German-Malaysian triangular cooperation with Cambodia: corporate social responsibility in the port sector

Project description

Title: Individual measure supporting the project ‘Triangular cooperation between Malaysia, Germany and developing countries of Southeast Asia’
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Countries: Malaysia, Cambodia
Lead executing agency: Malaysian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), Malaysia Technical Cooperation Programme (MTCP) and Cambodian Development Council (CDC)
Overall term: 2012 to 2014


With a growth rate of 7.3 per cent in 2012 and increasing volumes of international trade, Cambodia has one of the fastest growing economies of Southeast Asia. As a country’s transport volume is known to increase more rapidly than its economic growth, Cambodia’s ports are becoming more and more significant as central trading hubs for its economic development.

However, the growth of ports, which are often adjacent to urban areas or sensitive ecosystems, usually entails high risks to the environment and to occupational safety. In many cases, the environmental and safety management systems currently in place in Cambodian ports, as well as the corresponding corporate culture, are not sufficiently well developed to cope with the coming challenges of economic growth. The first individual measure of Germany and Malaysia’s triangular cooperation with Cambodia therefore targets sustainable economic development, with a focus on ports and the transport industry.


The capacity of Cambodian ports to develop their corporate culture and corporate polices with an increasing sense of responsibility for social, environmental and safety-related issues has been strengthened.


The project is working to strengthen corporate social responsibility (CSR) in Cambodia’s port sector. In a triangular cooperation, the complementary strengths of Malaysia and Germany provide effective support for this endeavour. Malaysia contributes the experiences and capacities it gained while following its own path to become an emerging economy, including its excellent training programmes and institutions for the maritime economy. GIZ supplies supplementary sector-based and technical know-how, and ensures that international standards are observed in the development cooperation.

The measure cooperates with the regional project ‘Sustainable port development in the ASEAN region’, which is assisting a number of ports in the region with their safety, health and environmental management.

Results achieved so far

Almost 50 people have attended training courses for stakeholders of the Cambodian port sector, which covered topics such as maritime human resource management, occupational safety, security management and CSR. The courses were mostly conducted by the Malaysian Maritime Academy, with GIZ delivering the units on CSR. Besides providing professional know-how, the training was also intended to help qualify the participants to work as trainers themselves. The evaluation of the measure showed that the training content was being effectively integrated in the training provided internally by the ports. Similarly, the participants are now able to apply their new knowledge within their institutions and to pass it on to others. More than 400 people working in the ports have benefited from these courses.

A study has been completed identifying the strengths of a number of specific ports in Malaysia and Cambodia, in terms of CSR. This now serves as the basis for reciprocal learning activities involving the ports, and it contains recommendations for further steps. The results of this study have been incorporated into the training given to Cambodia’s port staff.

Overall, the awareness and knowledge of social, environmental and safety issues has increased, as have the corresponding skill levels of the Cambodian port personnel. This now adds to the safety, productivity and competitiveness of Cambodian ports, while also enhancing their adherence to environmental and social standards.