Official political relations started with the establishment of diplomatic relations by the Federal Republic of Germany immediately after the Philippines gained independence in 1956; the German Democratic Republic established diplomatic relations with the country in 1973. Since the end of the Marcos dictatorship in 1986, the Philippines have become more and more important for German companies. With a very young, largely English-speaking, average population, the Philippines has developed into a globally leading location for outsourced company services and is also becoming increasingly relevant as a manufacturing location.
The Philippines is an important country of origin in the world for shipping crews of all ranks and Filipino sailors thus play a key role in German merchant shipping. In recent years Filipino carers have been recruited to work in Germany.
The country’s main economic partners are in East Asia (China, Japan and Korea) and the United States. Among EU Member States, Germany is the Philippines’ largest trade and investment partner.
Bilateral cooperation between the German Government and the Philippines is broad-based, ranging from collaboration projects in the area of climate, the environment and biodiversity, help with disaster risk reduction and the peace process in the politically unstable south Filipino island of Mindanao to joint German-Filipino research projects and cultural exchange. Work in the field of human rights is another focus of Germany’s policy with regard to the Philippines.
German traders were active in the Philippines as far back as the 1880s, thereby promoting awareness of their country. The very active Deutsche Club Manila, which was founded in 1906, the German European School and the Goethe-Institut ensure that Germany retains a high profile in the country today.