Political relations are friendly and untroubled. Germany and Barbados celebrated the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations on 30 November 2016. Barbados is a close and reliable partner of Germany in multilateral bodies such as the United Nations and in international negotiations on climate change. At the elections in May 2018, the party which had previously formed the opposition won all 30 seats in parliament led by the new Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley.
Bilateral economic relations with Barbados are relatively insignificant. The country obtains significant revenue from visits by German tourists who total nearly 10,000 per year (there are direct flights between the two countries).
A bilateral investment protection and promotion agreement has been in place since 2002. Investment is hampered by the country’s weak economy and a budget deficit that is estimated at 7% of GDP. Barbados is one of the world’s most indebted countries with national debt amounting to 175% of GDP in 2017. With the help of the IMF, this figure was reduced to 125% in 2019 but increased to 134% in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Other cooperation and trade accords exist within the framework of the agreements between the European Union and the ACP (Africa, Caribbean, Pacific) states as well as between the EU and CARIFORUM (CARICOM member states plus the Dominican Republic). As the Caribbean country with the closest economic ties to Europe, Barbados is paying special attention to the further development of trade relations with the EU.
In development cooperation, Barbados has indirect links with Germany through German agreements with the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), cooperation focusing on sustainable economic development, the promotion of renewable energy and adaptation to climate change. German institutions such as the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) and the International Centre for Migration and Development (CIM) work together with the following Barbados-based organisations: the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), the CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality (CROSQ), the Caribbean Export Development Agency (CEDA) and the Caribbean Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (CCREEE).