Focusing on post-war development
the excerpts of an interview by the Daily News with German Ambassador to
Sri Lanka Jens Ploetne on the German technical and development
assistance to Sri Lanka.
Q: The German Technological Training
institute has played a vital role in Sri Lanka. How do you view the
development and success of this institute over the past 50 years?
German Tech, as it is commonly known, has become a brand name for
sustainable and successful development cooperation in Sri Lanka. Many
thousand highly skilled technicians or drivers have graduated since
1959. Today, each one of them is a living proof of how successful the
typically German combination of theoretical and practical training has
developed in Sri Lanka.
Q: How would you
elaborate the types of technical and engineering assistance provided
during this period?
A: Education at
the CGTTI starts of with a General Basic training for all students.
After that, different types of specialization can be chosen from
machinist to automotive electrician.
Technical education is vital for economic development. File
From the start, the students had a broad choice of specialization.
But German Tech has always kept up with the newest technical standards.
Today, for example, students get trained state-of-the-art
computer-assisted-development (CAD) with the latest technology. During
my last visit to German Tech I was very impressed by this modern
Q: Has Germany
increased technical know-how and funding to this institute during the
past 50 years?
A: While German
Tech today stands on its own feet, partnership with the renowned
vocational training school in Metzingen continues. That is why a
high-ranking delegation from Metzingen will assist today’s festivities
Q: What was the reason
for Germany to enter into such cooperation?
A: Fifty years
ago, German Tech was the first big German development aid project. Since
then, many have followed. Just think of the two dams financed by Germany
in the Mahaweli Development scheme in Randenigala and Rantambe or a
seven million Dollar grant for developing the Colombo Harbour as early
as 1961! Overall, German State development aid to Sri Lanka amounts to
more than Dollar 1.5 billion.
Q: What is the role of
the German Tech in Sri Lanka?
A: I think that
for Sri Lanka German Tech had a double benefit: It introduced
state-of-the-art technology to its economy and had provided the country
with a significant number of well-trained specialists.
Q: What would role
Germany play at this Engineering and Technical exhibition?
German institutions will exhibit at the fair starting today in Moratuwa.
The German Embassy will inform about German companies such as Mercedes,
BMW, Volkswagen or Porsche as well as the possibilities of studying in
Germany. GTZ will provide information about its long history of
development work in and for Sri Lanka.
Q: How do you view
Germany as a competitor in the Western technological and engineering
companies remain leading providers for high-end technology and
German products might not always be the cheapest, but as everybody
knows: at the end of the day, quality pays.
Q: What are your future plans to
assist this institute and other sectors in Sri Lanka to be a partner in
Sri Lanka’s massive effort to become a developed nation?
A: Cooperation between
Germany and German Tech will continue. It has evolved into a real
partnership we all can be proud of.
Beyond that, German development aid today is very much focused on
helping Sri Lanka overcome the consequences of nearly 30 years of armed
The war has been won, but building peace is a long and very demanding
task. All citizens of this beautiful island need to feel that this
country is their country and that State institutions serve all of them
indiscriminately. My country stands ready to help Sri Lanka in this
challenging and historic task.