The close ties between Germany and Mongolia stretch back to the 1920s and are rooted in part in the special relationship that existed between the German Democratic Republic (GDR) and the Mongolian People’s Republic.
Since its democratic rebirth in 1990, Mongolia has developed a close partnership with the reunified Germany, one that encompasses all areas of political, economic and cultural life. Mongolia regards Germany as its leading partner in the European Union. The two countries promote democracy and human rights in the international arena, particularly within the United Nations. Although the countries’ long‑standing joint security engagement in Afghanistan ended in mid‑2021, politico‑military cooperation continues, for example in the area of mountain infantry training.
The basis for relations is provided by the joint declaration on comprehensive partnership of 5 September 2008 and the agreement on cooperation in the area of raw materials, industry and technology of 13 October 2011.
There is considerable potential for development in the economic exchange between Germany and Mongolia. Germany has regularly had a substantial export surplus in recent years.
In terms of development cooperation, Germany is traditionally the third-largest donor to Mongolia after Japan and South Korea, and the largest donor in the European Union. Around 28 percent of Mongolia’s three million or so inhabitants (almost half of whom live in the capital) live below the poverty line. Development cooperation concentrates on energy efficiency, biodiversity and sustainable business promotion. One particular focus is on vocational training in the skilled crafts and in higher education. Bilateral development cooperation is set to expire in 2023. In addition to state actors GIZ, Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW), the National Metrology Institute of Germany (PTB) and the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources, German political foundations (Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung and Hanns Seidel Foundation) have been active in Mongolia for many years.
Since 1999, the archaeological investigations carried out by the German Archaeological Institute (DAI), the University of Bonn and the Mongolian Academy of Sciences in the ancient capital Karakorum and in Karabalgasun, the ancient Uyghur capital, have become a prime focus of bilateral academic collaboration.