Bilateral political relations between Germany and El Salvador have traditionally been good and friendly. Germany is held in high regard in El Salvador. German organisations active in El Salvador include development-cooperation institutions (GIZ and Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau), the German School, the Chamber of Commerce, political foundations, a bilateral cultural forum, church organisations and a large number of NGOs and private initiatives (e.g. school partnerships and joint municipal projects). Many German businesspeople have played a part in El Salvador’s economic development. The two countries also work together in international and multilateral bodies. Germany is one of El Salvador’s most important European trading partners and one of the largest importers of the country’s coffee. A bilateral investment protection and promotion agreement is in place. The Government’s move in adopting Bitcoin as legal tender alongside the US dollar has been met with criticism.
While bilateral development cooperation between Germany and El Salvador dates back half a century, it is due to expire. Since 2008, it has taken place mainly in the framework of regional cooperation with the Central American Integration System (SICA), whose General Secretariat is based in El Salvador, and through support provided to the Honduras-based Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI). Numerous small projects from the sphere of “classic” development cooperation are also promoted in El Salvador (for example, improving access to drinking water, infrastructure measures in clinics, schools).
A bilateral cultural agreement forms the basis for cultural relations.