Last updated in February 2017
Relations between the two countries are close and friendly. Germany and Guatemala maintain intensive relations in the political, cultural and economic sectors as well as in development cooperation. Germany provides support in a number of areas, including democratic governance with equal opportunities, environmental protection and climate change adaptation as well as education.
Guatemala’s biggest trading partner by far is the United States, which accounts for some 37 per cent of the country’s foreign trade. According to Germany Trade & Invest (GTAI) figures, trade between Guatemala and Germany was worth approximately USD 357 million in 2015, German exports to Guatemala amounting to USD 240.7 million and German imports from Guatemala to USD 116.2 million, Germany thus accounting for around 1 per cent of Guatemala’s total foreign trade. Coffee makes up more than 50 per cent of German imports from Guatemala, followed by tobacco, vegetables and fruit. Guatemala’s main imports from Germany are machinery, chemical and pharmaceutical products and motor vehicles.
An investment protection agreement entered into force in October 2006.
The German-Guatemalan Chamber of Industry and Commerce has some 180 members and plays a major role in promoting bilateral economic relations.
Bilateral development cooperation focuses on democratic governance, education (primary and secondary schooling in rural areas and vocational training), environmental protection and adaption to climate change. In addition, Germnay showes its committment in the areas of fiscal policy and peacekeeping.
At the intergovernmental negotiations held in November 2016, German development cooperation with Guatemala for the next two years was set at EUR 10 million.
Development cooperation is conducted by the following implementing organisations: the KfW Development Bank and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) as well as various church-affiliated and civil society institutions. The projects are concentrated in areas inhabited mainly by indigenous peoples.
Guatemala has by far the largest German colony in Central America (more than 4,000 German nationals as well as several thousand more of German descent).
The Asociación Alejandro von Humboldt runs the German School, the German Language Institute, the German Cultural Institute and the Club Alemán. After 12 years of instruction, the more than 1,300 students attending the German School have the option of taking the Guatemalan Bachillerato and/or the German university entrance examination (Abitur). German is also taught at a number of other schools.
Interest in studying in Germany has strongly grown in recent years. The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) is present with one teacher to Guatemala.
This text is intended as a source of basic information. It is regularly updated. No liability can be accepted for the accuracy or completeness of its contents.