Last updated in October 2014
Bilateral political relations between Germany and Peru are close and friendly. Germany supports the democratic stabilisation of Peru aimed at safeguarding human rights, promoting the rule of law, decentralisation and civil society participation. In development cooperation, Germany is assisting Peru in the pressing task of reducing poverty.
There has been a marked increase in the number of high-level visits in recent years. Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel visited Lima in 2008 and then Federal Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle was there in February 2012. Peruvian President Humala was in Berlin in July 2014 (for the second time since 2012) to open the 5th Petersberg Climate Dialogue together with Federal Chancellor Merkel. There have also been numerous visits by government ministers, state secretaries and members of the German Bundestag.
Germany is a major trading partner of Peru’s, supplying high-quality capital goods and importing from Peru raw materials and agricultural products. The principal German imports from Peru are fish meal, asparagus, coffee and ores. Germany’s main exports to Peru are machinery of all kinds, electrical goods, pharmaceutical products and motor vehicles.
As a result of the global economic downturn, the volume of bilateral trade grew by just 2.5 per cent in 2012 (compared with more than 25 per cent in 2011), to USD 3.099 billion, with a continuing balance of trade surplus in Peru’s favour (USD 591 million, compared with USD 775 million in 2011). Peru’s exports to Germany totalled USD 1.847 billion and its imports from Germany USD 1.252 billion. 2013 saw a reversal in the balance of trade surplus, with Germany recording a small surplus of USD 0.220 billion in trade with Peru. Peru’s exports to Germany were worth USD 1.165 billion, while its imports from Germany amounted to USD 1.385 billion. In the first half of 2014, Peru’s exports to Germany declined by 21.6 per cent compared with the same period in 2013, from USD 657.3 million to just USD 515.3 million. By contrast, Peruvian imports from Germany grew by 13.4 per cent, from USD 716.6 million to USD 813 million. This was mainly due to an increase in imports of machinery and capital goods.
A German-Peruvian investment protection agreement has been in force since 1997. No bilateral double taxation agreement has yet been concluded. The EU’s free trade agreement with Peru and Colombia has been provisionally applied since 1 March 2013 and, following Colombia’s completion of its internal ratification procedures in June, has now been provisionally in force for all three parties since 1 August 2013. The agreement will enter into force definitively when it has been ratified by all EU member states.
Peru is a partner country of German development cooperation, which focuses on the following areas: strengthening democratic structures and the rule of law as well as public administration and civil society, improving the drinking water supply and sanitation and promoting and rural development and environmental protection.
Cultural relations are also wide-ranging. The Goethe Institute has a branch in Lima, and two other German-Peruvian cultural institutes are located in Arequipa and Cusco. Apart from the Alexander von Humboldt School (an International School with approximately 1,600 students), there are two other German Schools Abroad, in Chosica (near Lima) and in Arequipa, and three other schools that are supported by the Federal Foreign Office, in particular on account of their German teaching. In all, 11 Peruvian schools participate in the Schools – Partners for the Future initiative (PASCH), which is designed to arouse young people’s long-term interest in present-day Germany and in the German language. It is also thanks to this initiative that there are now some 17,500 people learning German in Peru.
Another priority area of cultural cooperation is scientific and academic exchange. In 2013, there were 159 Peruvians studying in Germany on German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) scholarships. Conversely, the DAAD provided support to 176 Germans studying in Peru. A DAAD academic teacher has been working at the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú in Lima since August 2011. During the Federal Foreign Minister’s visit to Peru in February 2012, a scholarship agreement was concluded between the DAAD and three other Peruvian universities that enables as many as 100 Peruvian academics and students to pursue research or study at German universities. During President Humala’s visit to Berlin in June 2012, four declarations on academic cooperation were signed. In April 2013, the DAAD and the Peruvian Ministry of Education also concluded the so-called ALEPRONA agreement, which in its initial phase provides for the annual award of up to 100 excellence scholarships to Peruvian university graduates enabling them to pursue postgraduate studies (master’s and PhD programmes) in Germany.
The President of the Max Planck Society also visited Peru in October 2013, signing an agreement on stepping up research cooperation with Peru’s National Council for Science, Technology and Technological Innovation (CONCYTEC).
The German Research Foundation has funded four Peru-related projects and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation is providing funding to a Peruvian scientist.
Of special note is the research work being done by the German Archaeological Institute’s Commission for General and Comparative Archaeology in Palpa near Nazca in cooperation with Peruvian institutions.
Under the Federal Foreign Office’s Cultural Preservation Programme, funding was provided to preserve the La Muña necropolis in Palpa (Nazca culture).