Last updated in June 2013
Germany is held in very high regard in Yemen for historical reasons, the Federal Republic having recognized the young Yemen Arab Republic (North Yemen) in 1962 immediately after the revolution there began. Conversely, the Yemen Arab Republic was the first country to break the Arab states’ boycott of the Federal Republic by resuming relations in 1969.
Federal Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle paid a visit to Yemen in March 2012. Yemeni President Hadi visited Germany in October 2012. Federal Foreign Minister Westerwelle also participated in the "Friends of Yemen" conference which took place in London on 7 March 2013.
Yemen records a very large trade deficit with Germany. In 2010, bilateral trade was worth approximately EUR 179 million, German exports declining from EUR 200 million in the previous year to EUR 184 million. In 2011, German exports to Yemen declined on account of the political crisis there, to EUR 93.3 million, 47.9 per cent less than in the previous year. Germany’s main exports to Yemen include machinery, motor vehicles, chemical products and electrical goods, iron and iron goods, print products and food industry goods. German imports from Yemen are insignificant, being worth EUR 4 million in 2010, compared with EUR 5 million in 2009.
There are currently no known investments of any significance by German companies in Yemen. In March 2005, an amended investment protection accord and a double taxation agreement for the aviation sector were signed. The former has been in force since January 2008, the latter since January 2007.
Yemen is one of the world’s least developed countries (LDC), ranking 160th out of the 186 countries listed in the Human Development Index. More than half of the population live in poverty, compared with 42 per cent in 2009. The biggest challenges to Yemen’s development include the water crisis, the country’s weak education system, systematic discrimination against women, the high population growth rate and the need to improve governance and strengthen government capacities.
Germany has been engaged in development cooperation with Yemen for more than 40 years. Since cooperation began, Germany has pledged more than EUR 1 billion for Yemen’s development, making it one of the country’s largest donors. As part of development cooperation, Germany is assisting Yemen’s interim government in the country’s political transformation process and in efforts to improve the humanitarian situation there. Germany has made available EUR 120 million in funding for 2011 and 2012. German development cooperation with Yemen focuses on the water and education sectors. Other key areas of bilateral cooperation are reproductive health, sustainable economic development, food security and biodiversity. Another overriding aim of German development cooperation with Yemen is implementing targeted measures to promote long-term good governance and respect for human rights.
Owing to the security situation in Yemen, cultural cooperation activities can at present only be conducted on a very limited scale.
The German House Sanaa & Aden offers German courses as well as organizing cultural events. Bilateral academic cooperation is taken care of by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).
The German Archaeological Institute (DAI) has had a branch office in Yemen since 1978.