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What we do

For 55 years DEG, a subsidiary of KfW, has been a reliable partner to private-sector enterprises operating in developing and emerging-market countries. We provide them with long-term financing and advice tailored to individual needs. They can thus develop successfully and sustainably, while generating local added value and creating qualified jobs. As a development finance institution, we deliberately tap into future markets and promote the expansion of the private sector.

  • We finance direct investments in developing and emerging market countries in order to make a sustainable contribution to advancing their economic development.
  • We make long-term investment capital available since many commercial banks baulk at the comparatively high risks in developing countries.
  • We offer promotional programmes to focus on supporting our customers.
  • We advise our customers and provide intensive support to help them shape their investments even more professionally, efficiently and sustainably.
  • That applies not only to manufacturers and project developers investing in infrastructure projects, but also to financial institutions like banks and to funds operating in developing markets which facilitate reliable access to investment financing on the ground, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises.
  • And we promote the development of the financial sector while strengthening local capital markets in order to facilitate reliable access to investment financing on the ground, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises. By doing so, we contribute to additional growth effects.
  • We use almost exclusively own funds rather than budget funds from the Federal Government.
  • We are guided by international standards for environmental and social sustainability.
  • We pay particular attention to ensuring that our investments generate positive development impacts in our partner countries. DEG thus contributes to the Sustainable Development Goals.
Commendable production hall in Vietnam

International environmental, social and corporate governance standards as the primary basis

With our involvement, we are actively working to establish and disseminate international environmental, social and corporate governance standards. That includes carrying out careful environmental and social reviews and closely tracking the implementation of any action plans contractually agreed by the businesses. This task is undertaken by a team of DEG's own experienced specialists, supported by outside experts. Relevant benchmarks are the IFC Performance Standards – for the private sector –, the World Bank Group's Environmental, Health and Safety Guidelines, and the conventions issued by the International Labour Organization (ILO). A list of exclusions defines the areas in which DEG does not become involved on principle.

You will find information about the guidelines we adhere to at: Our standards

Our commitment has a lasting local impact

Entrepreneur in Kenia

Our investments are designed to foster the long-term creation of added value on the ground. That is why DEG finances enterprises that focus on lasting success rather than short-term profit – just as we do. Businesses that enjoy long-term success create skilled jobs and generate income, which helps people in developing countries to improve their prospects.

Private-sector enterprises are not just an important driving force for job creation. They are also actively committed to education and training for their staff and support the transfer of technology and know-how. With their investments, they expand local value chains and improve the supply of goods and services in a given country. Their taxes and export earnings contribute to government revenue and foreign exchange earnings – providing funds that are needed for investments in infrastructure, education and health.

In addition, many of our customers take on wide-ranging corporate social responsibility – and make further important contributions as a result. They pay above-average wages, provide insurance coverage and set up nurseries and health centres. Their involvement benefits not only their own employees and their families, but also many people in the surrounding communities.

We are convinced that also German enterprises through their commitment in developing and emerging-market countries are able to play a significant role in development. This is why we promote and support German SMEs in their business activities in these countries.

More about the effects of our commitments: Our impact

Our partner countries

DEG finances only in emerging and developing countries. These are regularly defined in the OECD Development Committee (DAC). The current DAC list with our partner countries can be found here.

DAC list

Success stories

Every investment tells its own story, made up of people with outstanding ideas. We support these by providing capital and know-how. Here you find some examples.

Read more

DEG - Image Film

DEG: Financing opportunities – shaping development for the long term.

Play video (4:20 min.)

DEG Newsletter

Our newsletter is to inform you on our current activities and investments.