Official political relations started with the establishment of diplomatic relations by the Federal Republic of Germany in 1954, after the Philippines had gained independence in 1946; the German Democratic Republic established diplomatic relations with the country in 1973. Since the end of the Marcos dictatorship in 1986, the Philippines has become more and more important for German companies. With a very young, largely English-speaking, 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. Filipinos have the same importance in Germany’s healthcare and nursing sector. 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’ most important trade and investment partner.
Bilateral cooperation between the German Government and the Philippines is broad-based, ranging from joint projects in the area of climate, the environment and biodiversity, help with disaster risk reduction, and the peace process in the south Filipino island of Mindanao to cooperation in the cultural sector. Work in the field of human rights, exchange with civil society, and commitment to a rules-based order in the region are other focuses of Germany’s policy with regard to the Philippines.
German traders were active in the Philippines as far back as the 1880s, thus making people aware of Germany. The Deutsche Club Manila, which was founded in 1906, the German European School Manila, the Goethe-Institut, a German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) lector, the German-Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and representatives of five of Germany’s political foundations ensure that Germany retains a high profile in the country today.