Germany and Kuwait: Bilateral relations

01.10.2023 - Article

Germany is highly regarded in Kuwait as a major political and economic force in Europe and as a country that has traditionally maintained good relations with the Arab world. This is demonstrated by the numerous high-level political visits to Kuwait by top German politicians in recent years. Most recently, Minister of State Tobias Lindner travelled to Kuwait in November 2022 to build on bilateral relations. Kuwait’s Deputy Foreign Minister visited Berlin in March 2022. In 2024, Germany and Kuwait will mark the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations.

Germany is undisputedly Kuwait’s most important trading partner in the European Union. In 2020 it ranked seventh behind China, the United States, the United Arab Emirates, Japan, Saudi Arabia and India, with exports to Kuwait totalling around one billion euro. Germany’s main exports were vehicles and vehicle parts, machinery and electrical goods as well as pharmaceutical and similar products. German imports from Kuwait amounted to just under 30 million euro in 2020. The substantial state investment from Kuwait in Germany totals approximately 17.4 billion euro. Kuwait has shares in leading German companies (including Daimler AG and GEA). In addition, private investment (for example, Weinig AG and Ricosta) amounts to around 14.6 billion euro.

The bilateral cultural agreement that entered into force in 1989 forms the framework for cultural cooperation. There are cooperation arrangements with the Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main and the University of Göttingen.

The German School was not reopened after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990/91. In autumn 2016, an American-German school was opened, where lessons are taught in English, German and Arabic in line with the US curriculum. The school has a kindergarten. Otherwise, the children of German employees and specialists have been mainly reliant on international schools modelled on the British, American or French education systems. The British School of Kuwait, which offers German instruction from year five onwards, has been part of the Schools: Partners for the Future initiative (PASCH) since 2009.

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