Triangular cooperation between Malaysia, Germany and developing countries in Southeast Asian

Project description

Title: Conceptual and structural strengthening of Malaysia for the implementation of development cooperation programmes and projects in partner countries
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Countries: Malaysia and Southeast Asian developing countries
Lead executing agency: Malaysian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), Malaysia Technical Cooperation Programme (MTCP)
Overall term: 2012 to 2016


Emerging economies have significantly expanded their South-South cooperation in recent years. As a consequence, the interest in triangular cooperation has also risen. As an emerging economy, Malaysia has moved on from being a beneficiary country in development cooperation and now increasingly assumes responsibility for development in the region, and for the regional integration process. Bilateral cooperation between Germany and Malaysia came to an end in 2011.

All the same, because of its work to support regional integration and South-South cooperation, Malaysia remains an important partner in Southeast Asia for the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). In triangular cooperation arrangements, which are a new form of partnership for Germany and Malaysia, the two countries are building on the experiences gained through their bilateral cooperation.


Malaysia is strategically and structurally capable of implementing development cooperation programmes and projects in partner countries, including the development of triangular projects.


This project provides the framework for triangular cooperation between Malaysia, Germany and developing countries in Southeast Asia. Joint development projects are planned and implemented to enable these countries to benefit from Germany and Malaysia’s experiences and competences. GIZ advises Malaysia on the systematic development of its structures and resources, and on shaping the processes necessary for triangular projects. It also provides support for the design and implementation of sustainable project ideas, in close collaboration with the target countries.

These activities are enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of Malaysia’s development activities, especially that of the Malaysian Technical Cooperation Programme (MTCP) in the Malaysian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Furthermore, Malaysia is acquiring the capacity to develop its own strategic and structural competences for the design, preparation and management of development measures.

The target countries will include the least developed countries of Southeast Asia, such as Laos, Cambodia, and Timor-Leste. Priority areas are vocational education, economic and rural development, and fishery.

Results achieved so far

Malaysia now gives its development cooperation activities a strategic orientation, and it is fulfilling its obligations as part of the ASEAN community to support the community’s least developed countries. Germany is now seen in the region as a respected coach for development cooperation. In a dialogue with the MTCP, the partners are finding ways of intensifying the target countries’ self-reliance, and of increasing the sustainability of the projects. Exchanges of experience and transfers of technical and sector-specific know-how, as well as the provision of high-quality training, both in Malaysia and in the target countries, have prompted a range sustainable change processes.

A pilot project on corporate social responsibility in Cambodia’s ports has been successfully completed, and another measure has been started in the fisheries sector of Timor-Leste. Three more measures are also in the pipeline.

The following measures are currently being implemented as part of the project