Last updated in November 2012
After President Obiang assumed power in 1979, bilateral relations between Germany and Equatorial Guinea improved. Under his predecessor, the dictator Macias, there had been only sporadic contacts. Germany provided development cooperation until the mid-1990s. Since then, Equatorial Guinea’s development has not been reliant on external funding thanks to the country’s revenue from oil and natural gas.
Bilateral trade relations have been developing unevenly. After a lengthy period of stagnation, they picked up again in 2011 as a result of oil imports. While German trade with Equatorial Guinea was worth just EUR 36 million in 2005, it reached EUR 127.7 million in 2008, EUR 26.8 million in 2009, EUR 27.3 million in 2010 and EUR 65.7 million in 2011. German exports to Equatorial Guinea were worth approximately EUR 36.4 million in 2011, and imports from there about EUR 29.4 million. Germany’s principal exports to Equatorial Guinea are beverages, manufacturing plant, machinery and motor vehicles and its main imports from there are oil and chemical products.
The oil boom in Equatorial Guinea has enabled the government to spend a great deal on infrastructure and all kinds of construction projects. It also offers business opportunities for German companies, but doing business there involves considerable risks. A German company has built an airport near Mongomo in mainland Equatorial Guinea. In 2010, the German partner withdrew from a major natural gas liquefaction project.
A German company is a shareholder in one of Equatorial Guinea’s banks.
German Lufthansa began operating flights to Malabo in April 2008 and since March 2012 has operated daily flights there from Frankfurt with a stop-over in Abuja, Nigeria.
Equatorial Guinea opened an embassy in Berlin in 2005. In 2009, Equatorial Guinea’s former Foreign Minister Pastor Micho Ondo Bilé visited Berlin, where he held talks with then Federal Foreign Minister Steinmeier, then Federal Economics Minister zu Guttenberg and the Chairman of the German Bundestag’s Parliamentary Friendship Group for Relations with the States of West and Central Africa, Hartwig Fischer. Germany opened an embassy in Malabo in September 2010. Minister of State at the Federal Foreign Office Cornelia Pieper visited Malabo and Bata in November 2010 accompanied by a 30-member business delegation.