The Federal Republic of Germany recognised Kiribati under international law when it gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1979. Diplomatic relations were established on 1 July 1980. Germany does not have an embassy in Kiribati but is represented by its Embassy in Wellington, New Zealand.
Kiribati is a member of the Group of Friends on Climate and Security in the United Nations.
The Marine Training Centre (MTC) was set up in Kiribati by German shipping companies in 1967 and was run by experts from Germany until 2021. Since its establishment, it has trained over 5000 sailors. A large number of Kiribati sailors work on German ships. Along with the granting of fishing licences, their remittances are the country’s largest source of currency.
Trade between Germany and Kiribati is limited. According to Federal Statistical Office figures, Germany’s exports to Kiribati amounted to only 328,000 euro in 2022, while imports from the country amounted to 5,000 euro (source: DESTATIS)
Germany supports Kiribati via its contributions to the EU’s Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI) (until 2021: European Development Fund (EDF). Priorities are healthcare, agricultural development, alternative energie sources and vocational training.
Germany funds technical cooperation micro-projects in Kiribati. The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH also carries out various projects in the Pacific Island countries from which Kiribati benefits.