Germany and Papua New Guinea: Bilateral relations

11.10.2021 - Article

Political relations between Germany and Papua New Guinea are amicable. Diplomatic contacts are maintained via the German Embassy in Canberra.

The northern part of Papua New Guinea was a German colony from 1884 until 1914. Even today, many geographical names still testify to Germany and Papua New Guinea’s brief shared history, e.g. Mount Wilhelm, the country’s highest mountain in the Bismarck Range. One interesting aspect of the countries’ shared past is an unusual language which has almost died out called Unserdeutsch – the world’s only German‑based Creole language.

The Divine Word University in Madang was founded by the Steyler missionaries and is home to a collection of German-language books. The digitisation of this collection is currently being funded. Three books were selected to be translated into English in order to make this period in history accessible once more to the general population.

Germany supports economic, social and cultural development in Papua New Guinea above all through its substantial contributions to the EU’s European Development Fund (EDF) (since 2021: the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI)). The country also plays a role in Germany’s close climate policy cooperation with the states of the South Pacific region, particularly within the framework of regional programmes run by the Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and the International Climate Initiative (ICI) of the Federal Environment Ministry. In the autonomous province of Bougainville, Germany is helping work through the post‑referendum process with projects to support capacity-building and on the UNDP. In addition, there are various church‑affiliated development projects in Papua New Guinea, some of which have received German Government funding. Papua New Guinea is a member of our Group of Friends on Climate and Security in the United Nations.

According to Federal Statistical Office figures, Germany exported goods worth 16.486 million euro to the country in 2020 and imported goods worth a laudable 147.245 million euro from the country. Australia, China, Japan and Singapore are the country's main trading partners.


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