Promoting Dialogue on Triangular Cooperation


On the occasion of the 6th Indo-German Intergovernmental Consultations on 02 May 2022, Svenja Schulze, the German Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, and the Indian Foreign Minister Dr S. Jaishankar signed the Joint Declaration of Intent (JDI) on the implementation of triangular cooperation (TrC) projects in third countries.

Through this JDI, India and Germany are strengthening their cooperation, while at the same time expanding it to partnerships for global sustainability goals to jointly address cross-border challenges of the future. Global capacity to act is based on strategic partnerships that strengthen shared global responsibility through increasing effectiveness and coordination of local action. Triangular cooperation offers the opportunity of responding to these challenges jointly and promotes cooperation between emerging and developing countries on an equal footing. Triangular partnerships lead to far-reaching innovations and new forward-looking scope for action, launching political dialogues in practice.

Sustainable Development Requires Joint Efforts

The Global Partnership Initiative (GPI) on Effective Triangular Cooperation is partnering with the German Fund for Triangular Cooperation with Asia to advance policy dialogue and support capacity development on triangular cooperation with Asian partners. Taking the opportunity of the Think 7 Summit in Berlin on 23 and 24 May, the GPI and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH invited experts to a consultation on this endeavor.

The event had several experts from development agencies, the private sector, research institutions, and civil society organisations, aiming to share experiences and views to increase the impact of Indo-German development cooperation and identify sustainable processes of cooperation. In addition to discussing general questions such as how the JDI between India and Germany can be used to strengthen TRC in Asia, joint responses were also sought to derive room for manoeuvre, such as how political support can pave the way for the implementation of new projects. Aspects of previous agreements for trilateral cooperation and deriving  knowledge and experience were also part of the constructive exchange.

Challenges and Opportunities

Lots of examples of successful implementation of triangular cooperation were mentioned, and participants agreed that TrC offers great potential in areas such as mobility and agriculture solutions. One proposal for reaching key policy platforms in India could be useful for different dialogue exercises. In general, civil society showed great interest in being systematically involved in triangular cooperation, but participants also noted that the roles of civil society, political actors, and the private sector need to be more clearly elaborated. The analysis of existing projects with a view to scaling-up successful practices, as well as continued policy dialogue on more effective triangular cooperation and the inclusion of impact assessments have great potential to establish and continue TrC in a more sustainable way.

Furthermore, we look forward to continuing to support each other in the future within such formats to advance the exchange of knowledge and best practices in triangular cooperation and to jointly pave the way for new approaches from all perspectives and on all sides.