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Last updated in February 2019

Politics

Relations between the two countries Germany and Guatemala 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, environmental protection and climate change adaptation, as well as education. Germany and the Germans enjoy a good reputation in Guatemala, with the more than 4000 German nationals and many Guatemalans of German descent in the country still playing an important part.

Economy

Guatemala’s biggest trading partner by far is the United States, which accounts for some 34.1 percent of the country’s foreign trade exports and provides 40 percent of its imports. According to Federal Statistical Office figures, trade between Guatemala and Germany was worth approximately 400 million euros in 2018, with German exports to Guatemala amounting to 298.6 million euros and German imports from Guatemala totalling 134.8 million euros; Germany thus accounted for around 1 percent of Guatemala’s total foreign trade. Oils and fats make up more than 50 percent of German imports from Guatemala, followed by coffee, tobacco, vegetables and fruit. Guatemala’s main imports from Germany are machinery, chemical and pharmaceutical products and motor vehicles (totalling 60 percent of imports).

An investment protection agreement entered into force in October 2006.

The German-Guatemalan Chamber of Industry and Commerce has some 160 members and plays a major role in promoting bilateral economic relations.

Development cooperation

Bilateral development cooperation focuses on democratic governance, education (especially vocational training), environmental protection and adaptation to climate change. In addition, Germany shows its commitment in the areas of fiscal policy and conflict moderation, for example via the Civil Peace Service. 

At the intergovernmental negotiations held in November 2016, German development cooperation measures to the tune of ten million euros were agreed with Guatemala for the next two years. The intergovernmental negotiations planned for September 2018 have had to be postponed for the Moment. 

Development cooperation projects are implemented by KfW and GIZ as well as various church-affiliated and civil-society institutions. Germany’s political foundations are also active in Guatemala. The projects are concentrated in areas inhabited mainly by indigenous peoples.

Education

Guatemala has by far the largest German colony in Central America (more than 4000 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 1300 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 three other (PASCH) schools. 

Interest in studying in Germany has increased greatly in recent years. The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) is present with one lector in Guatemala.

Disclaimer:
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.

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