Supporting agricultural exports from Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam (CLV) is a core component of SCSI’s work on regional integration with China. However, the lack of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) capacities and insufficient supply of skilled labours still impedes value chain development. Raw products make up the bulk of exports from CLV but value creation mostly takes place in neighbouring markets. To overcome this situation, learning from best practices in the region has been a focus of GIZ’s cooperation and support to partner countries.

In Laos, the Vocational Education Development Institute (VEDI) has been a partner of German development cooperation in the field of technical education and vocational training (TVET) for several years. Recently the Lao-German Project on Vocational Education (VELA) has produced research, showing the possible impact on increasing food processing skills for Laos in the regional value chain. In China, the German Hanns Seidel Foundation (HSS) has supported several technical education centres as part of Germany’s support to vocational education in the past 30 years. Here, a particular focus has always been on food processing, utilising German technology and expertise.

Against this background and to increase capacities of Laos TVET teachers in rural job profiles the Vocational Education Centre in Pingdu, China hosted a pilot training of 20 teachers and teaching instructors. Over the course of two weeks, they familiarised themselves with Chinese approaches in food processing and rural occupations such as horticulture. Especially the hands-on experience of German food processing techniques – which have been a focus of HSS works in the past – were highly appreciated by the participants.

The results of the training demonstrated the benefit of trilateral cooperation between Germany, China and third countries in the region. The approach of the pilot training is currently under evaluation by the SCSI programme. It will be reflected as an example for trilateral cooperation projects by the Sino-German Centre for Sustainable Development (CSD) within the dialogue in development policy between the two countries.