, the AHKs, are present in all countries of particular interest for German industry and commerce, providing services in support of both German and host country companies in the development of their business.

For more information:

German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) is a multi-disciplinary think tank for German and multilateral development policy, mostly working for BMZ. It draws together the knowledge of development research available worldwide, dedicating its work to key issues facing the future of development policy. DIE is a partnership between the Federal Republic of Germany and the State of North Rhine-Westphalia.

For more information: E-mail: and

German Institute for Standardization (DIN): DIN develops norms and standards as a service to industry, the state and society as a whole. It is the acknowledged national standards body that represents German interests in European and international standards organizations. At international level, its goal is to develop standards that have validity worldwide. These help remove technical barriers to trade and add to the exporting strength of German industry. DIN is also the WTO national enquiry point for technical barriers to trade.

For more information:

German Patent and Trade Mark Office (DPMA): DPMA is a service provider in the field of industrial property (IP) protection in Germany with the duty of granting, registering, administering and publishing IP rights for technical and industrial innovations. At the interface between innovative ideas and their realization, the DPMA thus contributes significantly to securing the competitiveness of Germany as a location for business and industry. It cooperates with partners, authorities and institutions involved in IP protection. Its activities in the national and international environments play an important role in raising awareness of IP matters among the public and provide information on the growing significance of IP rights in the age of globalization.

For more information: E-mail: and

Germany Trade and Invest: This government agency advises foreign companies seeking to expand their businessactivities in the German market, and makes information on foreign trade available to German companies seeking to tap into foreign markets. It provides comprehensive and client-oriented economic and industrial data as well as information about calls for proposals in foreign countries, investment and development projects, and legal and customs regulations.

For more information:

Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB): PTB is the German national metrology institute and the highest technical authority under the auspices of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWI) . It provides scientific and technical services, including conformity assessment services, though its certification body, and it works as an implementing agency for BMZ, performing TRA measures in the area of improving quality standards and sanitary and phytosanitary standards in developing countries.

For more information: E-mail: and

For information on Certification Body: E-mail: and

Non-governmental organizations involved in TCB

Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES): FES is a non-profit German political foundation committed to the advancement of public policy issues in the spirit of the basic values of social democracy through education, research, and international cooperation. It helps with the preparation of free and fair elections, supports the decentralization of state structures and fosters economic and socio-political dialogue.

For more information: E-mail: and

Friedrich Naumann Foundation (FNF): FNF is a non-profit German foundation for liberal politics. It promotes the principles of civic education, international political dialogues, and political counselling. The foundation has numerous offices in Europe, Africa, America and Asia. Its activities in the field of civic education consist of seminars, conferences and publications aimed at promoting liberal values and principles. Its international political dialogue programme provides a discussion forum for a wide range of liberal issues. The foundation’s counselling programmes focus on candidates for political office, liberal political parties and other democratic organizations.

For more information: E-mail: and

Heinrich Böll Foundation: Heinrich Böll Foundation is a political foundation with close ties to the German Green party, working as a think tank for green visions and projects and is inter alia active in the field of international cooperation. Its largest source of funding in this area is BMZ, for example financing activities focusing on climate protection in developing and emerging countries. Additional project funding is received from the Federal Foreign Office (AA) and the EU.

For more information: E-mail: and

Konrad Adenauer Foundation (KAS): KAS is a political foundation whose programmes aim at promoting liberty, peace and justice and focus on consolidating democracy, on the unification of Europe and on the strengthening of transatlantic relations, as well as on development cooperation. As a think tank and consulting agency, KAS undertakes research and analysis in the spheres of politics, economy, science, and societal issues, and a number of research and policy discussions on globalisation and international trade.

For more information: E-mail: and

Rosa Luxemburg Foundation (RLF): RLF is a political foundation in the intellectual current of democratic socialism and is committed to international cooperation and solidarity. The most important areas of international cooperation of RLF are social and democratic participation, empowering politically and socially disadvantaged groups, alternatives for social development, conflict prevention and peaceful conflict resolution as well as the future of the EU. Toward these ends, RLF cooperates with different organisations, left and democratic socialist parties, trade unions, women’s organisations and the new social movements. RLF projects are funded by BMZ and the Federal Foreign office (AA).

For more information: E-mail: and

Senior Expert Service (SES): The Foundation of German Industry for International Cooperation (Stiftung der deutschen Wirtschaft für internationale Zusammenarbeit) is a non-profit organization offering interested retirees the opportunity to pass on their skills and knowledge to others, both within Germany and abroad.

For more information: E-mail: and

TCB cooperation initiatives with UN/international agencies and bilateral partners

German AfT is coordinated by BMZ. Besides the bilateral German AfT programmes, Germany participates in donors’ coordination efforts and is increasingly engaged in joint programming, analysis and delivery. Germany funds measures implemented by multilateral organizations such as the WTO (Doha Development Agenda Global Trust Fund), UNCTAD, ITC, EIF and UNIDO.

German development policy is also active at the international level in support of an increased results orientation of AfT. This applies particularly to the processes for managing for development results (MfDR), evaluation and indicator formulation within the framework of OECD and WTO. German development policy puts a great emphasis on ensuring reciprocal accountability between donors and recipients on the basis of the Paris declaration. The goal is to orient results chains towards poverty reduction and to develop indicators and evaluation methods in order to increase mutual accountability. The important goal of mutual accountability between donors and partner country governments in the area of AfT is supported by Germany’s involvement in developing and implementing the OECD’s AfT monitoring framework and the EU’s AfT monitoring reporting practices. Germany also supports the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) which can be considered as the “translation” of the Paris Agenda for AfT.

For project examples of cooperation initiatives of the German government with international agencies, please see below:

  • WTO Doha Development Agenda Global Trust Fund (DDAGTF) in the category Trade policy development
  • UNCTAD/Germany Trust Fund for WTO accessions in the category Legal and regulatory framework

Selected TCB programmes and initiatives in this guide


  • GIZ Trade Programme
  • Economic Partnership Agreement Studies
  • Support in the area of trade in services


  • Developing Regional Institutions
  • Strengthening the Secretariat of the Southern African Development Community (SADC)
  • WTO Doha Development Agenda Global Trust Fund (DDAGTF)


  • UNCTAD/Germany Trust Fund for WTO accessions


  • Cotton Made in Africa
  • Kenya Private Sector Development in Agriculture
  • Rural production and trade
  • Thai-German Programme for Enterprise Competitiveness


  • Support to the EAC integration process


  • Enhancement of Regional Business Associations – East Africa Business Council (EABC), Arusha, Tanzania


  • Promotion of intra-regional trade potentials in the SAARC region (SAARC Trade Promotion Network, SAARC-TPN)


  • Supporting economic development through trade in Central Asia


  • Transport corridors – Namibia
  • Markets – Bangladesh


  • Access to trade financing, e-commerce and market analyses
  • Banking and financial services
  • Establishment of financial services for small enterprises
  • Financial System Development (FSD) Programme