Last updated in October 2016
Diplomatic relations between the Federal Republic of Germany and Honduras were established on 20 January 1960. Relations have traditionally been friendly. The emergency relief and reconstruction assistance provided by the Federal Government and private German donors in the aftermath of the 1998 Hurricane Mitch disaster and Germany’s ongoing bilateral, regional and multilateral development cooperation are greatly appreciated by Honduras.
Following the 28 June 2009 coup against President Manuel Zelaya Rosales and the violation of regime opponents’ human rights, all contacts and development cooperation with the Micheletti regime were temporarily suspended.
Following the inauguration of the elected President Porfirio Lobo Sosa in 2010, relations between the two countries have gradually normalised.
Trade between Honduras and Germany is relatively insignificant and subject to strong fluctuations. According to Federal Statistical Office (DESTATIS) figures, in 2015 German imports from Honduras were worth EUR 413 million and German exports to Honduras EUR 141 million.
In 2015, Honduras ranked 79th among suppliers of German imports and 120th among buyers of German exports.
The main Honduran exports to Germany are coffee (which is also supplied to neighbouring EU countries via Hamburg), fish and citrus fruits. Bananas, tobacco and timber are of less significance as exports to Germany. The principal German exports to Honduras are plant, machinery and electrical goods, chemical and plastic products, engines and motor vehicles, iron goods and sheet metal.
An investment protection and promotion agreement between the two countries, which entered into force on 27 May 1998, has so far resulted in few German direct investments. A German commercial bank specialising in small development-related loans has set up branches in Honduras. A more sizable investment is a German-Honduran joint venture (coffee roasting facility). A number of German companies plan to make major investments in the country’s energy and service sectors. The German-Honduran Chamber of Commerce and Industry is based in Tegucigalpa.
Honduras is an important partner country of German development cooperation. Since cooperation began in 1961, Germany has made available a total of some EUR 440 million for development projects and programmes in Honduras, making it one of the country’s largest bilateral donors along with the United States, Spain, Japan and Canada. No other EU member state, apart from Spain, had provided more funding to Honduras.
In addition, Germany accounts for around 20 per cent of the European Union’s development cooperation with Honduras, as well as contributing its share to the funding provided by international financial institutions such as the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank and under United Nations programmes. The European Union’s 2014-2020 programme, worth EUR 235 million, focuses on food security, employment and promoting the rule of law. The Inter-American Development Bank and the World Bank are the country’s biggest multilateral donors, providing some EUR 100 million and EUR 50 million, respectively, each year.
Honduras receives assistance from some 30 donor countries. The country’s principal bi- and multilateral partners (together accounting for some 97 per cent of total funding) coordinate their programmes in the framework of the so-called Group of 16 (G16). Along with these classical donors, the following countries are particularly engaged in Honduras: South Korea, Taiwan, Brazil, Mexico, Colombia and Chile.
German development cooperation with Honduras focuses on two priority areas: education and environmental policy (including the sustainable use of natural resources and climate protection). In these areas in particular, Germany is seen as an acknowledged and influential partner.
In line with the country’s needs, there are additional projects to promote Honduras’ economic and financial sectors, reduce poverty, foster citizen participation and governance. The Federal Government also provides assistance to Honduras through regional projects in a variety of areas. Important regional partners are the Honduras-based Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI), the Central American Integration System (SICA) and the three-country Trifinio Commission. The regional projects also address the problem of youth violence prevention, which is key to Honduras’ future development.
At the most recent intergovernmental negotiations in September 2014, Germany pledged a total of EUR 31 million for Financial and Technical Cooperation measures. The next intergovernmental negotiations will be held in November 2016 in Germany.
Germany’s portfolio of ongoing projects and programmes is worth approximately EUR 140 million. On top of this, Germany provides EUR 26 million through Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) third-party funding or EU co-financing. There are 28 seconded German development cooperation experts working in Honduras as well as some 75 local staff.
In addition, a number of German non-governmental development organisations, such as churches, foundations and associations, are active in Honduras.