Position paper

Shaping sustainable growth in Asia

Minister Müller presents new BMZ policy on Asia

German Development Minister Gerd Müller presents the future focal areas of German development policy in Asia.

17.06.2015 |

Berlin – This afternoon, at an event to launch the BMZ's new policy on Asia, German Development Minister Gerd Müller presented the future focal areas of German development policy in Asia. Cooperation with Asian emerging economies is to be expanded with an eye to solving global challenges. The focus will be on issues such as climate action, conserving biodiversity, developing a market economy based on social and environmental standards and fighting the root causes of displacement.

"From climate change to fair global trade – the major challenges ahead for the entire planet can only be mastered if Asia is involved," Minister Müller said. "Many countries on the Asian continent are experiencing rapid economic growth. And yet, in most Asian countries, the gap between rich and poor is continuously widening. More than one billion people in Asia still live in dire poverty. Asia is facing the tremendous challenge of getting onto a sustainable growth path which will include all people whilst still being environmentally friendly. We are offering support in the form of experience and know-how."

Three of the most important emerging economies – China, India and Indonesia – are in Asia. Their involvement in designing the international development and sustainability goals and the new global climate agreement is crucial. Asia accounts for two thirds of global greenhouse gas emissions. At the same time, countries such as Bangladesh, Pakistan or the Philippines are amongst the countries that are most severely affected by climate change.

Through its development policy Germany is helping Asia to prepare the ground for climate-friendly energy supplies. In India, for instance, Germany is providing loans amounting to one billion euros to help the country create green energy corridors linking wind and solar power plants to the grid. There are plans for large-scale reforestation measures and forest protection schemes, for instance in the Mekong region or in Mongolia, which will help protect people against the effects of climate change and environmental degradation. Coastal and water protection, for instance in Viet Nam or Bangladesh, play a crucial role.

In addition, Germany will support efforts by its Asian partner countries to ensure that more people can benefit from the dynamic economic growth in the region, because living and working conditions on the Asian continent are still extremely harsh for many people. This is the case in the textiles sector, for instance, which is a focal area of German development cooperation. The Partnership for Sustainable Textiles is aimed at advancing and firmly establishing human rights-based, social and ecological sustainability standards in supply chains in the Asian textiles and garment sector across all countries.

Under the framework of the special initiative "Tackling the root causes of displacement, reintegrating refugees", additional funds are to be used to improve the social and economic situation of refugees. Millions of people in Asia have been displaced, be it in their own countries or in neighbouring states, and some are fleeing towards Europe. They are fleeing natural disasters, violence, wars and conflict, as for instance in Afghanistan, Myanmar or Viet Nam.

The BMZ's Asia position paper provides the basis for the new focus:
The BMZ's New Asia Policy (PDF 2.4 MB)

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