Development cooperation and

At you find business opportunities and projects that make an impactful contribution to development cooperation.

International development cooperation (formerly also called development aid) is the goal of the global community of states to fight hunger and poverty in the world and to create strong and sustainable economic, social, ecological and political conditions.

Image 1: The safeguarding of people's livelihoods worldwide is a core objective of development cooperation.

Help for self-help

In contrast to humanitarian aid - for example, in the case of natural disasters - international development cooperation aims to help bring about a lasting improvement in conditions for the population and to enable developing and emerging countries to shape their development in a self-determined and self-reliant manner for the benefit of their society.

The term development aid originated in the 1960s, when numerous colonies became independent and needed support in building up an independent states.

Today, international development cooperation encompasses a range of different measures, projects and themes that serve to build up, economically, technically and socially promote and further develop developing countries on an equal footing.

Win-win situation

International development policy is not geared to handouts, but recognises that, due to the close interdependence of national economies, industrialised countries are also dependent on a stable world economy. After all, wars, violent conflicts, financial or economic crises in Africa, Asia or South America have a direct impact on security and prosperity in other regions. International development cooperation therefore not only helps the recipients, but also the donors.

For this reason, the member states of the United Nations have set 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) (called Agenda 2030) to promote sustainable development around the world by improving health and quality education, reducing inequality and boosting economic growth, among other things. At the same time, the SDGs serve to combat climate change and preserve livelihoods, such as oceans and forests.

Image 2: The international community has agreed to 17 sustainability goals

Development cooperation/development aid works

Although the world's states spend more than ten times as much money on armaments and the military than on development cooperation, the results of international development cooperation are nevertheless impressive: In the past 20 years, the number of people living in absolute poverty worldwide has fallen by more than half.

The total expenditure of OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation) states on development cooperation in 2019 was just under 153 billion US dollars, while Germany's net payments for development aid as part of official development cooperation in the same year were around 24 billion dollars. This makes Germany the second largest donor after the USA (with $33 billion in 2019).

Image 3: Climate action is central to sustainable development

Global responsibility

Syria is the largest recipient of German bilateral payments for development aid. The country, shaken by civil war, received around 684 million euros from the federal government in 2019. India received about 530 million euros in the same year. Other recipient countries were, for example, Iraq, Afghanistan and Jordan.

The example of India shows how multifaceted development cooperation is: because there - in contrast to Africa, for example - the focus is not on fighting poverty, but on climate protection and thus securing the global basis of life.

This shows how many areas the German government's international cooperation and development aid programmes are working in. For example, innovations for sustainable agriculture are also being promoted, solar energy is being established, further training and qualification measures for local staff in various sectors are being offered, economic networks are being supported, digital innovations and modern infrastructure are being promoted.

Implementation in the partner countries is usually carried out by the Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. However, responsibility does not always lie exclusively with one institution, but also with non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and other partners, depending on the respective project design.

Image 4: Business opportunities on

Development cooperation with

The matchmaking platform is one of the many measures by German development cooperation funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). With, the focus lieson attracting private-sector companies to participate in development cooperation projects, from which all cooperation partners benefit: the companies, by opening up new and lucrative markets for their products and services in Africa, South America or Asia, for example, and contributing to sustainable development, and developing countries, which profit from the know-how and/or the investments.

Discover all profitable and at the same time sustainable business opportunities of German development cooperation here at


Hero Image Juliana Kozoski, Unsplash 2022 (1) Thomas Gamstaetter, Unsplash, 2022 (2) SDGs Design Unit, 2022 (3) veeterzy, Unsplash, 2022 (4), 2022

Toast content has launched a special call supporting companies in Ukraine and Moldova, as well as civil society organisations in Germany. Find out more on the special pages.