Look into the Future

How Triangular Cooperation Supports Rural Development in Laos

The Challenge

Over the last decade, the economy of Laos has experienced high economic growth of 7.7% annually. However, the development in rural and peri-urban areas remains slow – affecting a large part of the population whose main income is made up by agricultural production. Labour market surveys have identified the lack of skilled workers as a major obstacle for value creation along agricultural value chains and integration into regional agricultural markets. Consequently, Laos has assigned high priority to technical and vocational education and training (TVET) on the political agenda: for modernization of agricultural production, employment generation and sustainable development.

To achieve such an ambitious goal, experiences from countries who’ve established a solid TVET system and gone through the same development phase are particularly relevant and helpful. By sharing ideas, knowledge, skills and know-hows, common challenges can be addressed and a shared future accomplishing the Sustainable Development Goals will be built.

Quality education

Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all

Decent Work and Economic Growth

Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all

Reduced Inequalities

Reduced Inequalities

Partnerships for the Goals

Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

But how exactly can this multi-country action be formed?

Forming Triangular Cooperation

The Approach

Meet the partners

Political Partners

triangular cooperation

Ministry of Commerce of the
People’s Republic of China


Ministry for Economic
Cooperation and
Development of the Federal
Republic of Germany (BMZ)


Ministry of Education and
Sports of the Lao People’s
Democratic Republic (MoES)

Implementation Partners

Qingdao Education
Bureau/Pingdu Secondary
Vocational Technical School

Deutsche Gesellschaft für
Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH

Vocational Education
Development Institute (VEDI)

Project progress

triangular cooperation
May 2019
The project was announced at the international forum on “Challenges and Prospects of Vocational Education for Rural Sustainable Development” hosted by the Qingdao Education Bureau and the Hanns Seidel Foundation. It was officially endorsed by BMZ and MofCom in January 2020.
triangular cooperation
December 2019
By the end of 2019, five physical training series were conducted for 46 vocational teachers from Laos in Pingdu VEC, on topics including animal husbandry, horticulture, agricultural machinery, food processing, and planting.
triangular cooperation
Faced with international travel restrictions under the Covid-19 pandemic, the project has adopted digital solutions for the activities. In September 2020, Pingdu VEC delivered the first online trainings for 26 Lao TVET teachers on the topics of planting and breeding, food processing, agricultural mechanics, and mechatronics.
triangular cooperation
In August 2021, GIZ’s Academy for International Cooperation carried out a one-week online training on digital teaching and learning for 14 teachers from Pingdu VEC, to build their digital capacities.
2022 and beyond
The project partners in China, Germany and Laos jointly agreed to extend the cooperation to the end of 2023. In 2022, two series of online TVET trainings will be carried out according to the needs identified by VEDI.
In line with the priorities of rural development of Laos, expertise from China, experience and network from Germany, are combined to support Laos in its development of TVET capacity. Triangular cooperation, as an innovative modality, provides a platform where joint hands, listening ears and learning minds embrace the difference and create solutions that work.

Want to start your own triangular cooperation journey?

Laos and China

For decades, China was facing a very similar challenge like Laos: how to boost job development in rural area via education and training? Today, the GDP per capita of Laos is comparable to that of China twenty years ago, and the country may benefit from the Chinese expertise and experience that went through specific steps towards rural reform and job creation.

Laos and Germany

Laos and Germany are long-term partners in TVET. A Dual Cooperative Training approach was jointly developed and is currently in the roll-out process. The focus lies on capacity building and organisational development support to flagship colleges in provinces with high demand for labour.

China and Germany

Since the early 1990s, China and Germany successfully cooperate in the field of TVET as part of bilateral and regional development cooperation. This includes a close collaboration between the Hanns Seidel Foundation of Germany and the Qingdao Education Bureau in China. A good example of this is the capacity building of teachers at the Secondary Vocational Technical School of Pingdu, a county-level city known for its rich agricultural products located in the east of Shandong Peninsula in China.

Laos and China

The triangular project comprises mainly human capacity development of Lao teacher trainers and teachers TVET institutions by the Pingdu Secondary Vocational Technical School. There, both theoretical and practical training is provided and the current Chinese TVET system and business environment is demonstrated. With the support of Qingdao Education Bureau, the school prepares and develops training curricula and conducts capacity development measures.

Based on the needs formulated by VEDI and the expertise and experience of the Chinese partner the following agricultural sub-sectors are targeted: planting and livestock breeding, agricultural machinery, food processing, mechatronics.

Laos and Germany

GIZ’s role is to facilitate the identification of training participants together with VEDI and to organise the training missions from Laos to Pingdu. Building on the bilateral TVET project between Germany and Laos, GIZ utilizes the experience, resources and partner network of German-Lao TVET cooperation, identifies the synergies and comparative advantages between Germany and China, and integrates the trainings provided by China into the bilateral project portfolio.

China and Germany

During implementation of the project, the GIZ and the Hanns Seidel Foundation support Chinese teachers in Pingdu to develop their digital capacities in TVET teaching, and in carrying out international cooperation.