The improved interlinking of foreign trade promotion and development cooperation (EZ) is the German federal government's explicit aim. Since 2011 the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) has been sending so-called 'EZ-Scouts' into trade associations, industry and trade chambers, as well as craft chambers. The EZ-Scouts, under instruction from the BMZ in various locations across Germany, advise German companies on the promotional opportunities that the BMZ provides for private business through its implementation organisations, such as the German Investment and Development Society (DEG) – part of the KfW Banking Group – or the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) GmbH.
The EZ-Scouts help companies identify relevant promotional opportunities and mediate dialogues between the businesses and the appropriate regional experts and contacts in the development cooperation's implementation organisation. They provide information at all the relevant events about the BMZ's offers, and implement sustainable development measures – such as ecological and social standards – into the trade associations' and chambers' daily work processes.
Following suit, OAV has also hosted an EZ-Scout since mid-2013. In doing so, OAV has been able to expand its provision for small-scale and medium-sized member companies. This helps ensure that the programmes financed by BMZ offer sustainable access and success on the developing and emerging markets, which are not always easy to navigate. They complement the long-standing mechanisms for promoting foreign trade used by the German Federal Ministry for Economics and Energy (BMWi).
Among others, the BMZ's promotional opportunities include cooperation projects (develoPPP), consultations on, for instance, how to implement ecological standards and corporate social responsibility measures, as well as the joint financing of investments in developing and emerging economies and the necessary feasibility reports.