Based on the longstanding cooperation on the topics of regional integration during the SCSI Programme’s predecessor phase (2011-2015) and in order to further align the programme’s work with the implementation partners in China and Mongolia, two cooperation agreements have been signed. During the course of preparatory discussions all involved sides agreed to sign Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) to serve as a foundation for cooperation and to strengthen the programme’s implementation in the partner countries of Mongolia and PR China. A first MoU had been signed with the Ministry of Commerce of China in September 2016; a second document with the Mongolian Ministry of Finance was signed recently this March.

According to the Memoranda, which will last until 2019, GIZ’s SCSI Programme will strengthen endeavours to support regional integration in Northeast Asia under the framework of the Greater Tumen Initiative (GTI). GIZ has supported GTI as a regional cooperation mechanism since 2010. Both ministries serve as the responsible coordinator for GTI in their respective countries. Hence, the partnership between the parties is expected to contribute to better coordination, planning, and implementation of regional cooperation projects engaging countries including China and Mongolia in Northeast Asia. The SCSI Programme will provide advisory services based on experiences from the European Union’s integration process where applicable. The agreements further highlight topics such as trade facilitation, local cross-border cooperation, and knowledge transfer on regional economic communities (RECs).