Germany recognised the Cook Islands as a self-governing country in March 2001. Diplomatic relations between the two countries were established on 11 September 2001. The German Embassy responsible for the Cook Islands is based in Wellington, New Zealand. In the country itself, Germany is represented by an honorary consul (based in Avarua). The Embassy of New Zealand represents the Cook Islands in Germany.
Germany supports the Cook Islands via the EU’s European Development Fund (EDF) and is also involved in technical cooperation micro-projects in the Cook Islands’ school and vocational training sectors.
Until 2008, the Cook Islands were also included in the regional project, Forestry in the Pacific Island States, which was jointly carried out in various Pacific countries by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and the Pacific Community (SPC). The project on the Cook Islands also included the establishment of eight tree nurseries on five different islands.
Bilateral trade with the Cook Islands is low and no statistics are kept. The Cook Islands’ main trading partners are New Zealand, Fiji, the United States, Australia and Japan.
As a popular holiday destination, the Cook Islands also host visitors from Germany. However, figures are low here, too, not least because of the huge distance between Germany and the South Pacific island state.