Business meets Development Cooperation in Asia – digitally

Development cooperation has for years been working closely with companies from varied sectors, combining the power of innovation with their experience, resources and knowledge in emerging economies. In order to make this faster and on point, the new digital matchmaking platform is facilitating such partnerships globally. From mobility solutions in China to biodegradable material scouting in Myanmar, development projects publish demands on and companies connect directly with local experts to start collaborations and or to announce services needed. – helping companies find new ways into new markets

Motivated by the conviction that only if companies and development cooperation work closely on the most pressing challenges in the world, sustainable development and economic growth will happen, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH launched the matchmaking platform exactly a year ago. Currently, the fast-growing platform provides more than 130 business opportunities from 27 countries. Every 4th new company registering on the platform is successfully matched with experts getting access to the local networks and ecosystems in the countries. Today, companies across industries: from textile to agriculture, biotechnology to waste management, energy to digital tools, start-ups as well as big corporations match daily with opportunities in emerging and developing countries across the world. Based on their sector preferences an algorithm on the platform recommends potential matches to companies as soon as they register. is enabling development cooperation to find innovations and long-term partners and companies are able to access new markets for their solutions. A win-win situation!

“Cooperation with the private sector is becoming increasingly important for development cooperation. This makes it more important to quickly find the right partners for our challenges worldwide. Via our digital platform this search and find is now done with just a few clicks and reaches out directly to our experts worldwide.” Andrea Donath, Project Lead

The Covid-19 crisis needed systemic support for businesses During February-March 2020, when the economic consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic started to unveil themselves, companies creatively pivoted their businesses. However, new partnerships were needed to create new supply chains worldwide. The team decided to respond quickly to fill up some of these supply and demand gaps and help companies reach out globally. In a joint action with development experts in chambers and associations in Germany and in partner countries, the team launched the #BusinessVsCovid19 initiative. The initiative extended the functionalities of to provide companies in Europe and emerging economies with pragmatic solutions for their crisis-related needs. EZ-scouts who serve as intermediaries between the private sector and German state development cooperation institutions supported this new initiative by helping companies document their demands and getting them online on the platform within weeks. Companies can now make international partnerships with other businesses to meet their Covid-19 related demand and supply challenges and to support sustainable development.

“The #BusinessVsCovid19 initiative of was a fast and efficient tool for our search which we can recommend to companies that are experiencing new needs due to the current situation.” Klaus Buschbeck, CEO of Functex

“As a direct response to the corona crisis, we launched a page dedicated to Covid-19 on leverist. de. On the Covid-19 page, our development experts based in German chambers and associations and in our partner countries now support you in identifying concrete needs and solutions for example to restore interrupted supply chains.” Norbert Barthle, Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development

Soon after the launch of the initiative, Klaus Buschbeck, CEO of Functex, became one of the early users. He uploaded a call for suppliers for manufacturing PPE kits. Since the business opportunity was uploaded on, Functex has to date received nine applications from EU certified suppliers from Germany, China and Namibia. Functex is in talks with some of the suppliers to take forward a partnership. The platform has quickly become a medium for international growth for several companies. Some companies have already found matches and some continue to look for partners. A Dutch start-up found partners in the Dominican Republic for its online trading platform. A fair-trade sustainable textile producer in India, 3freunde GmbH, which switched its production to certified surgical masks is currently looking for Indian buyers for these masks via to be able to contribute to immediate needs in the country. The platform has started to match crisis related business opportunities and is contributing to sustainable development. Finding business partners and expanding in new geographies can be a time consuming and cost heavy venture. Leverist. de is reducing the overheads to perform initial market scoping and partner identification through the digital matching. I invite you to explore how can support your company to tackle corona-specific challenges:

  • On you can find current Covid-19 related business opportunities. If interested, you can get in touch with the opportunity managers right away on the website.
  • As a company, if you are facing supply chain disruptions or other challenges where you need new partners, contact the EZ-Scout in your association to get advice on how to upload your business opportunities and to work with development cooperation. Members of the OAV – German Asia-Pacific Business Association can contact Kimora Klug ( Join – Do Business. Do Good.

Cora Bay

Cora Bay is the project manager of She is currently working at the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH in the component “Cooperation with the private sector”.

Andrea Donath

Andrea Donath is the project lead of She is currently Project Lead Product Development “Sector Program Cooperation with the Private Sector” at the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.