German-Malaysian triangular cooperation with Timor-Leste: ‘Capacity development for fisheries cooperatives in Baucau (Timor-Leste)’

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, Timor-Leste
Lead executing agency: Malaysian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), Malaysia Technical Cooperation Programme (MTCP), Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Timor-Leste (MAF)
Overall term: 2014 to 2016


After only ten years of independence from Indonesia, Timor-Leste is one of the poorest countries in Southeast Asia. It continues to face challenges related to food security and rural development. The country’s cooperatives form an important part of the agricultural economy and make an important contribution to the self-organisation of the population.

By creating employment prospects and improving local living conditions, the fisheries sector has the potential to play a decisive role in enhancing food security and rural development. To date, however, maritime fishing in Timor-Leste has often been conducted without proper structures or adequate skills. In Baucau district, a fisheries cooperative already exists that has at its disposal the necessary infrastructure, although it is not yet using that infrastructure to the full. Due to the lack of technical fishing knowledge, fish catches only reach a fraction of their potential. Efforts to increase the size of the catches or to make the processing and marketing of fish more professional have so far failed. Purposeful interventions are therefore needed at different points along the fisheries value chain.


The productivity of the fisheries cooperative at the pilot site in Baucau, Timor-Leste, has increased. At the same time, Malaysia's capacity to design, implement and evaluate international cooperation measures has been strengthened.


This is the second individual measure being implemented in the programme of Malaysian-German triangular cooperation arrangements. The two countries’ complementary strengths provide effective support for Timor-Leste. Malaysia contributes the experiences and capacities it gained while following its own path to become an emerging economy. Malaysia is well-known in Southeast Asia for the high quality of its training programmes and institutions in the fisheries sector. GIZ supplies supplementary sector-based and technical know-how, and ensures that international standards are observed in the development cooperation. GIZ and the Malaysia Technical Cooperation Programme (MTCP) jointly undertake the evaluation of the projects.

All the activities of the measure are intended to support improved employment promotion along the fishery supply chain.

  • A training programme is provided for decision makers from relevant Timorese ministries, which imparts Malaysian experiences and know-how alongside Germany approaches to strategy and policy making.
  • In short-term course in Malaysia, Timorese extension workers and fisheries experts from the pilot region learn about marine fishing and cooperative systems. This will also include a ‘training-of-trainers’ course.
  • Malaysian experts will be deployed to Timor-Leste for one month to support the fishermen of Baucau in their work, and in setting up the cooperative. They will also provide further coaching for the previously trained extension workers.
  • A sensitisation campaign in the form of an exhibition on fishing will demonstrate how the fisheries sector in Timor-Leste can help the country to achieve food security and create jobs.

In addition, a policy forum will be held to discuss employment promotion and means of increasing productivity in Timor-Leste’s fisheries sector.

The measure involves close cooperation with the bilateral German-Timorese project ‘Support for peaceful development through innovative employment promotion’. Through their collaboration, each project strengthens the other reciprocally, while ensuring a harmonised approach on the part of German international cooperation.

This measure is being implemented and financed as part of the project