Last updated in March 2013
Bilateral political relations between Germany and Peru are friendly and untroubled. Germany supports the democratic stabilization of Peru aimed at safeguarding human rights, promoting the rule of law, decentralization 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 Federal Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle was there in February 2012. Peru’s President Ollanta Humala visited Berlin on 11 and 12 June 2012, meeting with Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel, among others. 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.
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 (it has yet to be ratified by Colombia). 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 and, along with Brazil, the largest recipient of German development cooperation funding in Latin America. This assistance is greatly valued and appreciated by the Peruvian side. In all, Peru has received some EUR 2 billion in Financial Cooperation (FC) and Technical Cooperation (TC) since bilateral cooperation began.
In consultation with the Peruvian government, Germany has designated the following as priority areas of bilateral development cooperation: democracy, civil society and public administration, drinking water supply and sanitation as well as sustainable rural development, management of natural resources and climate change.
More details can be found on the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development’s website.
Cultural relations are also close. 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), three further schools in Lima are supported by the Federal Foreign Office on account of their German teaching. A school in Chosica (near Lima) and one in Arequipa also receive similar support. In all, 12 Peruvian schools participate in the ‘Schools – Partners for the Future’ initiative (PASCH), which is designed to arouse young people’s lasting interest in present-day Germany and in the German language. It is also thanks to this initiative that there are now some 15,000 people learning German in Peru.
Another priority area of cultural cooperation is scientific and academic exchange. In 2011, there were 148 Peruvians studying in Germany on German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) scholarships. Conversely, the DAAD provided support to some 130 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 will enable up to 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.
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 is being provided to preserve the La Muña necropolis in Palpa (Nazca culture).
From April to June 2013, the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú is showing the Max Planck Society’s Science Tunnel, one of the world’s most important scientific exhibitions.
In addition, there are all sorts of other activities in a wide variety of cultural fields, e.g. support for exhibitions and concerts by German artists or German contributions to joint European cultural events held in Peru.
In cooperation with the German Embassy, the Peruvian organization América Clásica is organizing a variety of seminars and concerts in connection with the Wagner Year.