Germany and Costa Rica: Bilateral relations

20.02.2024 - Article

Bilateral relations with Costa Rica are traditionally close and based on mutual trust. The fact that many Costa Ricans have German roots has created a special relationship with Germany. Currently, this is particularly true for Vice-President Brunner and Foreign Minister André. The two countries have wide-ranging bilateral relations, the main areas of which are trade and economic exchange (medical technology, agricultural products, mechanical engineering), cooperation on human rights, strengthening international law, and pursuing environmental and climate change issues, as well as maintaining cultural and academic ties.

Now that the COVID‑19 pandemic has ebbed, the number of German tourists visiting Costa Rica – which for many years now has been a very attractive destination thanks to its biodiversity, coastlines and many national parks – has even exceeded pre‑pandemic levels.

Germany is one of Costa Rica’s most important trading partners in the European Union, and it exports chemical products, machinery, vehicles and vehicle parts to the country. Germany’s main imports from Costa Rica are high-quality medical technology and foodstuffs, such as coffee, pineapples and bananas, as well as other products, such as measurement and control technology, electrical engineering items and electronics.

A bilateral investment protection and promotion agreement has been in place since 24 March 1998, and a bilateral double taxation agreement since 10 August 2016. Many German companies operate in Costa Rica. In autumn 2019, a dual system of vocational training based on the German model was introduced in some sectors of the economy, such as the hotel industry. The German school in San José, the Colegio Humboldt, teaches up to the German university-entrance qualification (Abitur) level. Thanks to support from the Goethe-Institut, German as a foreign language is set to become a part of the public-school curriculum.

Germany has been supporting Costa Rica’s human rights policies for many years, in particular through projects aimed at protecting the rights of women and minorities, as well as by supporting the country’s climate action policy. The aim here is to achieve a sustainable economy, protect biodiversity and promote decarbonisation and the digital transformation.


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