China and Germany: working together to achieve sustainable development

The German-Chinese centre for sustainable development strengthens cooperation between the two countries. They are particularly keen to work together in Africa and Asia.

Talking to one another, learning from each other and implementing specific goals together –Germany and China have been doing this for a long time in many areas. And they are now taking this cooperation a step further: the two countries want to work together on joint projects with countries in Africa and along the Silk Road to contribute towards their development. China and Germany are building on their strengths: China is the largest investor in infrastructure in Africa, while Germany invests expertise first and foremost in sustainable development, for example in vocational training and environmental technology.

The pinnacle of this cooperation is the new German-Chinese centre for sustainable development in Beijing. Gerd Müller, Germany’s Federal Development Minister, opened the centre together with Zhong Shan, his counterpart from the Chinese Ministry of Commerce. ‘Only together with China will we be able to meet the global challenges we are facing, from climate action to a world without hunger all the way to reaching a new dimension of economic cooperation with Africa,’ said Müller.

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH will coordinate the centre’s work. GIZ has been commissioned to carry out this task by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). GIZ’s partner organisation in China is the Trade Development Bureau of the Chinese Ministry of Commerce. GIZ Country Director Oliver Auge said that project development with its Chinese partner has been ‘extremely flexible and unbureaucratic’ so far. And not only during preparations for the centre’s opening: ‘The day after the opening,’ said Auge, ‘our partner already had concrete ideas and Chinese investors in Africa to present to us.’

The new centre expands GIZ’s wide range of activities in China, where it currently works for a host of commissioning parties, including seven German ministries. Its priority areas include climate change and the environment, sustainable urban development, energy and transport, the economy and society as well as the rule of law.

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