Last updated in March 2013
Diplomatic relations between the Federal Republic of Germany and Honduras were established on 20 January 1960. The emergency relief and reconstruction assistance provided by the German 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.
The most recent visit to Germany by a Honduran President was that of Ricardo Maduro Joest (2002-2006), who was in Berlin and Bonn in October 2002 for political talks and to attend the Ibero-American Day along with other Central American heads of state.
In 2006, talks took place in Vienna between Federal Foreign Minister Steinmeier and the Honduran Foreign Minister Jiménez Puerto on the sidelines of the EU/LAC Summit of European Union, Latin American and Caribbean Heads of State and Government.
The 28 June 2009 coup against President Manuel Zelaya Rosales and the violation of regime opponents’ human rights forced the Federal Government – along with the governments of the other EU countries – to make a clear response: development aid and all contacts with the Micheletti regime were suspended. The EU countries represented in Tegucigalpa withdrew their ambassadors or stopped their new ambassadors from taking up their posts.
The EU countries, including Germany, responded to the inauguration of the elected President Porfirio Lobo Sosa in late January 2010 and his pledge to restore democracy in the country, pursue reconciliation between the opposing sides and establish a government of national unity by gradually normalizing relations again from the end of February 2010.
Trade between Honduras and Germany is relatively insignificant and subjectto strong fluctuations. According to Federal Statistical Office (DESTATIS) figures, in 2012 German imports from Honduras were worth EUR 448.4 million and German exports to Honduras EUR 136.8 million.
Honduras ranked only 112th among suppliers of German imports in 2012, but took 80th place 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 no longer of significance as exports to Germany. The main 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 specializing in small development-related loans has set up branches in Honduras. A more sizable investment is a German-Honduran joint venture (coffee roasting facility). 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, Honduras has received from Germany some EUR 450 million in Financial and Technical Cooperation, making Germany one of the country’s largest bilateral donors along with the US, Spain, Japan and Sweden. In addition, Germany accounts for over 20 per cent of the European Union’s development cooperation with Honduras as well as a significant portion of the funding provided by international financial institutions (in particular the World Bank: 8.2 per cent) and the United Nations programmes.
In 2007, the EU Commission signed with Honduras an EC Country Strategy Paper 2007-2013 (security, environment and poverty reduction) worth EUR 233 million. With its concessionary funding programmes, the World Bank is – along with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and non-regional member Germany – the biggest ‘donor’ in Honduras (education, Poverty Reduction Support Credit, rural development, government service and water). World Bank loans and disbursements were suspended in 2009 following the coup but resumed in 2010.
Since the Consultative Group Meeting for the Reconstruction and Transformation of Central America convened in Stockholm to raise aid for the Central American countries hit by Hurricane Mitch, there has been close coordination on development aid between the donor countries, the development banks and the UN agencies on the one side and the government and civil society on the other (Group of 16).
At the most recent bilateral intergovernmental negotiations on development cooperation in January 2011, Germany made new bilateral commitments in Technical and Financial Cooperation worth EUR 47 million for 2011 and 2012. This funding is to be used for state primary schools, for promoting small and medium-sized enterprises and for the sustainable use and conservation of natural resources. In these areas, Germany is considered an acknowledged and influential donor.
Germany’s portfolio of Financial and Technical Cooperation with Honduras that is currently under preparation or implementation is worth EUR 107.3 million.
Germany has granted the Honduras-based Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI) several regional concessionary loans worth a total of EUR 150 million (more than half of this for renewables and energy efficiency).
Germany’s bilateral – and its share of multilateral – debt remission for Honduras as part of the Honduran poverty reduction strategy amounts to approximately USD 250 million.
Many German non-governmental organizations and other institutions involved in development cooperation (churches, foundations and associations) are also active in Honduras.
There are currently 28 seconded German experts engaged in government Financial and Technical Cooperation and non-governmental development cooperation in Honduras. German development cooperation’s implementing organizations employ 92 local workers.
Honduras is a partner country of German development cooperation. For more information please visit the website of the external link, opens in new windowFederal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development