ExperTS Program

Developing the economy worldwide

An expert in development cooperation at a Chamber of Commerce abroad? What seems unusual at first sight has proven itself for years. In about 30 countries the ExperTS advise local, German and European companies on development policy issues in four main areas:

  • Sustainable economic development: Through the promotion of exports and innovation, the ExperTS support a sustainable development of the local economy.
  • Energy and Environment: The ExperTS promote climate and environmental protection via the transfer of knowledge and technology.
  • Vocational training: Together with the business community, the ExperTS develop offers for the vocational education and training of skilled workers.
  • Digitization and Startups: The ExperTS match start-ups and their digital innovations to private and public sector partners.

The aim of the ExperTS program is to promote sustainable economic activity worldwide and to create the conditions for companies to engage in development policy in the partner countries. As local contact persons, the ExperTS support medium-sized companies in particular in developing new markets, initiating innovative cooperation and making their commitment profitable for all parties. The program, which is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), bridges the gap between development cooperation and foreign trade promotion and creates the foundation for sustainable local economic development.

As Integrated Experts, the ExperTS are connected through the Center for International Migration and Development (CIM). They are employed locally at the respective foreign trade chambers and receive a salary subsidy from the ExperTS program. The programme is implemented by the German Association for International Cooperation (GIZ) GmbH together with the Chambers of Commerce and Delegations of German Business.

ExperTS works

Since 2011, the ExperTS have contributed to:

  • Approximately 23,000 people have undergone training or further education and thus have better access to the labor market.
  • More than 12,000 people have found a job.
  • A good 9,000 people benefit from better working conditions and just as many earn a higher income
  • The training of energy managers saved a good 1.6 million tonnes of greenhouse gases

additional Information

 For example, the experts advise on the following offers:

Development partnerships with industry: The goals of private enterprises and development cooperation actors often overlap. With, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) promotes private sector involvement where entrepreneurial opportunities and development policy meet.

The program is aimed at companies that invest in developing and emerging countries and want to make their entrepreneurial commitment sustainable. With these firms receive financial and, on request, professional support. The company contributes at least half of the total costs, to which the BMZ contributes up to 200,000 euros.

As part of, companies always cooperate with one of the three public partners which implement the program on behalf of BMZ:

  • DEG - Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH,
  • German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) GmbH

Since the program began in 1999 and DEG, GIZ have carried out more than 1,500 development partnerships with the German and the European economy.

How to apply
Four times a year companies can submit an expression of interest in so-called idea-competitions at DEG, GIZ or sequa. All German and European companies as well as their subsidiaries in developing and emerging countries can participate.

Development partnerships with businesses, which have the potential to deliver outstanding development benefits and cover several countries, can be more widely promoted as strategic development partnerships outside the idea competitions.

More information about the current idea-competition can be found here.

Project Development Program (PEP)

The energy demand in emerging and developing countries is growing rapidly and investments in energy supply therefore do not tolerate any delay. At the same time, these future markets have great natural and technical potential for renewable energies. As the cost of technologies continues to decline, renewable energy sources are becoming an increasingly attractive alternative to traditional energy production. Products and services of German companies offer reliable, innovative and high-quality solutions tailored to local conditions.

Engagement in emerging and developing countries is a particular challenge for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The Project Development Program (PEP) accompanies German companies in their move into these promising, yet often still difficult markets. The PEP is being implemented by GIZ as part of the Exportinitiative Erneuerbare Energien (EEE) (Renewable Energy Export Initiative) of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi).

The project promotes business partnerships between German and local companies and accompanies them over the long term in the various phases of market positioning and project development. It supports the transfer of technologies and know-how, promotes sustainable market structures and the distribution of renewable energies and energy-efficient solutions.

Currently, activities are concentrated in Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam in Southeast Asia as well as in Botswana, Ghana, Madagascar, Mali, Mozambique, Kenya, Zambia and Tanzania in sub-Saharan Africa. Since foreign trade promotion structures already exist in the destination countries, PEP closely coordinates planned courses of action with the delegations or German Chambers of Commerce and Industry. Thus, synergies, experiences and networks of foreign trade promotion and development cooperation are bundled together and can achieve greater effects.